The iPad wasn't necessarily intended to have printing capacities. According to Apple?s vision, you are supposed to use your iPad as a portable computer and browser, so it was thought that you wouldn't be using your iPad in proximity to any kind of printing solution, except as a coincidence. As far as printing goes, it seems they initially went more of the iPhone route: the idea being that if you're near a printer, you're also near your home computer which can handle your printing needs. Of course people decided they'd rather print directly off the iPad. After all, if you've downloaded or generated a document in one place, it doesn?t make sense to take it to another place just to print. If you want to print something, why add needless steps to the process? Printing directly from an iPad should be an easy technical challenge to solve. So iPad printing solutions have been developed in the form of apps that send your data to a wireless printer. Just look at your printer?s manufacturer, and check their website as well as the App Store. Search the App Store for printer apps attuned to your printer?s manufacturer.
You shouldn?t need to mess around with printer cables or even USB if your printer is also on a WiFi network. Any app you buy from the App Store will be able to send your data to a printer on your wireless network. If you are working with an older printer that doesn?t have a wireless connection, you will probably have to simply use your desktop to print. This will add the step of sending your file to yourself as an email attachment.
One more piece of advice I have for you is this: ask yourself what you think you?re going to get out of printing from your iPad?
If you are looking for the accessibility of paper in a portable setting, then the iPad is a great way to deal with the printing issue. The technology may not be all the way there yet, but the iPad is ultimately supposed to reduce our reliance on paper. The world is becoming digitized, and the iPad is another step along that path. If you?re printing something, anything, in order to pass around to a group of people working on a project together, just consider getting their email addresses in advance, and mailing them your documents instead. Paper is often unappreciated clutter. In most places, even invoices are better dealt with electronically.
If you are looking for the permanence of a paper record, the reality is that digital solutions are more permanent than paper nowadays. With more and more backup solutions, both online and within your desktop hardware, there is less reason to make paper copies of documents. Also, digital records are preferable because they can be accessed and analyzed by statistical software much later. It is easier to pull up records with a few clicks than to dig through a filing cabinet.
In summary, you can print from your iPad with the right App, or by brute force through emailing documents to your desktop, but think twice before you do because the iPad is still new enough that printing can be a hassle and you may want to save some paper and the environment anyway.
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