More than 60 percent of PC Advisor readers use their home printer to print documents only from their PC or laptop. An additional 13 percent of respondents to a recent poll said they don't print at home. However, 25 percent of poll respondents print from smartphone, tablet or a combination of both of those devices and a PC.
In our poll, sponsored by Kodak, we asked 'From which devices do you print at home?' The most popular response was 'PC/Laptop only', selected by 62 percent of respondents. This is despite the ease with which it is now possible to print from mobile phones, tablets, indeed any web connected device.
Print from anywhere
There are many ways to print from any location, so long as you have an internet connection and the right app for your device. Simple tools remove the need for having to connect your device directly to a printer. There's cloud printing, such as Google Cloud Print, for instance, which enables you to print from an individual device via the internet. See also: Print on the move with cloud technology.
Lots of new printers are able to utilise Google Cloud Print, another option that connects any of your printers to the web, which means that both home and work printers are now available to you and your family, friends and work colleagues via the software that you use everyday. And, because it works on a phone, tablet or any other device connected to the web, you've therefore got an amazingly powerful new printing tool at your disposal.
Video: why cloud printing is the next big thing
Mobile printing enables documents to be output using an email address. Added to that, it's also possible to print wirelessly using the power of Wi-Fi technology and a software app, or Apple's AirPrint. Documents stored in popular email and online services, such as Gmail and Google Docs, can be printed from anywhere, using any email account, with something like the Email Print Service from Kodak (other, similar services are available from the likes of HP and Canon). And the Kodak Document Print App is an app for mobile devices that enables printing in this fashion.
Staying with Kodak, the company has also developed the Pic Flick App, which allows consumers to wirelessly send photos to print, directly from an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, BlackBerry or Android device. Again, we've seen similar apps from other big name printer makers.
Some people are clearly taking advantage of these technologies, however, as more than 25 percent of respondents to our poll said they regularly printed from a mobile device, either exclsively, or in addition to their PC and laptop. The joint third most popular responses to the poll question where 'PC and tablet', and 'all of the above devices' with 11 percent each. Just 1 percent of poll respondents chose 'PC and smartphone', and the same number chose 'Tablet only', and 'Smartphone only'.
Surprisingly in this era of digital media, only 13 percent chose to respond 'Don't print at home', possibly reflecting both the variety of options available to home printers, and the quality of home printers, particularly when printing photos.
See also: Connected printer technology explained.