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Print on the move with cloud technology

Analysis: Latest trends in mobile printing

Discover how to print on the move with new cloud and wireless technology.

Printing digital documents and photos used involve connecting your PC or laptop to a printer in a single static location. Now things are very different. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and netbooks enable people to stay connected, no matter what their location. They also enable people to perform computing tasks on the move, such as printing.

There are several ways to print from any location. All you'll need to enjoy more flexible printing is an internet connection and the right app for your device.

Mobile printing: Simple but effective

Mobile printing couldn't be easier. There's cloud printing, which allows enables you to print from an individual device via the internet, or mobile printing that 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. These are all simple tools that remove the need for having to connect your device directly to a printer.

So where do you start and which option is going to be best for your needs? Well, at least one of the choices outlined above will prove useful, but add them all together and they offer a complete printing solution, which can not only be used on the go but around the home and workplace, or even while you're on holiday. Printing family photos from your next trip overseas now involves nothing more than a few taps of the screen on your smartphone or tablet.

Mobile printing: All the options

One scenario faced by most of us at one time or another is that we'll we have an email ticket or a web page that we need to print, but we'll be out and about. Often we access these things via a smartphone, tablet or laptop, which is where modern all-in-one printers can be invaluable. These innovative products allow you to print from any device, no matter what the location using Google Cloud Print-enabled apps.

Alternatively, 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).

Kodak's Hero range of All-in-One printers has been devised specifically with mobile printing needs in mind.

The Kodak Document Print App is an app for mobile devices that enables printing in this fashion. It's available for models running the hugely popular Android operating system (an iOS version is in development and should be available soon). Web pages, Microsoft Office documents and all sorts other digital paperwork along with images can be printed while you're out and about, simply by tapping into the power of Google Cloud Print and your All-in-One printer back at home.

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.

Mobile printing: Another creative angle

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. You can print and share images and other documents with ease. Not only that, you can use your mobile device to select, view, rotate and crop photos on the move, before printing them out at any size from 4 x 6 through to 8.5 x 11-inch digital photos.  

There's little more to the printing process than selecting the shot, editing it on the screen of your device, selecting the print settings and then sending it to your printer or Kodak's Digital Picture Frame service. The latter option means you can automatically place an image into one of the compatible Kodak digital picture frames such as the Pulse or Easyshare W1020. What's more, it's all done wirelessly and without the need for any cables.

It's definitely worth considering the options when purchasing a new printer: if mobile printing is likely to matter to you, make sure your printer brand offers the correct apps and services.

A different way of printing

Using these mobile options will revolutionise the way you print out everyday items such as word processing documents and colour photos. And it's not all about using these services while you're out and about either, because being able to enjoy their cable-free convenience around the home or workplace is another major bonus that you never used to get with traditional printing options.

Better still, all of these software apps and associated online services are incredibly simple to set-up, require no day-to-day maintenance once up-and-running and can be called upon in an instant to get your print tasks done in no time. If you crave the freedom to print anything, from anywhere and at the time that suits you best, then the new technology that's out there will help you get the job done in no time.

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