Social media has made it quick and easy to share our photos with friends and family. However, there’s something special about printed photographs. It’s like being able to physically hold on to a cherished memory. Also, printed photographs look good as decoration in any home.
And since there aren’t that many photo printing stores around these days as there used to be before, you might as well print your mobile photos yourself. Below are a few ways in which you can print photos from an android device to a printer.
Google Cloud Print
Using Google Cloud Print is the best way to print, not just your mobile photos, but any file, directly from your smartphone to your printer. What’s great about it is that it enables you to print from any app that supports printing.
Most Android smartphones that run newer operating systems already have Google Cloud Print. If your device does not have it, you can download it from the Google Play Store.
To print your mobile photos using Google Cloud Print, you need to add a printer to the service if you haven’t already done so. To set this up, turn your printer and smartphone on, make sure they’re connected to your Wi-Fi network, and follow the steps below.
- Go to your phone’s settings and search for “printing” in the search box. Tap on the printing option that turns up.
- Select "cloud print".
- Tap the menu option (three stacked dots) at the top right-hand corner of the screen and choose “Add printer”.
- Cloud print will then search for printers that are connected to your Wi-Fi network. Once your printer is found, tap on it and it should connect and be ready to go.
- If it’s your first using the printer with your phone, you might need to confirm that your device is allowed to connect and print to the printer.
Printing photos from your phone is easy once you have added your printer to Google Cloud Print successfully. The steps below are a general guide and may be different depending on the app you use.
- Find the photo you wish to print. You can do this by using the gallery app or navigate your phone’s storage using a file manager app. You can also navigate to photos saved on cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive.
- Once you have found the photo, open it to make sure it’s the correct photo and that you’re happy with it.
- Tap on the three-dot menu button and select the option to print.
- If you don’t have more than one printer on your Google Cloud Print, your phone should connect automatically to your printer. Otherwise, you may have to choose a printer to print from.
- You will then get to select the number of copies of your photo you wish to print, as well as colour options, orientation, etc.
- When you’re done with everything, hit print.
The best part of using Google Cloud Print is the freedom it gives you. You don’t even need to be in the same room as the printer to print. The files are sent securely via the internet wherever you are, even if it’s a different country!
Because of how deeply integrated smartphones are in our lives, printer manufacturers found it necessary to develop apps to allow people to print files directly from their phones to their printers using their proprietary software.
In most cases, these apps do more than just print photos from your phone, some of them allow you to crop and do some touch-ups on your photos before you print them. And if that’s not enough, some printer apps allow you to scan and fax documents right from your smartphone.
Each printer manufacturer’s proprietary software is different, so it’s difficult to lay out exactly how each one of them works here without making this article too long to read. I suggest you do some Googling and find out how to use your printer’s app.
Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC has been around for ages but now it’s changing how we interact and transact with other devices using our smartphones. Added to the list of such devices are printers, which means you can print photos from your phone using near field communication.
For you to be able to print photos from your smartphone using NFC, you need to have a phone with that has an NFC antenna and a printer that is NFC ready. In some cases, you need to have Wi-Fi Direct available, as well.
To print via NFC, you also need to have an app installed on your smartphone. This is usually the same app for your printer mentioned above. Again, because each printer manufacturer’s app is different, you will have to do your own research to learn how to use it.
The apps below can all be found on the Google Play Store. The download and installation procedure is exactly the same as described for Google Cloud Print.
For NFC to work, remember to enable it on both your phone and your printer. Please refer to your device’s manual on instructions on how to do so. Once you’re done, you’re all to print your mobile photos via NFC.
It’s not easy to give detailed instructions on how to using NFC because different printers and their apps work differently. Below are some generic instructions on how you can print photos on your phone using the NFC feature of a few leading photo printer manufacturers.
Samsung (Samsung Mobile Print)
- Tap the NFC antenna on your smartphone over the NFC tag on your printer.
- Wait a few seconds for the Samsung Mobile Print app to start and select print mode.
- Pick the photo you want to print.
- Tap your mobile phone over the NFC tag on your printer again and wait for it to connect to the printer.
- All done. The printer should start printing.
Brother (Brother iPrint & Scan)
- Launch the iPrint & Scan app on your phone.
- Choose ‘Use NFC’, then select ‘Print’.
- From the options that you get, tap ‘Photo’.
- Navigate through your photos and choose the one you want to print.
- Tap your phone on the NFC tag on your printer.
- Confirm the transfer by touching the photo on the screen.
- Your photo should print automatically.
Epson (Epson iPrint)
- Touch the NFC antenna of your mobile device to the NFC tag on your product. Epson iPrint opens.
- Touch the NFC antenna of your mobile device to the product NFC tag on your product again. The printer and mobile device connect.
- Open the file you want to print in Epson iPrint.
- Touch the NFC antenna of your mobile device to the NFC tag on your product to start printing.
HP (HP ePrint)
- Launch the HP ePrint app.
- From within the HP ePrint app, navigate to your photos and open the one you want to print.
- Tap and hold your phone’s NFC antenna on the HP printer’s tag for about a second to make sure a connection is established.
- Select the printer you want to print to.
- Select Print and you’re done.
Notes on printing via NFC
- The steps above are general and do not apply to all models of the above-mentioned printer brands.
- The material of your phone cover can affect the NFC connection between devices. If you experience communication issues, try removing the phone cover or anything that could be blocking the NFC antennae.
- If your smartphone is not recognized by the printer, reposition it over the NFC tag then try again.
- Should your phone and printer disconnect, try to print a document. The mobile device and product should reconnect automatically.
- The location of the NFC antenna differs from phone to phone, so it’s not always at the back of the phone. Best to check where your mobile phone’s NFC antenna is before tagging it on a printer.
- Connecting to the printer via NFC will disconnect the phone/tablet from current Wi-Fi connections. When finished printing, you might need to reconnect to your preferred Wi-Fi network
Bluetooth is a common way to print photos directly from a phone. It’s honestly more convenient than using NFC because you don’t have to tap the printer with your phone, although you do have to be somewhere in the proximity of the printer.
Common as it is, though, it can be a bit tricky to print via Bluetooth from an Android phone because it’s not as simple as selecting the print option from the menu.
On your printer
The first step is to make sure that Bluetooth is turned on. Depending on the brand, make, and model of the printer, this can be either a button on the printer or a menu option in the settings.
On your phone
- Go to the Bluetooth settings of your smartphone and enable it.
- Once your printer is discovered, select it from the list of found devices.
- Connect and pair your phone with your printer.
- Navigate to the photo you want to print and open it
- Tap the Share icon or go to the three-dot menu at the top right of the screen and select Share from the options.
- Choose Bluetooth. If this option is not available, then it means printing via Bluetooth is not possible from that app.
- Select your Bluetooth printer from the options that appear.
- You’re done. Check the printer for any prompts to confirm you want to print from your phone.
From a computer
To print your mobile photos from a computer, you will first need to transfer the photos from your smartphone to your computer. This can be done via Bluetooth, USB, email, or even instant messaging. It’s a long and convoluted method, but it works just as well.
Once the image you wish to print has been transferred to your computer, you can locate it where it’s saved, and print it from there. You can find instructions on how to do so on a Windows 10 machine here.
Printing your own photos from home can be fun and exciting. And with so many ways to do it, it’s now easier than ever before. All you need is the right tools, and you’re good to go.
However, printing any and every photo can prove to be quite costly. It’s best you print your best photos so that you can show them off proudly in your home or give them to friends and family.
If you think your mobile photos could do with a little improving, why not download this FREE ebook. It will show you five ways in which you can improve your smartphone photography. It’s packed with information, yet it’s very simple to understand. Best of all, it’s absolutely free!!!