Want to quickly find out everything about wireless portable printers for the iPhone? This page was written by myself (a mobile printer nerd who has created an entire website based on this subject) to allow iPhone users the ability to print while on the go. Everything you need to know about mobile printing for iPhone’s is right here. Let’s go team!
The Two Best iPhone portable printers with wireless technology
If you want to buy a printer which can use AirPrint (or ePrint) and is iPhone compatible then you’re in for a bit of a surprise. Apple has not manufactured any specific iPhone printers and the same is true of HP’s AirPrint. However one useful concept which has come into the market and which you might not have heard of are printer apps. Printer applications how multiple different purposes but in this case they act as a bridge between your mobile printer and iPhone.
There are currently no mobile printers which will work with the iPhone unless you first download the printer application. Generally there are two main printer applications (you can choose which you want to buy) and they cost around 20 dollars each. This extra 20 bucks is obviously annoying but the convenience it brings to some will make it a minor detail. You can visit www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/ for further details – I’m not affiliated with them in any way.
Canon PIXMA iP100
The Canon PIXMA iP100 is iPhone compatible and is the most popular portable printer of all time. It’s not just popular for Apple products but for laptops and other smartphones too. By utilizing a simple printer application your Canon PIXMA iP100 will work with your iPhone. I get asked questions such as “Does the iP100 work with the iPhone?” and the answer is “yes the iP100 works with the iPhone”. You can find out more about the Canon PIXMA iP100 and see my concise review, plus specifications and all the other important info on the page I just linked.
HP OfficeJet 100
The second overall most popular mobile printer is the HP OfficeJet 100 and this is true both with the iPhone and other more commonly used devices. The OfficeJet 100 is compatible with the iPhone too (with the same printer app) and so you won’t have any problems with them working together. People tend to ask me the same question “Does HP’s OfficeJet 100 work with the iPhone”… and of course the answer is the same. You can find out more about the OfficeJet 100 wireless mobile printer here and see further details on Apple compatibility issues.
The reason that it’s second is that it has a lower color printing resolution, slower printing speeds and larger dimensions and weight. The lower color printing resolution isn’t exactly a big deal, they’re both very high and capable of laboratory quality photographs as long as you have enough ink and color paper. The printing speeds and larger dimensions and weight aren’t a massive problem too, it’s slightly slower and slightly larger. But the real problem with the OfficeJet 100 is that it’s far more prone to breaking and it has some reliability issues. You certainly don’t want to fork out 300 dollars and buy a product where the paper jams of the feed mechanism doesn’t work properly and these are two problems its been plagued with. It’s still a good mobile printer, but it’s certainly number two.
Which mobile printers you cannot use with the iPhone
Remember that to use mobile printers with the iPhone you need to play by Apple’s rules. iPhones are fantastic products but they’re incredibly limited with regards to their software. You’re locked into the Apple ecosystem. This means that if you want to print using then you need to use either AirPrint or ePrint. Both of these are very useful pieces of software but what they both have in common is that they require WiFi. This means that any printer which doesn’t have WiFi cannot print from the iPhone.
Let’s say you have a PocketJet 6 mobile Bluetooth printer you won’t be able to use it with any of Apple’s products, not just their iPhone but their iPad too. Although it’s wireless because of the Bluetooth it won’t work with the iPad because it doesn’t have WiFi and cannot connect to a wireless access point. This rules out using infrared, parallel ports and even standard USB cables from working with the iPhone.
For example, no thermal mobile printers will work with any of Apple’s mobile devices. This is because thermal devices are highly portable and designed for working in conditions where there are unlikely to be wireless access points. Therefore their only wireless option is Bluetooth. The devices which transfer the information are generally laptops and regular smart phones and all of these products are capable of Bluetooth data transfer. The operating systems are usually Linux or Windows and hence they’re not locked into any of Apple’s annoying ‘ecosystems’. This is an unfortunate circumstance because thermal printers are the most compact and most important which would make them perfect to use whilst working with the iPad which itself is incredibly portable.
Using AirPrint mobile printing
When it comes to printing from your iPhone or iPad you’re locked into using either AirPrint or ePrint. This is fine for home usage because they’re useful and simple to use programs. Unfortunately this limits you to using an AirPrint or ePrint enabled printer (even if you need to purchase a printer application to make it enabled). I’m briefly going to discuss these two different software types below.
One massive problem with Apple AirPrint is that there are no ready-to-use portable airprint printers which are functional right out of the box. There are lots of HP AirPrint printers which are stationary and perhaps even considered portable because of their small size. But in my opinion it’s not portable unless it has a battery and is as small as notebook (aside from being perhaps twice as thick). HP’s AirPrint printers don’t live up to these two conditions and hence you need to look further afield to real mobile printers with batteries and which you can reasonably carry around with you.
AirPrint itself is great, it’s useful, it’s simple, it’s clean and I love it. But the truth is that although it’s useful, it’s incredibly limited and all useful for using at home – which is a real shame because both the iPhone and iPad are very much portable products.