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The Cloud and Getting Your Print Job There
Wikipedia's long article on cloud computing

Wikipedia's article on Apple's cloud service

Wikipedia's article on Google Drive

Wikipedia's article on Microsoft Azure

CNET's article on cloud printing

CNET's review of the Epson XP-420

Epson's own web page on printing with mobile devices

HP's data sheet web site on the HP ePrint app

CNET's review of the Canon Pixma MG5620

A long article on Canon's free app

Thomas Computer Services Web Site
The cloud was conceived as a way for subscribers to use Internet computers, known as servers, to share resources with each other. For example, a Macintosh user with an Apple .Mac account can upload photos and other documents to his folder at .Mac, and then give the Internet address of this folder to his friends and relatives who can then download these items for fun or profit. Or an Android or Chromebook user and a group of his co-workers may have a set of text documents, spreadsheets and presentations in a shared Google Drive that can be simultaneously edited by members of this group, and the Google Docs apps that they use will save changes just as they are made to these files so all can see the changes onscreen in realtime. Or a group of application developers using Microsoft Azure can in the same fashion simultaneously work on new cloud- and computer-based apps.

Using the cloud is an option for desktop and laptop computer owners, but Chromebooks, smartphones, iPads and other tablet devices do not have USB connectors and so MUST rely on wireless and "cloud-ready" printers in order to print. The cloud-ready printers can be easily detected by Google's Chromebooks and Android-based devices as well as Apple's iOS-based iPhones and iPads. So that users can take advantage of older wireless printers, Epson, HP and Canon also publish iOS and Android versions of free apps that can be made to detect the older printers IF they are connected to Windows and Macintosh computers and IF those desktops and laptops are up and running when the print job is sent. Here follows a sample of affordable (less than $100), cloud-ready printers and free apps, by manufacturer.

The Expression Home XP-420 all-in-one is touted by Epson as perfectly connectable to any type of device, able to print photos, and is quick, small, and lightweight. In case you need to print from your mobile device but you're not ready to spring for a new printer, Epson offers the ePrint app for Apple iOS v5.0 or later and Android v2.2 or later. It can use an Epson scanner or all-in-one to scan and has a built-in browser for printing web pages.

The HP Envy 5530 Wireless all-in-one Color Photo Printer is bigger and heavier than its Epson competitor, but offers two-sided printing and lab-quality photo printing. Printing to older HP wireless printers is also supported. The newer of these older printers support a feature called HP Wireless Direct and connect without using a wireless router. Such an HP printer will appear in the device's wireless router connection list. Any browser or other app that can print must be compatible with HP Wireless Direct. The HP ePrint App for mobile devices is compatible with the Envy models and also for printing to most of the other, older wireless HP printers.

Rounding out the three big printer manufacturers, the Canon Pixma MG5620 features fine output quality, double-sided printing and easy connection with wireless networks and mobile devices. Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint app can print from mobile devices to recent Canon multi-function printers via wireless networks. It lets you select paper sizes and types, finds images and files on your device and automatically finds printers.

John is ready to help you with any printer questions and installations. He awaits your call.
June 12, 2015

John G. Thomas,  your all-natural geek for

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