You have taken and edited some fantastic images, and you have shared them on social media and made a digital photo album. But sometimes, you want to have a physical print of one of your photographs. Fortunately, it turns out to be easy to print from your smartphone. We did some research on how and where you should turn to get the best printed result.
You can send your favorite images directly from your phone to your printer. Or you can use a third-party app to print your pictures, order them by email or pick them up from a store.
Let us show you how, so you can make a well-educated decision on whether to buy a smartphone printer or to order your images in an (online) store. Here are our favorite (portable) printers and print applications for smartphone photographers.
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How do I print photos from my Android phone?
There are more ways of printing your images from your Android smartphone. In the last few years, Android has gotten better at printing photographs, and the physical printers have proven to be great at printing wireless nowadays. The easiest and fastest way to print anything from your Android phone is by using Google Cloud Print.
Printing photos using Google Cloud Print
First, find your printer in the Cloud Print compatible list of Google. This way, you know whether or not your printer supports Google Cloud. If your printer does work with Google Cloud, connect it to the same WiFi network as your Android smartphone.
Step 1: Set up printing on your phone
- Go to Settings
- Select Device connectivity
- Select Printing
- Select Cloud Print (or install this Google app first)
- Select your printer
- You are ready to print your images.
Step 2: Add your printer
If you do not see your printer follow these steps to add your home printer:
- Click on the three dots (might be in the upper right corner, but can also be on the bottom of your screen).
- Tap add printer. If you cannot see your home printer, try to refresh the page with the refresh button.
- Select your printer from the list of devices.
- You have to confirm that you want to add your phone as a device to your home printer.
Step 3: Print the images from your phone
- Find the photo you would like to print.
- Select the three vertical dots.
- Choose your home printer.
- Change the paper size or other settings if needed.
- Print your images by tapping the print icon.
If you do not have a new model printer that is not WiFi ready, try sending your pictures to your email and print from your computer instead. Send a high-resolution of the image you want to print, to get the best possible result.
How to print images from an iOs device?
The fastest way to print your iPhone images is to use AirPrint. Check whether or not your printer supports AirPrint. Apple has a list of compatible printers. If so, make sure your device and printer are connected to the same WiFi network. After that, follow these steps:
- Open the native photos app on your iPhone.
- Select the image you want to print.
- Tap the share icon.
- Swipe down and select print.
- Tap on the select printer button and choose your printing device.
- Change options like paper size (options).
- Tab on the print button.
How can I print high-quality photos from Android and iPhone?
You have several options for the best possible print quality of your Android and Apple Phone.
- Choose the highest resolution: To get the best possible print quality, take your images in the highest resolution. Make sure the app you are using is not downsizing the image when saving. Go into the settings of the camera of your smartphone and check that full resolution is turned on.
- Do not overedit: Do not take it to far while editing your photos; it will result in quality loss. Especially filter apps can add noise and pixelation. Be careful using those third-party applications. Apps like Snapseed, Lightroom, and Darkroom will save your image at full resolution.
- Sharpen your photos: Optimize your images for print by sharpening your photographs by adding contrast and clarity.
How large can you print from your mobile phone?
There are many sizes and formats possible from your mobile phone pictures. From big prints to panoramic photos. So how big can you print? How large you can print images from your smartphone depends on a couple of things, but the most important one is image resolution. The more pixels it contains, the bigger the print.
So what affects the size of your smartphone images: megapixels, sensor, file format, and amount of detail.
A megapixel is one million pixels. Tiny squares that contain information like light, contrast, and color about the photographed object and make up your image. So a 48MP image is made up of 48 million pixels. You will get more detail with a higher pixel count. This means you will be able to print a larger physical print of your photograph. A 48-megapixel image has a resolution of about 8000 x 6000 pixels (width and height). It means a photo-quality that is good for a 24″ x 20″ (best quality) or 45″ x 30″ (largest recommended print). Pretty big!
Megapixels are essential for making large printing possible, but without a decent size sensor, you won’t get the results you desire. The size of the sensor will determine how many pixels it can process and how big these can be. Smaller pixels are affected by noise more than large ones who can collect more good data that is required to make beautiful images. It means that more pixels are not always better than fewer but bigger pixels. It all comes down to the quality of these tiny dots.
3) File format
Although JPEG is the most popular file size that is used in pretty much every smartphone, RAW images can result in larger print sizes. These uncompressed and unprocessed files contain a lot more information. It will allow you to have more flexibility when editing your images. RAW data are roughly three times the size of a JPEG.
4) Amount of detail
The amount of detail in the image will enhance the overall size of the file. Bright pictures with lots of detail and color will make the photo larger, in contrast to low-light images with solid colors.
Take a look at the chart with a couple of print size examples. Keep in mind that photo prints of smartphones will be lower quality than prints from a DSLR camera.
|Megapixel||Max. print size||In centimeters||Quality|
|8MP||10.88" x 8.16"||27 x 20 cm||Excellent|
|8MP||16.32" x 12.24"||41 x 31 cm||Good|
|12MP||14.29" x 9.49"||36 x 24 cm||Excellent|
|12MP||21.44" x 14.24"||54 x 36 cm||Good|
Best three apps for photo printing from your phone
If you want to print photos from your smartphone, you should consider using one of these apps. We have done some research and found the top 3 apps for smartphone printing. All three applications are available for iOs and Android.
Shutterfly for iOs and Android
This app turns your images into lovely photos and gifts. You will get unlimited free 4×4″ and 4×6″ prints and free 6×6″ photo book every month as well as free photo storage to back up your pictures. Shutterfly is a popular and free application that comes with great deals now and then. It has more than 240.000 positive reviews, though people tend to dislike the steep shipping costs. You can find Shutterfly in the Apple and Android Store. (4.7 stars).
Print Studio for iOs and Android
Turn your images into prints and other beautiful products. You can choose from different classic print sizes, photo books, and calendars. They also have wood, metal, and framed prints. Is canvas or a poster your thing. You can find it all in the famous Print Studio for iOs and Android. Download this almost five star-rating app for free in the Apple Store. (4.9 stars)
FreePrints for iOs and Android
You can earn free prints with the FreePrints app. You only have to pay shipping and handling fees. Receive 45 copies of 4×6″ for free a month (that’s over 500 a year). You can choose other sizes for an additional cost. You can select photos from your camera roll, Facebook, Instagram, or Google Photos. With over 400.000 positive reviews and a 4.8 rating, it is the go-to app for Android and iOs for printing your smartphone images.
What kind of printer do I need to print from my phone?
You can use any printer that has a Bluetooth or WiFi connection, otherwise said a wireless printer. There are small portable printers on the market, specially made for smartphones and tablets. They will give you lovely prints of your images, but if you are looking for something professional, check these top wireless printers out. (add a link to paragraph)
What is the best portable mobile photo printer?
Snapping a fantastic image with your friends and printing it on the spot. Sounds convenient, doesn’t it? But you do not want to carry a massive device around. Something as big as your phone or wallet would have to do the job. That is possible these days. Think portable WiFi printer with inkless print technology! Here are our favorite three pocket-sized printers for smartphones.
Canon Ivy Mini
Over the past few years, pocket photo printers have become more and more popular. Where there is demand, manufacturers are waiting to create solutions. Canon Ivy Mini is one of these solutions for smartphone and tablet printing. The print quality is good for its price range, but it lacks vibrant colors, contrast, and depth in dark tones. This portable printer is easy to set up, and it has competitive running costs. Be aware, you cannot print from a PC with this device, and Bluetooth is the only connectivity option. Ivy comes in three different colors, all two-tone, with white on top and a pastel shade around the edge and the bottom. You can choose from slate gray, rose gold, or mint green.
You will need the Canon Mini Print app to operate the Ivy device. The app is pretty self-explanatory. You load and print your photos from the internet or your smartphone’s storage. You can even edit the images before printing, although we recommend using photo editing apps like lightroom, darkroom, or Snapseed. It is possible to join multiple prints together at their edges to create larger images or collages.
>> You can buy your very own Canon Ivy Mini here
Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Mini Printer
You do not have to shake your polaroid print dry with this polaroid mobile mini printer. This Bluetooth-connected mobile device creates water and tearproof photos. It weighs only 6.6 ounces, is pocket-sized, and therefore categorized as travel-friendly. The ZINK technology that is used has a unique color forming molecular structure. It will create deep and vibrant colors. The Polaroid ZIP app for iOs and Android allows you to make some retouching and corrections before printing.
>> You can pick the Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Mini Printer up from $79.99
Kodak Mini 2 HD Wireless Instant Printer
The Kodak Mini 2 is highly rated and has innovative technology. This means they do not use instant film technology or ZINK paper. This instant printer uses a single cartridge that contains both the paper and the ink. This Kodak device is not larger than a credit card with only 2.1 x 3.4″ in size. Add the size and weight to the running costs of about 70 cents per print, and it is a winner. The smartphone app is designed for both Android and iOs and works intuitively.
>> You can find the Kodak Mini 2 from $69.99
Although the technique and quality of portable smartphone printers have improved over the last few years, you should choose a different kind of printer if you want to have high-quality images. These mini Bluetooth printers are fun for your refrigerator or family album, but not for an exposition of your artwork.
What printers do Professional photographers use?
Although it is not always needed to print professional photographs in this digital age, it still comes in very handy. You can showcase your work, hold an exposition, or sell prints of your best images. We have put together a Top 3 good quality, yet payable printers for home or office use:
Best all-round printer
Canon PIXMA PRO-100S Professional Photo Inkjet Printer
>> Unfortunately the Pixma Pro-100 is no longer available, instead, we recommend the Canon Pixma Pro-200.
The PIXMA PRO-100S from Canon is the best all-round printer for photographers. It is a compact device, but can still print large photos like A3. The Chromalife100+ printing system will give you realistic printing quality with vivid colors. The PIXMA-PRO has two printing trays, one for fine or glossy images and one for thicker paper. The printer features a 4800 x 2400 printing resolution. Due to its 8-cartridge system, it can produce a wide range of colors. The PIXMA Pro-100 features multiple connectivity options so you can easily print from your smartphone or tablet.
Best portable printer
Canon PIXMA iP110 Wireless Mobile Inkjet Color Photo Printer
The PIXMA iP110 Printer is especially convenient for photographers who want to print on the spot. You can print up to A4 size through a WiFi connection with your smartphone. It supports several cloud options like Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint. With a maximum color dpi of 9600 x 2400 print resolution, you will get exceptional quality images. At a weight of only 4.85 lbs (2.2 kg), it is a highly portable device.
>> The PIXMA iP110 Printer is no longer available. A good alternative is the Canon PIXMA TR150.
Best budget printer
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Color Wide-format Printer
The Epson printer is ideal if you want to print beautiful, borderless glossy photos up to 13 inches x 19 inches (A3+) when you are on a budget. The printer has wireless printing solutions like WiFi and WiFi direct. Although it is not the fastest printer on the market, with eight pages a minute, it produces high-quality prints with its six separate cartridges.
>> You can pick your Expression Photo Printer HD XP-15000 here.
Can I print from my phone without WiFi or USB?
You can print images from your phone without using WiFi. Use one of the portable mini printers from Canon, Polaroid, or Kodak, with Bluetooth connection, and you are good to go. Install the corresponding app from the Android or iOs store and start printing your favorite images. You can find our top three portable printers in the previous paragraph.
Final thoughts on printing from your mobile device
Although it might seem unnecessary in this digital world. Printers are still widely used in the world of (amateur) photographers. After reading this article, you have all the tools you need to print your beautiful images. Start creating and sharing!