How to print from your smartphone to any Wi-Fi printer

I own a Wi-Fi enabled printer. I’ve always wanted to print content directly from my smartphone or tablet. The only thing is that, well, my printer doesn’t support AirPrint or Google Cloud Print out of the box. I’ve tried a bunch of apps for both iOS and Android, but all of them are unintuitive, don’t work, or cost money. Recently, I’ve found a solution to all that. It’s actually an added feature to Google Cloud Print, and it’s still in beta. It works even if your printer isn’t “Cloud Ready” as Google calls it. Here it is…

Before we start, make sure that you’re signed into your Google account on the Chrome browser. (Yes, we’re using Chrome)

Then, click the button with three horizontal lines in the top right corner of the window. Select “Settings” from the drop down. (Or do the keyboard shortcut CMD+, for the same page)

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Android 4.4 KitKat on the Nexus 4 (direct port)

I own a Nexus 4. KitKat was released, and I was grateful that I wouldn’t have to wait very long to receive my OTA update.

Then I found out that an Android 4.4 release for the Nexus 4 wasn’t due “for a few weeks” according to Google. How could I possibly survive that torturous waiting time, while being tantalized by Nexus 5 reviews on my Feedly pages?

I’m not good at waiting. There was no way I was going to. So, sacrificing a (teeny) bit of sleep and homework time, I decided to go ahead and get a taste of KitKat myself.

I was initially going to use an AOSP version of the ROM, released by Paranoid Android. Then I read something in the comments about there being a direct port. After a quick Google search, I found a page on XDA about installing a fully functional version of KitKat ported from the Nexus 5. I decided to use that instead.

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KitKat: Android Refined and Redefined

Android-logo

Google teamed up with Nestle to brand the latest version of Android with a popular snack

One can no longer dismiss Android as being “cluttered”.

Android 4.4 KitKat barely managed an October release with a Halloween launch. While it was not a complete visual overhaul, the features and UI tweaks that were added certainly had a positive impact on the user experience.

One of most prominent changes was a cleaner user interface. There is a new “immersive mode”, a feature which Google describes as “automatically hid[ing] everything except what you really want to see” on its official KitKat site. In addition to this, the software buttons are transparent, and many of the system colors and status bar icons have shifted from the iconic holo blue to white. This makes it so that the color of the OS does not clash with the theme of each individual app. By shifting to a subtler (yet still readable) color,¬†The user can focus on the app’s contents without being distracted by the system. ¬†Overall, these minor implementations do not detract from the full functionality that is unique to Android, but arranges the features in a simpler, cleaner way that gets rid of the obtrusiveness that had existed in earlier versions of the OS.

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