How to Print from iPad

Ready to Print? Unlike a laptop, there are no ports or places you can use to “plug in” an iPad to your printer directly, so here are a few ideas to help you print from your iPad.

What is AirPrint?

Firstly, Apple has made it easy for you to print from the iPad wirelessly through a technology they call “AirPrint”.

AirPrint Technology has been quickly adopted by most major printer manufacturers for their latest printers or multifunction.

On recent printer or multifunction printer/scanner/copier devices with AirPrint, you don’t need to install any software at all on your iPad. It just works, as a printer at least. And all of the devices in your house such as iPhone, iMac or Macbook can print directly to it. And you can print from any content on the internet or locally to the printer.

All you need is for the printer/scanner/copier to be connected to the same wireless network as your iPad is.

For many people, adding a printer to their wireless network is easy, as several manufacturers give step-by-step instructions to add a new printer.

If you don’t have an existing wireless network, the iPad can be set up to connect wirelessly direct to the printer.


Using AirPrint

When you produce a file of some sort using any application, just look for look for the on-screen icon with the “Up Arrow” and one of the options choices will be Print.

The first time you see that print message, it’ll ask you to let it find and connect to an AirPrint device, and it will look for it. When it finds it, just say “yes, that’s the one I want” and it’ll remember it for next time.


More than Printing

You can do more on your iPad than print. There is a free software download from the App Store for HP multifunction devices that lets you do a whole lot more with your iPad. [I’ll use HP as an example here, because they have one of the best solutions. (e.g. HP Photosmart Premium)]

For example, place a photo or document on the scanner on your HP device, you can then return to your couch or lounge chair and scan that document or photo directly to your iPad.

With the scan, you can then you can do a bunch of things with it. Imagine scanning a multiple page document with the built in duplexing feature on your printer (if it is available on your model). Or scanning a family picture to email to your kids.

Using the HP iPad App, you can send the scanned document within an email to a friend. Or you could scan the photo or document to “Dropbox” or “Google Drive”, another internet storage site, or you could use the scanned photo to edit using a photo editing app like Pixelmator etc. There are so many possibilities with these free iPad software packs for your device.


If you don’t have an Airprint Printer

If, for some other reason, you don’t have one of the more recent printer/scanner/copier output devices, search the App Store for the word “print” and you’ll see a bunch more options which will solve your needs.

Normally, these options will require you to have your PC or Mac switched on whenever you want to print from the iPad.


In summary, AirPrint makes it easy for you to print anything from the internet or your iPad.

Contact iThings Bendigo on 0457 803 207 if you would like on-site setup of your printer.



Review of Google Android vs Apple iOS

In the interest of keeping an open mind and trying new things, I thought I would try a few products using Google’s Android software to Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

There are two main reasons that I found it hard to embrace the Android In either case I would choose an Apple product over an Android one (like the latest Samsung Galaxy) for two major reasons.

Spyware on Android

Firstly and importantly, Analysts predict that 99% of spyware is written to cause damage to Android devices.

This spyware can have, on one hand, a relatively minor effect of sending your data from your Android phone or tablet to a third party that you don’t know about, or it can be serious and record every key you press, so that when you’re doing internet banking, if your phone is infected, it’ll send your Bank login and password info to fraudulent users.

There’s no way I want to take that risk on my phone and nor should you.

Until recently, Google, who created the Android operating system, allowed virtually any application to be written and put on their app store without the applications being checked for any spyware-like behaviour.

On the other hand Apple checks EVERY single application written by software developers before they allow the application onto their App Store, so the chances of you getting an application that contains spyware is very remote on an iPhone or iPad. In the last week, Apple has completely deleted anti-virus applications from the iPad app store because they are completely unnecessary and therefore misleading to the public.

Free Software Upgrades

The second major reason why I would not chose an Android based product over an Apple one is that Apple guarantees that you’ll be able to upgrade to the latest version of their operating system free of charge going back two or three generations on iPhone or iPad.

For example, if you have an iPhone 4S, your phone came with Apple Software iOS version 4.0 and you can install up to version 7.1.2 (this means that your phone can use the ‘current’ version of Apple iOS for three years.

Android generally can’t do this for one primary reason. That is that because each brand of Android phone, from each manufacturer has “add-ons” or differences in their operating system in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

So almost none of the Android phones use the latest/unmodified/“vanilla” version of Android. Although Google may be keen for users to upgrade the features of their operating system, most phone vendors like Samsung and Motorola choose not to update their software after their latest phone has been released. This is because it’s either too much trouble for them or they think “this isn’t going to advance the sales of a product we are about to obsolete”. (The one exception to this is a brand of Android phone or tablet under the brand “Nexus” which deliberately sticks to the original version of Googles Android system so that when a new one comes out, it can be upgraded straight away.)

Therefore with Apple, you have a virtually guaranteed software upgrade path with Apple iPhones and iPads, but almost none with Android based devices.

(For your information, in the smart phone market, when you take all the various brands of Android phones combined, their marketshare is pretty close to the Apple iPhone, but in the tablet market Apple easily beats out all the brands of Android devices combined.)

So there are a couple of good reasons to go with and stay with Apple’s products, in my humble opinion.



Should I buy an iPad Mini or the iPad Air?

Decisions, decisions! Which to buy and why?

In the latest round of product updates, Apple updated both the iPad Air and the iPad Mini. However, the changes were greater for the iPad Air than the iPad Mini.

The main update to the latest iPad Mini, hardware-wise, was the inclusion of the ‘fingerprint recognition’  (i.e. TouchID) to the Home button. After you setup your fingerprint on the iPad Mini, the Mini can recognise your unique fingerprint and easily authorise purchases, passwords and access to secure Apps on your phone. All you have to do is touch the Home button when required. This is a great timesaver for Apps that you would normally type a password into, such as a Journal app, Password-aggregation app, Banking app (e.g. CommBank) and others.


The second improvement Apple make with the latest iPad Mini was that they included a faster and more powerful WiFi connection, allowing you to use the internet and apps significantly faster and with a better range around your home or office.

Screen Size Test

So should I choose the iPad Mini or iPad Air?

Here’s a little test I’d suggest potential buyers to do before deciding between the Mini or the Air.

Go to a web site like “The Age” newspaper using Safari on both products and see which is more comfortable to look at.

Depending on your eyesight and your age, on the Mini, you may need to zoom in more often to read a headline or and article on the Mini, than you would with a full sized iPad Air.
It seems like a small thing, but frequently having to ‘zoom in’ can become frustrating on the smaller screen size of the iPad Mini.

Device Size and Portability

If you plan to carry your iPad Mini or iPad Air in your handbag or ‘man bag’, you may prefer the size of the iPad Mini over the iPad Air, because it fits easily. However, if you plan to mostly use your iPad at home in the lounge, then portability is less of a factor.

iPad Air 2 gets a Speed Bump

During the last round of updates to both model iPads, the iPad Air 2 got, a much faster internal processor and the Mini didn’t. Based on my use I don’t really care about the faster processing of the iPad Air 2. To me, this feature is more about helping folks that like playing intensive games with 3D graphics and I’m not one of those customers. Maybe you are?

To me, what’s much more important is battery life in everyday use more than performance with high end games.
I can still use a flight simulator game on my iPad Air 1 and I’m completely happy with the performance.

In short, I love both products for different reasons, but because I’m older and refer a larger screen and don’t care so much about whether it’ll fit into my ‘man bag’, since I don’t have one, I’d go for the Air over the Mini, but that’s just my choice.

As usual, in order to offer your reply to this, please click on the subject headline and then below the article, you’ll then see an area for you to respond.
Looking forward to your comments.
Best Regards,
Rob of iThings

Add-on products for automatically transferring photos to iPad

The iPad is incredibly useful, thanks to some of the inbuilt features and Apps available. “Add-on” products help you extend your iPad through hardware gadgets that connect to your iPad.

So here are a couple of ideas on extras I’ve purchased, used or know of.

Eyefi memory cards (

Imagine photos from your camera appearing in high resolution on your iPad. That’s what Eyefi does.

More than just storage of your photos in the camera, it provides a wireless connection (or WiFi) to your iPad for transferring photos. The Wifi is available in two versions: through your home network, which is called Infrastructure Mode, or direct from one product to another, which is called Peer-to-Peer mode.

Say you’re at a wedding and you grab your camera. With Eyefi, you can set the device to directly send photos to your iPad, even though you’re nowhere near a ‘normal’ WiFi connection.

Thanks to the iPad’s high-resolution screen, you can see your photos with greater clarity than your camera’s LCD. Another great option in the Eyefi setup is that after Eyefi has transferred the photos from your camera to your iPad, it can delete the photos from Eyefi, freeing up more space for other photos. Alternatively, you can use Eyefi to backup to the iPad and keep the photos on the card.

At the wedding reception, you can be sharing special moments from your camera with others using the iPad.

I’ve got an earlier model of these Eyefi memory/wifi card and I love it.

My Passport Wireless (

Got photos on your iPad and want to share them with your friends? The Western Digital My Passport allows you to wirelessly free up some space on your iPad, and share the files with others.

It’s a wireless, battery powered solution, that will help both you, and your friends.

In a School or Corporate Environment

A feature known as “Webdav” allows you to share your files and store them back to your offices environment, just with the press of a button.  Another feature you may not know about.

iThings Bendigo

MacBook Pro versus MacBook Air. Which to choose and why?

I’ve been asked this question so many times by customers.
Which of the above two should I buy and why?
Today, the entry level MacBook Pro with it’s 13” screen and 500Gb conventional hard disc drive still seems like the device to go for if you’re a student.
In my opinion, it’s a good “workhorse” which a good quality screen, plenty of expansion ports and a relatively large storage space  (or hard disc drive).
Having said that, my younger son bought a 13” MacBook Air and did a 100,000 word thesis on it, recently completing his PhD in Chemistry.
The Advantages of the MacBook Air 13” over the MacBook Pro 13” are:
  • That the Air is much lighter and easier to carry around
  • The 13” MacBook Air offers a higher resolution display than the 13” MacBook Pro
  • The MacBook Air has a much higher “real-life” battery life over the 13” MacBook Pro. For example, up to 14 hours versus 10 hours.
  • The MacBook Air, which uses “chip storage” instead of a normal hard disc drive has extremely fast disc storage versus the MacBook Pro. This means that the MacBook Air will typically start up an application in one tenth of the time of the MacBook Pro. For example, click on an App like Microsoft Word from the dock and “bang” there it is ready to use in about two seconds!
But the downsides of the MacBook Air versus the MacBook Pro are:
  • Less standard built in “ports” versus the MacBook Pro.
  • The MacBook Air, although offering much faster storage access times, offers less storage space versus the base model MacBook Pro for the same money
  • Chip Storage instead of a conventional hard disc drive, is virtually impossible to recover data from, if it fails, whereas a conventional hard disc drive may be able to recover some data from if the system crashes.
In my opinion, the MacBook Air is the way to go, not only for students, but also for the average user.
But wait…
Just last week, Apple released a product simply called the “MacBook”. This makes our decision a little more interesting. The new “MacBook” has a 12-inch screen and is very thin and light, rivalling a Macbook Air.
My comments on this: if I had a rule of thumb for the smallest screen size I would want to work with would be 13-inch (without plugging into an external display.)
Maybe since I’m over 50 and my eyesight isn’t as good as yours. However, an inch makes a difference to usability.
Secondly, the new “MacBook” has only one external expansion port. This means that you need to buy expansion adapters in order to plug your laptop into an external display, USB stick, printer, or removable hard drive.
Personally, I love being able to charge my MacBook Pro with Retina Display by using one port only and without carrying multiple extra adapters. Perhaps you’re ok with that?
My opinion is that the MacBook Air is still the way to go.
As ever, I’ll look forward to your feedback on the topic.
All the best,

iPads in Education

At various primary and secondary levels, iPads are have taken off through their use in advancing learning outcomes.
Unlike “netbooks” that were introduced by a previous Australian Federal Government initiative, iPads can totally redefine what a student can do in a classroom.
In an ideal setup, iPads can be used by students the night before their lesson. Then the teacher can expand and identify difficulties on the day of the lesson. iPads allow interactivity both before, during and after a particular lesson.
Did you know that the Victorian Education Department maintains a list of recommended iPad apps for students:
And here’s a list of applications for special needs students:
For special needs students, I’d also highly recommend a free application named “Autism Applications” to help identify the right application for a student’s particular area of need.
To comment or share your thoughts with the blog audience, just click on the subject title and you’ll see an area at the bottom of the subject page where you can add your comments to us all.
Sincere Regards,

Really useful applications for business users on the iPad

The iPad has created a lot of interest amongst the business community and here are some of the most useful applications business users are telling me they use.
Microsoft Office for the iPad
You may not know but Microsoft has just realised free versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook for the iPad and iPhone.
Putting aside the iPhone versions because of the impracticality of the small screen, the iPad versions of these applications are really useful in that they provide full reading, editing and storage of those documents on the iPad.
You can start creating a file on any of these programs on your PC or Mac for instance, and save them to iCloud, Dropbox and other cloud services and edit them on your iPad. It’s incredibly useful and really worth checking out.

This iPad app provides you with the ability to do quotes for your business customers and follow through to an invoice if they accept your quote.
I’m sure lots of electricians and other “tradies” have visited customers during the day and then laboured over doing quotes for them outside business hours.
This application lets you do the quote and email the customer on the spot, so that they have the information immediately and can give you the go ahead immediately.
It also sends you a copy of the quote and allows you to integrate that into your current accounting system so that you can order the parts required if you don’t have them in stock already.
Free word processor, spreadsheet and presentation graphics applications
Apple has just released the above applications free to all.
All you need to do is log on to and use your free Apple ID and password and you can send Pages, Numbers and Keynote to anybody free of charge,
It’s a free alternative to Microsoft Office and really powerful.

Linked in is a powerful way for you to promote your business and network with others to promote yourself and your business.
If you haven’t already please visit and start promoting yourself and your business without any costs.

This is a free application that let’s you have up to 12 people on a video conference at the same time free of charge. All it will cost your is some of your internet data quota.
You can see, communicate with and share info and files with other Oovoo users free of cost
What other business applications do you find really useful ?
Click on the Heading Above and Comment using Facebook,

I look forward to hearing your thoughts,

3 Things that both an iPad and Mac can do

Do you know that both your recent model iPad or your MacBook can do:

In the case of the iPad it needs to be “online” in order to do this but where you normally see the keyboard, you’ll also see a microphone button, which will let you talk to the iPad and it’d type text for you. If you’re using a MacBook or iMac there is a special setting that lets you do this “offline”. (that is, without having an internet connection.)
Dictation can be quicker than typing, such as sending a message to your spouse saying “coming home now, do we need milk?”.

Dictation is also helpful in the classroom for students that have difficulty in typing, especially students with special needs.

Airdrop is a really easy way of sharing files between Mac’s , iPads and iPhones.
On the Mac, all you need to do to share a file with another user on the same network is to start “Finder” and to click on the “Airdrop” word.
Then when your friend or associate does also, you’ll both see each others icon on the screen. Just use your mouse or trackpad and drop a file onto the other users icon and they will receive a message asking your permission to receive the file. Press “yes” and it’ll transfer.
This is a much faster way of transferring files than emailing them to each other, especially when you’re in the same house, office or room.

Magic Gestures (on a MacBook or an iMac with the Magic Trackpad)

If have either of the above Mac’s, I’ve found that most people are surprised when you show them how flexible that Gestures are to use.
To try this out, go to “System Preferences” and then click on “Trackpad”.
You’ll see videos such as: how to rotate photos using two fingers, like on an iPad; how to set up pinch to zoom; how to minimize apps in one gesture; how to right click.

These are just to name a few.
How about sharing some of your favourite but less known Mac or iPad features?
Please share them with us all.


Macbook vs iPad: Which should I choose?

The answer is not so clear cut either way, I believe…. I’ve got to start off by saying that in my experience, there are a lot of people who just aren’t aware of what an iPad can do.There are some things you can do on an iPad that you can’t do on a MacBook and visa versa.
I used to work in a retail store here in Bendigo and while my main role was being out on the road talking with schools about Apple technology, when I was back at the store/office I’d help quite a lot with retail customers coming into the shop as well. Typically a customer inclined towards buying an iPad would come into the store saying they just wanted an iPad as a supplementary device to do emails and web surf and that’s probably about it. Often customers, within months of using an iPad, came back and said that it was now their “main device”.
How did an iPad become their “main device”?
  • Firstly, they had no idea of the breadth of software that is available for an iPad and once they discovered more useful apps, their use of the iPad broadened.
    There are about 700,000 applications available for an iPad and amongst those are approximately 50,000 that are aimed at the education market, plus hundreds of thousands of games.
  • Secondly, they got used to the “instant on” capability of the iPad, particularly those with the cellular models. Wake the iPad up with one click and you’re instantly on the internet and looking up whatever you want. Love it.
  • Unlike other mobile devices which use the Android operating system, the iPad doesn’t need (and in fact you can’t even buy) anti-virus or anti-spyware software for the device, so you’re very safe doing internet banking with an iPad for instance.
  • Buying and reading books on the iPad is a lot cheaper than conventional books and also saves quite a few OH & S issues for folks, like students, who would normally have to lug around a collection of books in a school bag or rucksack. Warning….if you like reading in bed before sleeping, you might want to look into some sort of nose protector because if you fall asleep while reading…well you get my drift!
  • Also, an iPad is an ideal device to take with you on holidays because of it’s light weight and good battery life. Plus the two cameras make is easy to take photos and stay in touch with the family via “Skype”.
    One really useful application for European travel in one called “Word Lens”. Point the rear camera at a page of writing, or a sign in French, for instance, and wallah, what you’ll see on the iPad screen will be that page translated  to English!
So what are the downsides to the iPad versus a MacBook I hear you asking?
  • Well typing on an iPad is slower, even if you buy a third party, add on keyboard from Logitech or Belkin as an example.
  • Then an iPad currently doesn’t multitask as well as a MacBook. With an iPad you’re pretty well focused one the task that’s on screen at the moment, whereas with a MacBook you’re able to truly have multiple tasks running at the same time.
  • For applications that require a lot of processing power, like AutoCad or the Adobe Graphics suite, there is really no choice. A MacBook is the way to go.
  • You may not be aware that on both devices, you can talk to them and they will convert your speech into typed text. An iPad needs an internet connection to do this, but the MacBook can be set up so that it’ll do dictation without an internet connection. This can be very useful for people who like to dictate for convenience or others who may have a disability.
So what are the advantages of a Macbook over an iPad?
  • Firstly you get access to the full versions of software designed for the more complete OS X operating system.
  • Then there is the built in, back-lit keyboard, which is, I believe, much better suited to, for instance, a student writing a thesis.
  • And you can buy and use more demanding applications like the Adobe Photoshop and video editing software for the MacBook and be totally satisfied with running them on the MacBook, where as you can’t with the iPad.
I own and use both devices by the way.
So enough about what I think, what’s your opinion and why?
I’ll look forward to hearing it.
Over to you……