Brother iPrint&Scan (for iPhone) lets users of Brother WiFi printers and MFPs print photos, documents, and Web pages from their iOS mobile devices, and scan documents and photos to them as well. This free app worked smoothly in my testing, and is worth downloading by any iPhone (or iPad, or iPod touch) user who has occasion to print to a Brother wireless printer.
I tested Brother iPrint&Scan on an iPhone 5. I also used it with an iPad 2; although the layout was a little different on the iPad, its features, functions, and performance were basically the same.
For the app to print, your iPhone needs to be on the same WiFi network as your Brother printer. To confirm this, or select a printer, open a document (say, a photo), and in the preview you’ll see a gear icon that will take you to Print Settings. From there, you can select a printer (if one isn’t already chosen).
Brother iPrint&Scan has two main sections—Print, and Scan—that you can toggle between with buttons on the bottom bar. When you go to Print, you see a vertical menu with 5 sections: Photo Albums; Documents; Web Page; Clipboard; and Camera.
You can print any photo in your iPhone’s photo albums. Print settings with 3 MFPs from the Brother MFC-9000 series were limited to Paper Size (letter, A4, and legal), Copies, and Printer. Pictures printed out full size on letter-size paper, which generally was pleasing, though some lower-res images were stretched to fit the page, with a notable degradation in quality. (You can’t print to a smaller—say, 4-by-6—image size on letter-sized paper.)
Under the Documents tab, the app provides 3 document printing options: iCloud; iTunes File Sharing, and Print History from Other Apps. If you scan to iCloud from this app, the documents will remain accessible for you to print from the cloud as well. You can transfer files from your computer through iTunes File Sharing to a folder for later retrieval and printout. You can print Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files up to 10MB or 20 pages.
Unlike some print apps such as Epson iPrint 2.0 (for iPhone) , there are no dedicated menu items that let you print documents or photos directly from cloud-based services such as DropBox and Evernote, you can open the service’s iPhone app, locate and open the document, and if it has an option to Print from Brother iPrint&Scan, you can do so. The document will then remain accessible in Print History from Other Apps.
Touching the Web Page tab opens a browser set to the Google homepage within the app. You can conduct searches or enter URLs, and then preview and print out the pages you wish to. From a Bookmark icon at the bottom bar of the browser, you can access your History, which includes documents you’ve opened as well as Web pages. You can also add bookmarks, which appear as loose items below your History folder.
I tried to open the Web page for my DropBox account in iPrint&Scan to print from there, but although I could access DropBox documents this way, they would not preview or print. I was able to print from the DropBox iPhone app by opening a document and choosing iPrint&Scan from the printing choices.
With Clipboard, you can access and print out the most recent text or image you’ve copied. With Camera, you can snap a photo with your iPhone’s camera and instantly print it.
With scanning, you can choose the Brother MFP to use, the scan type—Color, Color (Fast), and Black & White—and the document size, in 6 sizes ranging from 2.4 by 3.5 inches up to legal. After you scan a document, you have choices as to what to do with it: Save to Photo Albums; Email as JPEG; Email as PDF; Save to iCloud as JPEG; Save to iCloud as PDF; or Open Using Another App. These are a good selection of scanning choices, similar to those offered with Samsung Mobile Print (for iPhone) . Some manufacturers’ printing apps, such as Lexmark Mobile Printing (for iPhone), lack the ability to scan altogether.
At the top right of the main menu’s screen is an information (i) button. This gives you the usual “About” information, as well as a link to the Solutions page on Brother’s Web site from which you can select your printer model, and access an FAQ on the app (there are also versions for Android and Windows Phone). That said, this process takes you out of the app, and there’s no built-in Help feature.
Brother iPrint&Scan (for iPhone) is a useful free app for users of Brother WiFi printers and MFPs. It offers printing from, and scanning to, iOS mobile devices; printing of Web pages and clipboard text; the ability to print documents uploaded from a computer to iCloud, and to print from cloud apps such as DropBox and Evernote (though you can’t open these apps directly from within iPrint&Scan).
Though Brother iPrint&Scan’s print functions are basic (similar to AirPrint), it provides a nice set of scanning choices. Though the app lacks a built-in Help feature, it does provide a link to Brother’s Solution’s page, from which you can access the Help page for your printer and an FAQ for the app. It’s well worth downloading by any iPhone user who uses a Brother printer or MFP.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc