Printing with the iPad in the Field

To physically print the reports for your clients, you will need your iPad, an AirPrint printer, and a mobile router. You will not need to connect to the Internet in any way for this to work. We personally like the Canon brand printers because they're well priced, and their knock-off ink works very well. An AirPrint printer is a printer that's compatible with Apple's iPad (and iPhone). You'll need to setup these instructions from your home/office computer, but once the 3 devices are configured, they'll work in the field.

1. Get a router. Any router will do actually, but we recommend a mobile router like the TP-Link Wireless Router (TL-WR700N). It's a very small functional router that's perfect for inspectors. You could also use Apple's pricey AirPort Express router.

2. Plug the router in to give it power and plug the network cable from the router to your computer. For mobile routers, there's usually just one port. This port looks like an over-sized phone jack. For larger routers, plug it into one of the numbered ports. Plug the other end into your computer.

3. All routers give you a configuration web page to go to for their setup screen. Usually it's something like You'll need to check the router's manual for the proper name.

4. Once you're in the configuration screen, setup the router's name. This is also called the SSID. This is the name your iPad will see when it connects to this printer network. We'll name ours iPad Printer, but name yours whatever you like.  Give your router a password. Technically, this is called 'WPA2-PSK (AES)'

5. Setup the printer to connect wirelessly to the router. Printer's that have a display screen are much easier to configure. However, most of the mobile printers do not have display screens, so you'll need to follow your printer's instructions on getting it to connect to the router.

6. Once the printer is connected to the router, connect your iPad to the router as well. On the iPad, go to the Settings app and tap Wireless. Find the new router name and select it. Ours is iPad Printer.

7. Once the iPad is connected to iPad Printer, and the router is connected to iPad Printer, go to a report and try to print it.  It should work.

You can now unplug the router from the computer and try to print again and it should still work. You can even take the iPad, printer and router outside, and try to print and it should still work.

We understand these instructions may be a little technical, so please contact us if you run into trouble.