(MoneyWatch) In this increasingly mobile world, you can no longer count on being down the hall from a printer to make copies of a PowerPoint deck or Word document before the big presentation. Often, you're wrapping up your document on an iPad on the flight into Austin, nervously wondering how you're going to make 10 copies before you arrive at the conference center.
That might sound a little breathless, but I've found that the ePrint app is very liberating. Once installed on your phone or tablet, you can use it to search for nearby locations with HP public printers -- that'll be in locations like UPS and FedEx stores, as well as hotels, libraries and airport lounges. You can browse locations on a map or just view a flat list of printing centers, sorted by distance from you.
Once you find a location, select it and choose the file on your device that you want to print (the app supports photos, web email, web pages and stuff stored on Dropbox, Box, Evernote, and Google Drive). Then just go to the location to pick up and pay for your print job.
Unfortunately, ePrint doesn't integrate itself into your device's operating system, so you can't open a document and choose "print," like you can do with iOS AirPrint, for example. In order to print, you'll always have to start the ePrint app and work within the app's limitations (you can't print an email from the iPhone's mail app, for example). That said, the app -- together with HP's public printer service -- is a great relief for anyone who regularly needs to print outside of home and office.