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Firms looking to encourage people to use toner cartridges to print direct from their mobile device may be interested in a new app that could make this process easier.

The free Netgear Genie software for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches allows users to send documents directly to any networked or USB-enabled machine, included those that are not compatible with Apple’s AirPrint software.

At the moment, only a select range of devices from HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark and Brother are configured to work with Apple’s solution, which could present a challenge to firms with older devices and items from other manufacturers.

However, Netgear claims its Genie application “dramatically overcomes” these limitations to give mobile users the freedom to send documents to any networked hardware.

Sandeep Harpalani, senior product line manager at Netgear, said: “Before today, to print from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch the user needs to buy a new AirPrint-compatible printer.”

But individuals who download the latest Genie upgrade will be able to access their home or office printer from their handset as easily as if they were using a desktop PC or Mac, he continued.

The app works with the Netgear Genie software for PC and Macs, which provides a dashboard that allows users to monitor, connect and control wired and wireless printing networks and automatically fix any connectivity issues. As long as the computer is turned on, it also enables user of portable iOS gadgets access to any printer located on the same network.

Such a solution could be invaluable to companies that are looking to encourage a bring your own device (BYOD) culture in their organisation but do not wish to invest in expensive new hardware to enable users to print from their mobile gadgets.

According to a recent survey by BT, BYOD is growing in popularity, with more than four out of five firms either already having implemented such a policy or planning to do so within the next two years.

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