Usually when you have to print some documents or pictures that you have created yourself or downloaded off the internet on your Android smartphone, you first have to turn on your PC, connect your smartphone to PC via a USB data cable and then you can proceed to printing. If you have a WiFi or Bluetooth enabled printer, then you can send the document to be printed directly to the printer. But what about those people who have the printers without WiFi or Bluetooth access? You can use Google Cloud Print but that also requires that you keep your PC turned on. A much better approach is to use the USB OTG cable to connect your Android smartphone directly to your printer.
Connecting the printer to your Android smartphone using a USB OTG cable works find for some newer models of printers flawlessly, and you can see the connected printer in the print dialog in Android. But the older printers are not readily supported. For example, the Canon Pixma MP258 printer that I have is not recognized by my Android smartphone when connected through the OTG cable.
If your printer is not being readily detected by your Android smartphone, then you can use the free PrinterShare Mobile Print app that can help you identify your printer by installing proper drivers in your Android phone. After the installation of the app, it installs itself as a virtual printer in Android and you have to enable it from System Settings → Printing → PrinterShare (the settings screen is automatically opened for you). You can enable it by flipping the on-off switch on the top.
After this, you can connect your printer to your Android device through a simple USB OTG cable and then launch the PrinterShare Mobile Print app from its home-screen shortcut. In this app, you have to tap on Select Printer icon near the bottom edge of the screen. Then you have to select the type of printer you are connecting. In this case, we have to chose Nearby – USB from the list.
It will detect the USB connected printer and as you click on the printer in the found list, you will be shown a prompt to download the appropriate drivers. The download and installation of the drivers takes only a fraction of a second. After this, your Android device is ready to print documents and pictures to your USB OTG connected printer.
When you give the print command from any application like WPS Office (Kingsoft Office), you have to choose PrinterShare as the target printer which further lets you select all the different printing options like the number of copies, size of paper, duplex printing and more.
Conclusion: If you want to print from your Android smartphone directly to your USB printer, then you can use the USB OTG Host cable to connect the two. And if your printer is not readily detected by Android, then you can make use of the free PrinterShare app to help you recognize the printer in your smartphone.
You can download the PrintShare Mobile Print app from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dynamixsoftware.printershare.