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How to print photos from your smartphone

Unless your phone and printer are compatible for wireless printing (through technology like Google's Cloud Print or Apple's AirPrint, for example), one approach is to first transfer a full resolution copy of the photo to a computer.

You can do this by emailing it to yourself, uploading it through a Bluetooth or USB cable connection between phone and computer, or using a file-transfer app. Once you have transferred the file, decide how you want to print it. If your computer's printer has an adjustable tray that accepts photographic paper (available at office supply stores) in the size you want, you can try printing it there.

If your printer is not equipped to handle photographs or you are dissatisfied with the quality, you can upload it to one of the many online services that outputs photo files and mails back the prints. You can also copy the photo onto a portable USB flash drive and take it to a drugstore or shop that has a photo printing machine available.

Such a machine will let you plug in a portable drive, select the photos and create prints, usually for less than 50 cents for each 4-by-6-inch copy. Some drugstores, (like CVS and Walgreens), even have their own apps that let you order prints from your smartphone for store pickup later, which allows you to skip the step of copying the photo file to the computer for printing.

The same online photo services that let you upload photos and receive prints by mail — including Snapfish, iPhoto and Shutterfly — have apps for ordering prints right from the smartphone, too.

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