printershare

Sometimes, we tend to make our own lives complicated. When I want to print a photo from my phone, all I really have to do is transfer it to my PC (either via Bluetooth, sync, email or whatever) and send it to a connected printer from there. But how fun would that be?

PrinterShare lets Android users skip the whole transfer part and initialize the print job directly from their phones, sending the necessary documents over the internet for queuing directly to any printer that you specify (provided it's connected to the internet). That means you can take a photo on the road and immediately send it to your home printer, so you don't have to wait for long print jobs when you do get back.

Before you can use the service, you'll first have to install the desktop version, create a PrinterShare account and define the printers you will associate with your account. It can work across multiple PCs and locations, provided you install the desktop on a local client and use the same credentials. Once that's done, simply launch the app on your phone, log in and begin sending print jobs over the air.

The app's home screen only has three printing options - pictures, contacts and web pages. Alternatively, you can print directly from apps by long-pressing (which will bring up a menu). However, you're relegated to the same limitations (pictures, contacts and web pages), effectively ruling out documents (Word, PDF), which is kind of a bummer. Of course, you can work around this by viewing the documents via a browser (if that's available from the browser you're using) and printing from there as a webpage.

Overall operation is very fast, although it will depend largely on your data speed (the notoriously slow uploads, specifically). It did work every single time I tried, though, so I'm pretty sure it works.

As irritating as the setup process may be (not to mention the lack of support for printing documents directly), PrinterShare provides a great service that should serve a good niche segment of the market. Best of all, both the app and the service are free (advertisement-supported), so how can you complain?

PrinterShare

 

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