More and more, our mobile devices are becoming tools to manage our business. No need to carry that big laptop everywhere, you can just check your email on your mobile phone!
With calendar synchronization and text processors, handheld devices like the iPhone or Android have grown invaluable. And yet there’s one thing still missing from the business setup: a printing utility.
Actually, most people don’t even think of printing from their mobile phone; at first it just sounds like a ridiculous idea. But when you come to think of it, why not? Many laptops come equipped with a wireless printer driver! And the possibilities aren’t restricted to business uses: think printing pictures just seconds after you take them.
With PrinterShare, this is possible. Not only to print at home, but from anywhere in the world.
Karl Gechlik already tackled PrinterShare in February 2009, with his article on How To Share a Printer Over The Internet. Most of that is still applicable, but today we’re taking on the mobile side of business.
The supporting desktop application is available for both Windows and Mac OS X. In this article, we’ll tell you how to get it running on the Android OS, but note that there’s also an iPhone version available.
Before you read the rest of this article, let’s start of with the downsides. Albeit heavily outnumbered by the positivities, it’s nice to know that…
- You cannot print directly to a wireless printer, unless you upgrade to the premium version
- …so you must keep a computer running that has access to your printer
- Your printed pages will bear a banner watermark, unless you upgrade to premium
Although the premium has dropped in price from a monthly 20 USD to a mere 4.95 USD since our last article, the free version will perform well enough for most people.
Step 1: Installing PrinterShare on Your PC/Mac
First of all, we’re going to install the supporting application on your home computer. When you print a page from your Android, the job will be re-routed through the PrinterShare servers, and executed by the application. You can find downloads for Mac and PC on the site.
Somewhere during the installation, you’ll be asked to register or enter your account details. It’s a quick registration that needs nothing but your email address. Your user ID and password will be mailed to you.
After the installation, launch the application to choose which printers you want to share. Note that only people with your user ID and password (i.e. you) will be able to print through it, even though it is handled by a third-party service.
Step 2: Installing PrinterShare on Your Android Phone
To install PrinterShare on your Android phone, just search for it in the Android Market. It’s a quick and clean install and needs nothing else from you.
Step 3: Printing From The PrinterShare Application
With the application installed on your Android, there’s really little work left to be done.
Start by launching the application. You’ll see the possibility to print pictures, web pages, contacts, calendars and call logs. Pick any of those to mark a more specific selection.
Now, before you’ll be able to print, you need to link your Android app to your desktop computer at home. By pressing the menu button on your phone, you’ll be able to pick a printer, either by scanning the area for wireless devices or by entering your account info – on a free account, you’ve only the latter choice. After entering the information received by email, you’re done and the printing job will be sent over the net.
Do you know any cool alternatives to PrinterShare? We’d love to hear them! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.