I continue to be impressed with many of the solutions I find to the shortcomings of the stock iPad. One of the things it does not do, out of the box, is easily share files and print. Fortunately, many credible solutions now exist. Apps such as GoodReader take care of some of this, but one app, PrintCentral, from EuroSmartz, works nicely.
The app, $9.99 from the App Store, has a nice feel and takes care of just about everything I need to do with the iPad as far as printing and sharing files and it even gives me an easy way to get material into my OneNote notebooks. The app, by itself, found my computer and my wireless HP Deskjet printer. I was able to print text directly to the printer without installing anything on my computer. However, it works best by downloading the free WePrint client for Mac or Windows. Installing the client allowed the iPad to print formatted text and photos. Since the client software can use all of the attached printer drivers, I was able to send a web page, from the iPad, directly to a OneNote notebook since I have the Send to OneNote printer driver installed. I also have a PDF driver installed, so I can make PDF files from the iPad as well.
PrintCentral also has an FTP server built in and allows me to use the iPad as an external drive. Conversely, I can assign a shared directory on my computer and browse it as well. I was able to take a screen shot on the iPad and save it to my Pictures directory under ‘Public’, which is where I wanted to share files (which, makes sense since it is Public.)
PrintCentral can handle PDF files, zip files and JPG files in the internal viewer. You can save the documents to PrintCentral’s documents area and create folders there as well.
PrintCentral has a built in email client as well as a browser. You can also access the clipboard. Pretty much anything that can be displayed within the application can be printed. Also, some iPad apps that send a document anywhere can also send it to PrintCentral from printing and/or storage.
The application can also interface Box.net, DropBox, iDisk, FTP and WebDav. I have not yet checked these out, but they look very handy.
This is a pretty amazing app and quite a bargain for ten bucks. Coupled with GoodReader and MobileNoter, I now have a pretty powerful and portable device to be productive.
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