Printer Pro is another good ‘all-rounder’ type printing app for the iPad. I say all-rounder because it is not tied to a particular make of wireless printer and is capable of printing a broad range of different document types and from various popular apps and services. It can print directly to many Wi-Fi printers and to any printer attached to your Mac or PC via a helper application installed on your computer.
It has similar set of features to Print Central, which I mentioned in an earlier article on printing from the iPad.
Oh, and just in case you thought you need to wait for Apple’s release of iOS 4.2 for the iPad for printing to work, check that article out – because printing already works very well on the iPad with its current (3.2.2) operating system version.
Now, on to some thoughts on Printer Pro …
What Does It Do Well?
Printer Pro does a very good job at making it easy to print a broad range of document types from a good array of apps. It allows you to print: the contents of the clipboard, contacts from your Address Book, photos from the camera roll or any of your photo albums, email attachments, web pages, documents stored on your iDisk, docs stored in Dropbox, and iWork documents.
Like I said, a very good range of coverage there. It should mean that there’s very little that you can’t print from your iPad.
It provides excellent instructions for each of its printing options. So, for example, when you tap on the iDisk tab along the left hand pane of the app’s main window, you get a screen telling you exactly what you need to do to print from within the iDisk app, via Printer Pro.
The process is simple too. You just open the document you want to print in iDisk, tap the standard Sharing button in the app, and choose Printer Pro from the list. It will switch to the Printer Pro app and let you fire up your print job. It works the same way in Dropbox.
The app’s handling of web page printing is kind of cool as well. On any web page, you go to the address bar and tap and hold to place your cursor at the very beginning of the address. You add a ‘p’ in front of http and tap ‘Go’ on the keyboard. That will switch you over to Printer Pro ready for you to send it to print.
I love the fact that the app also has a ‘Recents’ list, that keeps a history of what you’ve printed (not sure how many jobs / how far back it can go). This makes it really quick an easy to re-print a few extra copies of something you printed recently.
Print jobs are processed pretty quickly by Printer Pro, which is always a good thing wherever you’re printing from. A quick tip while I mention that – don’t switch out of the app while a print job is still processing. It cannot currently continue in the background (even with my iPad running the latest iOS 4.2 beta), so you’ll get just a partial printout.
What’s Not So Good?
The app currently has its default page size set to A4. Great for UK / European users; not so clever for those of us in the USA. I have to remember to manually change the page size each time I send something to print. I’ve also found that sometimes even when I do make the change the printout does not fit quite right on the page. It would be much nicer if it would just use the default page size of the printer you print to, as the Print Central app does.
The app crashes every time I try to go to the Address Book tab. That may be due to running the 4.2 beta, I’m really not sure.
Printer Pro is a very good wireless printing option for the iPad. It recognized my HP Photosmart Plus wireless printer without a hitch and with zero effort on my part – and it allows me to print just about anything I care to think of from my iPad.
It will be interesting to see how good Apple’s own AirPrint wireless printing solution is when the public release of iOS 4.2 comes out – and whether 3rd party apps like Printer Pro will have a future once it does. I may test this soon if I decide I’m OK with running a pre-release version of Mac OS X on my MacBook Pro (this is required to make AirPrint work with the betas I’m running on the iPad).
You can find Printer Pro in the App Store now, priced at $6.99.
*** This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPhone App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.
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