If there was one design flaw for the iPad in my opinion, it is the lack of a USB port for printing. PrintCentral is an iPad app designed to rectify this problem and it is a must have app if you use your iPad for office or school work. For just $9.99, you can turn your iPad into a portable office.
PrintCentral prints directly to most WIFI enabled printers. If you have a shared home/office printer that can connect to a network, but does not have a built-in WIFI receiver, as long as a WIFI router is connected to that network you can print with your iPad! In addition, PrintCentral allows iPad users to print through their PC or MAC via a WIFI network or Bluetooth. What this means is that pretty much ALL printers can be used with your iPad. For AppleMail users, you can open and print AppleMail directly in the PrintCentral App and print any of the attachments. The PrintCentral App can print all file formats including picture and video. It can also zip and unzip files as well. While we did not test this feature, but the PrintCentral app also allows you to print remotely through your 3G/EDGE network.
What’s nice about this App is that it fully integrates to your iPad. If an iPad app supports the iPad OS command “Open in…,” that means you can print directly from that app without having to switch to PrintCentral. Printing from the iPad browser worked perfectly. We tried printing with iWork and other iPad apps such as Thing and iAnnotate, and the results were stellar. If you use iWork, the full integration allows you do open and edit documents stored in PrintCentral directly in iWork. For those with cloud services such as iDisk/MobileMe, you can open files stored in those services directly in iWork through PrintCentral. (Just go to the “Places” section in the PrintCentral).
Viewing and Printing Emails
The PrintCentral App has a built in email app. What’s useful about this feature is that it allows you to print your email attachments effortlessly. The email app was quite powerful as it allowed us to send HTML as well as formatted text emails. It works like any standard email client allowing you to email various file formats as well as photos and video attachments. PrintCentral’s email client allowed us to view multiple email accounts and inboxes. We tested it with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and Exchange 2007 OWA with no bugs or glitches to report. Any IMAP or POP Server should be easily setup in the email client. The developer stated PrintCentral’s email client also provides limited support to Exchange 2003 but we were not able to test that system.
Other Notable Features
- PrintCentral is compatible with MAC OX 10.4 and above as well as Windows 7. You can copy and transfer files to your PC or MAC.
- If you choose to have PrintCentral installed on another iPad, you can copy and transfer files using Bluetooth or WIFI.
- You can print your maps from any Map that allows the copy function.
- You can print your SMS text messages
- You can add or import bookmarks from your PC or MAC Browser (Note: we only tested this using 3 browsers: Safari/Internet Explorer/Firefox)
- Print Address/Shipping Labels
List of Documents types and File Formats we tested that prints from PrintCentral:
All iWork and MAC formats
All MS Office Files (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.)
All Image Files Photoshop CS4 produced
Video files supported by the iPad
Supported Cloud Services we tested with success: