ThinPrint Cloud Printer (for iPhone) is a clever solution that lets users print from iPhones and iPads
to any designated printer on a network, even if the printer itself isn’t Wi-Fi compatible. It requires that you download a free program to your computer (either a Windows PC or Mac). This business-oriented solution prints photos from your iPhone, or documents from various apps and cloud storage services, including the company’s own Cortado Workplace.
Although ThinPrint Cloud Printer works with prominent productivity apps, making it better for businesses than home use, there are many apps and other document sources (such as Safari and the iPhone’s email client) it doesn’t print from. It offers no preview or print options. But this free solution is worth a look by anyone in search of a printing solution for an iPhone (or iPad), particularly on networks with legacy non-WiFi printers. It also supports printing with Android and Windows mobile devices.
The ThinPrint Cloud Printer’s interface is decidedly minimalistic, having only two buttons: Select an Image, to access your iPhone’s camera roll, the other a Help question mark. The latter only tells you that you need to install ThinPrint Connector on your computer to print from your computer-connected printer. Also appearing on the screen is a message letting you know the status of current print jobs, if any, and one that reads Print from [a box with an arrow icon], meaning that it can print from selected apps if, when you touch the Print From icon, they give an option to Print from.
Pressing Select an Image brings up your iPhone’s camera roll with its tiny thumbnails. Just tap a thumbnail and it will start printing. This means, though, that you can’t preview the image from within the app. And you can only access and print photos from the camera roll, not from your other albums.
Actually, there’s a way around that. Some apps, such as FileApp and GoodReader, let you access all your photo albums and download images from them. You can select an image and print it by pressing the Open In/Save As icon followed by Open in ThinPrint Cloud Printer, which will launch the print job.
Apps that ThinPrint Cloud Printer supports printing from include cloud storage services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox, productivity apps such as Keynote, Pages, FileApp, GoodReader, and Documents for Free, and some others such as the Scan utility with the Atiz Scandock. It wouldn’t directly support printing from my iPhone’s email client, from the Web browser apps I tried, or from Safari (which defaults to AirPrint), though with the latter I was able to save Web pages (if they offered their own print option) to DropBox and print from there.
Although it doesn’t print directly from the Gmail app, you can open an email in the program, save it to Google Drive, and print to ThinPrint from there. Though some solutions such as this one may be a bit convoluted, you can usually find a way to print what you need to.
Where it Works
This app may be best suited for use with the Cortado Workplace cloud desktop, the company’s own free file management service, which comes with 2GB of cloud storage. You can upload documents and emails from your desktop to Cortado Workplace, tap on one, and by touching the eye icon, send it to print from the cloud printer. (You could print directly from Cortado Workplace, though in my case it proved problematic as it would not recognize my printer that way, though it had no problem in printing to it with ThinPrint.)
Whether it’s used with an iPhone or iPad, ThinPrint Cloud Printer has the same functionality. However, using ThinPrint Cloud Printer with an iPhone is different than using it with an iPad; with an iPhone, workers are more likely to print already saved documents, while an iPad, with its larger screen, is more useful for creating the documents to be printed.
If you need to print from an iPhone, Cortado ThinPrint Cloud Printer provides a free solution that works with any networked printer, even non-WiFi models; its client software runs on either a Mac or PC.
Other solutions allow for printing to any networked printer, but they are generally AirPrint based. Presto (which was Fingerprint 2 when I reviewed it) in effect turns any printer on your network into an AirPrint printer, and offers the ability to print from many more apps and document sources than ThinPrint. Printopia does much the same, though only for Macs. Manufacturers offer their own print apps, many of them adding useful print features, and in some cases offering scanning as well.
Cortado ThinPrint Cloud Printer is worth checking out by any iPhone user seeking a mobile printing solution, especially ones needing to print to a non-WiFi networked printer. It doesn’t cost a thing, and if your business uses the productivity apps it supports, it could be a simple and effective solution.
|Type||Business, Personal, Enterprise, Professional|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc