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Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
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iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
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Release Date: April 22, 2009
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Discover New Music

  • So Jealous

    • 8 out of 10
    • Tegan and Sara
    • So Jealous is the third album from these sisters, and easily the one to single out for an introduction to their music. Some people may not get on board with their vocal styles, which are slightly

  • Spanks for the Memories

    • 8 out of 10
    • Asylum Street Spankers
    • The Asylum Street Spankers are...well...The Spankers. Hailing from Austin, where I saw them live dozens of times, the band played entirely acousti

  • Now Here Is Nowhere

    • 10 out of 10
    • Secret Machines
    • The Secret Machines' inaugural album, Now Here is Nowhere is both old and new in its sonic assault. The trio's surprisingly big sound evokes Pink Floyd (without ever sounding like any Pink

  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

    • 8 out of 10
    • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    • When I first got hooked to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the only place I could get their debut album, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, was through the band's Web site. I listened to the two tracks a

  • Rift

    • 8 out of 10
    • Phish
    • This quasi-concept album (the only of its kind) from these Vermonters finally showcased their ability to convey a message with a studio album, whereas previously they only succeeded in doing so live.

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Quick Look Review

Four Apps for the iPhone that can Print, Share Files

Sometimes it feels like the iPhone is a fortress in that native apps like Notes and Photos don't have a built in Print function. Also, getting files moved between an iPhone and local Mac is typically limited to e-mail. Here are four apps that can solve some of those problems to a greater or lesser extent. One app, Air Sharing Pro, stood out.

The simplest of the four apps is ACTPrinter 1.5.1 from Houdah. Basically, it takes a file on the Mac and "prints" it to the iPhone. This is handy in the case of, say, airline boarding passes that have bar codes to be scanned at boarding (if the Airline permits). Or any other file you want to move for that matter.

ACT Printer

ACTprinter

As the developer describes it, "The iPhone only supports a limited number of document types. To replicate ACTPrinter functionality, you would need to print your document to PDF and then email that PDF to the iPhone." That's something this reviewer, in fact, has done in the past.

In order to transfer the document to the iPhone, a Mac application, ACTPrinter must first be installed on the Mac. It installs a service in any app's print menu: "Print to iPhone." After sending the printed doc to the iPhone, it appears in a list within the iPhone app, called "Printouts" Documents can be two finger pinched to enlarge for viewing.

The author pointed out a bug in the current version. "To maximize viewing area, the controls hide upon inactivity. They should reappear once you touch the screen, but they don't." This will be fixed soon.

While technically not a printing app, it is an easy and convenient way to move any file you can print over to your iPhone and view it. The iPhone app is US$0.99 and the accompanying Mac app is free.

Except for the bug mentioned above, it worked fine for me. I don't know how the author can make any money, however, at 99 cents.

Next, I looked at PrinterShare 1.0 from Dynamix Software. This app is intended to print photos, contacts and Web pages to a printer shared on the Internet. It also requires an accompanying Mac application that makes the printer visible on the Internet, found at PrinterShare.com. It doesn't share files.

PrinterShare

PrinterShare

This printer app is available for Windows, Macintosh and Linux, and it's free. A badge on the Website says it's safe to install, according to Findmysoft.com. It uses encryption to protect the contents of the document in transit. As usual, when something like this is free, I always wonder what the business model is, but I haven't delved into that for this Quick Look review. For reference, here is a link to a review that also has helpful reader comments.

This app only prints photos, contacts, and Web pages. The developer is working to add more file types.

I did not install the PrinterShare app on my Mac that's connected to a printer because that's dedicated to personal work, and I keep experimental installations to a minimum.

The iPhone app PrinterShare is free.

The third iPhone app I looked at is Print n Share 3.2.1 from EuroSmartz, Ltd. This is a much more ambitious app, and allows the user to view, store and print e-mail documents, files, attachments, photos, contacts and Web pages on an iPhone. One can print to any local printer connected to a PC or Mac via Wi-Fi or EDGE/3G. You can mount your iPhone as a network drive, and then drag and drop documents to/from the iPhone. The list goes on and I won't repeat everything that's on the iTunes description page linked above.

 

Print n Share

Print n Share

Like the apps above, one must install an app, essentially a server app, called WePrint on the Mac. I checked the file list in the installer, and all it does is install a standard Mac app, so it looks like when the app is not running, no service is available.

This app is actually member of a family of apps that have varying capabilities. A comparison chart shows the capabilities of the siblings.

Unlike the simpler apps above, it's not immediately intuitively obvious how to transfer files or deal with the various functions. One will actually have to study the documentation and learn how to exploit the capabilities of the app. It's not really difficult, but one must develop a certain facility so that when away from the documentation, one can remember how to utilize the app.

I set up the WePrint app and it's very straightforward when it comes to "seeing" the local printer. A special folder is created on the Mac Desktop called WePrint files, and that's where traffic goes back and forth to the iPhone.

I printed several photos and text documents, and had no problems. I think the US$6.99 price is terrific for an app with this much capability.

Finally, Air Sharing Pro 2.0.2 from Avatron Software is most similar to Print n Share. It not only creates a wireless hard disk, but allows the user to view shared docs, print them, and most importantly, doesn't require any additional software on the Mac side.

Air Sharing

Air Sharing Pro

Also, like Print n Share, it comes in multiple versions: Air Sharing and Air Sharing Pro for US$4.99 and $9.99 respectively. The basic version doesn't have the sharing and printing capabilities of the Pro version, so one might as well go for the Pro version.

However, unlike Print n Share, Air Sharing Pro is a lot more intuitive to set up and use. I tested the print and sharing capabilities, and it was a breeze to use. Printing from the iPhone is limited to PDF, images, plain text and HTML. However, many more file types can be moved to the iPhone and viewed. For example, iWork '09 and '08 documents, MS Office documents, Source code, PDF, and so on. Files can be selected and ZIPed on the iPhone before moving back to the Mac.

Again, one should visit the iTunes page to get a feel for the scope of capabilities.

The app runs its own WebDAV server, so connecting to it is as simple as going to the Finder, typing CMD-K, and seeing its Bonjour identifier. (That's preferable to the IP address, but that can be used as well.) You can set up a sharing password in the settings if desired.

In the current version, which was designed for iPhone OS 2.x, attachments that are e-mailed are stored, for up to a week, at drop.io. In the new version coming, 2.1, iPhone OS 3.x supports attachments in a more preferable way, so they can be sent directly, without using drop.io.

Apps like this, with so much capability and the necessity for instructions on the home Website need to be carefully designed so that one can muddle though without the aid of too many hard to remember step-by-step instructions. Air Sharing excels at this, and it's my recommendation for the one to investigate and start with. It's the one I know I'll keep and use often -- it's a must have iPhone app, despite the App Store Sticker Shock of $10. Many apps there are underpriced, but this one isn't.

Air Sharing Pro makes it trivial to print from the iPhone, move files to or from the iPhone for viewing, or e-mail them to someone -- and it doesn't require a sister app on the Mac to function. That makes it the best of the four in my book.

____

Note: all the references above to iPhone also include, of course, the iPod touch.

4 comments from the community.

You can post your own below.

Tiger said:

I’ve been using ePrint Free on my iPhone. You set up the printers by IP address and then type your notes and print to whichever you set as default.

Very Mac like.

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Martin said:

Print n Share actually offers 2 options for file sharing, via a desktop helper app, and also mounting as a network shared disk (via WebDAV). Printing supports all the document formats your Mac/PC prints. It also offers extensive Email support with he ability to save attachments as files and share/resend them.
iTunes link

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Poster Printing said:

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.
Regards,
<a >Poster Printing</a>

   Quote

Mark Rodriguez said:

I purchased Print n Share and CAN NOT get get it to work.  What’s worse is, I called mac and a representative had the nerve to tell me that he no idea how to run this software, nor could he help me install or get the software up and running. Can you please have someone call me who is familiar with this software as soon as possible?  If you check my records, you will see that I’ve had the software several months and have not been able to use it.  I DO NOT want a refund, I would like to be able to use the software correctly and the y way its been intended to be used.
My phone number is 954-394-0264 and my email address is mrodmode@yahoo.com

Thanks,
Mark Rodriguez

   Quote

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