While the iPad has helped convert some users into a paperless environment, the need to print something out still exist. Apple recognized this fact by adding AirPrint to iOS. The problem with AirPrint is that it is mostly compatible with new printers. If your printer is over two years old, then most likely it is not compatible. For most people, the lack of printing needs does not justify a new printer purchase.
Printer Agent Pro helps take the pain of printing from an iPad. If your printer can connect to a wireless network then there is a good chance you can print from your iOS device. Read on to find out why Print Agent Pro can relieve your iPad printing woes.
The main function in Print Agent Pro is the printing — the name would seem slightly misleading if it could not print. When first opening the app it will look for wireless printers on the same wireless network. Once the app has connected to a printer, the name of the printer will show in the dialogue box in the left menu bar.
Before you start printing, it is a good idea to test the printer first by pressing the Test Printer button. This will print a test page and you can give feedback to the app on whether the page printed correctly or not. If the test page printed appropriately, just press Looks Good and get ready to print. Pressing the Looks Bad or Nothing Printed options will lead to a message that Print Agent Pro does not support your current printer.
The only problem I had during my printing was I would exit the app too quickly and cutoff the print job on multiple pages. With my printer, it seemed multiple page documents would not print continuously but would act like individual jobs. For example, I had a three-page contract I wanted to print out that was emailed to me. Printing started out normally, but after the first page printed I exited the app and went on doing something else. I figured the job had already been sent to the printer and the next two pages were already in the queue.
Unfortunately the pages were not. I started the print job again and watched the printer closely. It seems the printer would act like each page was a new job. I am not sure if that is my printer’s fault or if the app is sending each page as a new job. Nevertheless, it is important to leave the app open for the entire procedure. This is not a deal breaker by any means, but I imagine it can be frustrating for users printing several page documents.
Print Agent Pro has a built in document manager as well. Within the manager the user can organize documents into folders and access their Dropbox account. Items can be printed from Dropbox or can be imported into the app by using the Open In… functionality. All of the items that are imported into the app are automatically organized into the Incoming folder.
The file manager also includes other items below the documents tab. The clipboard tab automatically loads whatever is on the iOS clipboard, making it the easiest way to print things placed there. Underneath the clipboard tab is a Contacts tab. The Contacts tabs accesses your address book and allows you to select certain contacts and print out their information. Also, the Help tab is always accessible below the Contacts tab which has an informational manual to help users get started and printing.
As previously mentioned there are two printing methods in Print Agent Pro. The Quick Print method will use the default printing options to print the document or photo. Choosing the Print.. option will bring up a preview of the item to be printed and provide printing options. The options included are: paper choice, paper orientation, number of copies, page range, grayscale and duplex printing.
Including these options will most likely cover most users and the needs they might have to print from an iOS device. I really like the preview window which shows the pages that are about to print and will shuffle through a preview of each page. While all of the features are important to include, I found myself using the page range the most often.
Printing from an iOS device used to be reserved for the lucky individuals who just bought a printer and it supported AirPrint. With Print Agent Pro, most wireless printers will be able to print documents from their iPad.
I was very happy during the testing of Print Agent Pro. As previously mentioned, the setup was easy and printing worked as expected. Although, it is important to keep the app open for the entire print job or some pages might not print. Overall I was pleased with the printing ability and success rate of print jobs. It was definite surprise at how easy it was to set up. If you are stuck in the printing woes of AirPrint then definitely look at Print Agent Pro.