Tuesday, April 2, 2013

ACTPrinter: print to your mobile device

ACTPrinter virtual printer for your iPhone

ACTPrinter from Houdah does one thing, does it well, and cost one buck.  Yes, it's worth it if you have a Mac and iOS device.

There is a Windows version, but still some bugs to work around.  I suggest you wait for the next version if you're a Windows user.

On iPhone, you already have Passbook, a great place for boarding passes, but there are lots of other pages you might want to print to take with you: hotel reservations, on-line order confirmation, or maybe a quick page or two of speaking notes.

You don't necessarily want to have that bit of paper stored on your cloud service.  It's of transient use to you, but you do want it with you.  A few years ago, you would print it and jam it into your pocket.

That's what this little app will do for you:  it will print it on your phone, so you can jam it in your pocket.  You have to have your mobile device on the same wireless network as your computer, so this is not for remote access.  It is, however, hands down the smoothest way to get that note onto your iOS device.

And if you are still suspicious of the cloud, well, here you can "print" files right to your phone without using the cloud in any way.

You purchase the US$0.99 app from the App Store.  One purchase works for both iPhone and iPad.  You download the free ACTPrinter for your computer.

Next time you want to print a note, make sure you have your mobile device on the same wireless network, and the ACTPrinter app open on the device. From the print window on your Mac, click "PDF" and choose "Print using ACTPrinter" on the drop-down menu.  The document will appear on your mobile device in the ACTPrinter app.  Done!  Or, if you really want to, you can open it in another app on your device (if for example you want to be able to add annotations).  Bueno.

That's the one thing it does well.


1. The menu bar at the bottom of your document (see below) is so dark that at first I didn't realise there was anything there.

2.  If you print from Google Chrome (instead of Safari), you have to print using the system dialog, not the normal print menu for Chrome.  To get there, instead of using "command + P" to print, use "option + command + P".  Or follow this screencast that the friendly folks at Houdah put together:  http://screencast.com/t/HReNhLQLh6eB

3.  As above, give them a chance to fix the Windows issues before you start using this.  There are a lot of troubleshooting tips for Windows in the Help section, but the point of the app, after all, is to make your life simpler

Oh, and the other thing they do well is support.  I had answers within minutes to my emails about problems.  I am optimistic that they'll polish this up and it'll be a great little app for saving paper.