CloudOn

28 09 2014

To work on Microsoft Office files (Excel, Word, Powerpoint) you can either use an app like DocsToGo, a subscription of Office 365 (connected with Microsoft’s cloud service SkyDrive) or a free app called CloudOn by CloudOn Inc., first released in October 2011.

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CloudOn can be connected not only to SkyDrive but also to your Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Hightail accounts, and send or share files with colleagues and contacts via email directly from within the app. Some features like AirPrint are only available through the Pro version of CloudOn with an introductory offer of $2.99/month or $29.99/year.

The features …

CloudOn works with Microsoft Office documents stored on the above mentioned cloud storages. New files can be created and existing files can be edited. Microsoft’s proprietary file format is kept in either case. •So there is 100% compatibility with Office files and you do not have to worry that they will break or compatibility issues will occur.

  • CREATE, REVIEW and EDIT documents
    Create, review and edit Microsoft Word documents , Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on an iPad or an iPhone.
    •Insert charts, images, equations, SmartArt, clipart, tables, shapes and change format fonts, paragraphs, styles, themes and layout.
    •Review spelling and grammar, track changes, comments, annotations and rich markup.
    View and create charts (including pivot, bar, line, area etc), add formulas, filter etc.
  • ACCESS and MANAGE files
    •Seamlessly connect to and access Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat documents in your cloud storage provider account(s), including Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
    •Open documents, spreadsheets and presentations from your email accounts as well as Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
    •Copy, paste, delete, rename and move files across folders.
    •All files are saved automatically giving you the comfort that you won’t lose your data.
    •DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF are the file types supported by CloudOn.
  • SHARE and SEND documents
    You can work on the same doc with colleagues (understandably not simultaneously).
    •Use the FileSpace to add context to your work – view all the activity on any given doc including edits, action, and notes or if you prefer just send a link to the file by email.
  • AIR PRINT documents (feature of the Pro version)
    •Print Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets and Powerpoint Presentations.

Here is a summarization of all features created with a mind map with my favorite mind mapping tool iThoughts HD for the iPad.

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Office DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

User interface …

The functionality of CloudOn is pretty straightforward, with a tidy interface that allows you to rearrange the layout of your files by tapping an icon. There are also shortcuts for creating a new document and for accessing the settings and other menu options.

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CloudOn also has an autosave feature, so if your quick burst of editing is interrupted, everything will have been saved for when you can come back to it.

The navigation features and the different ways to show files and storages are quite impressive. But navigation through folders is unfortunately not the main task of the app. It’s working inside a document.

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In contrast to Apple’s iWork suite the UI of CloudOn when working on a document is not perfectly adapted to touch screens. It just reflects what is well-known from the original versions of the Microsoft Office suite. With a “RIBBON” as the main menu bar it works like the big brother for desktops. This might be seen as an advantage by many users but others complain about the missing adoption for the iPad’s touch screen.

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This is the fully adapted keyboard of Apple’s spreadsheet application NUMBERS.

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As you can see Apple uses a fully adapted keyboard which fully supports the basic tasks done with a spreadsheet application like choosing the field type (text, number, date, term), building a sum, and using functions.

There would be a lot of features which should be added to CloudOn to facilitate typing on an iPad in Excel. CloudOn just helps a bit by adding a row at the top of the iPad keyboard with Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Tab, function, arrow, Esc, and Del keys.

Unfortunately there is a keyboard lag. A slight delay between touching the keys and the appearance of letters on screen makes the typing process feel disjointed. You might also recognize the usefulness of Apple’s autocorrect feature which is not working in CloudOn documents. It’s quite frustrating to manually correct all those minor typos.

In a group setting CloudOn’s lack of support for custom add-ons, templates, auto-correct settings, and other advanced features may limit the program’s usefulness. Still, the word processor lets you track and accept changes, show or hide markup, make and view comments, restrict editing, and compare and combine versions.
Similarly, the mobile versions of the spreadsheet and presentation apps provide most of the features you’ve come to expect in Excel and PowerPoint, respectively.

Summary …

For all the productivity apps working on Microsoft Office files this is still valid:

It’s not that it does it well,
it’s that it does it at all.

CloudOn goes far beyond the basics to provide a full set of word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation features in a familiar interface. But it’s still not adapted to touch screens.

So the usefulness is only given if there is a constraint to stay fully compatible with Microsoft’s file formats. It’s also useful if documents are just for accessing information or making smaller changes.

In general the concept of porting a desktop app to an iPad with just slight modifications is wrong and will not be accepted by the majority of users. We are living in year 4 after the launch of the first iPad and users need and want apps fully adapted to touch screens.

A further disappointing approach to manage Microsoft Office files and a certificate of poverty for Microsoft not to offer an iPad version of their Office 365 Suite.

Related links …

Office 365 for Mobiles

Thanks for dropping by.





Go Paperless

8 03 2014

Stats say that every human living in an industrial nation uses about 20,000 kg paper in his life.

About paper …

Paper may be impregnated, enamelled, metallised, made to look like parchment, creped, water-proofed, waxed, glazed, sensitized, bent, turned, folded, twisted, crumpled, cut, torn, dissolved, macerated, moulded, and embossed. It may be coloured, coated, printed or even written on! It can be laminated with fabric, plastic and metal. It can be opaque, translucent or transparent. It is naturally combustible, or can be made fre-retardent. It may be a carrier or a barrier or a filter. It may be made tough enough to withstand acid, or soft enough for a baby’s skin. It can be read and worn as a garment. It can be re-used and recycled and it is made from a renewable, sustainable source.

The range of possible uses of paper seems almost limitless. New ways of using it are being devised daily. This evolution will continue because paper is an expression of everyday living.

  • Agriculture
    Sacks, seed packets, and animal bedding Building
    Wallpaper, damp-proof courses, roofing, flooring, flame resistant papers, plasterboard, and decorative laminates for furniture.
  • Business
    Print out sheets, receipts, circulars, catalogues, filing systems, sales and service manuals, brochures, and letter heading.
  • Cars
    Fascia boards, door and roof liners, filters the Highway Code, and driving licences.
  • Communications
    Writing pads, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, greeting cards, calendars, diaries, telephone directories, labels, business and identity cards.
  • Domestic Products
    Tissues, paper plates and cups, toilet paper, kitchen towels, table napkins, and lampshades.
  • Education
    Books, exercise books, wall charts, flip charts, and report cards
  • Electrical
    Special insulating boards, electrolytic condenser paper, wrapping and identification for electrical cables, printe( circuits, and battery separators.
  • Entertainment
    Menu cards, paper hats, crackers, fireworks, wrapping paper, programmes, playing cards, board games, kites, model aircraft, and race cards.
  • Filtration
    Filters for water, air, coffee, medicine, beer, oil, and mechanical uses.
  • Impregnated Papers
    Polishing, waxing, and cleaning.
  • Industry
    Protection for manufactured goods, in transport, transfer sheets for decorating chinaware, display boards, point of sale materials and in storage.
  • Medical
    Wrapping to keep instruments and equipment sterile, bandages, first aid bands, clothing for nurses, face masks, surgeons’caps, disposable bed pans, sheets, and pillowcases.
  • Money, Finance, Security
    Bank notes, insurance forms, cheque books, travellers’ cheques, postal orders, stamps, cash bags and security papers that contain special markings which are only visible when subjected to ultra-violet light

This is an amazing variety of applications but although there is a sophisticated recycling industry the usage of paper still destroys parts of our ecosystem.

Paper consumption …

The paper consumption in individual countries is related to their gross national product. The further increase in paper and board consumption will be different in different countries depending on whether economic saturation, as e. g. in the United States, in the North European and some Central European countries, and also in Japan, or fast increasing demand, as in China, is prevailing. But also India, Russia and some other Asian and East European countries will come up in the near future with growth rates above the average. The following comparision between the paper consumption per capita and the population in the various regions of the world demonstrate the significant differences and devine the future development of the paper demand there.

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The production and use of paper has a number of adverse effects on the environment.
Worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years leading to increase in deforestation, with 35% of harvested trees being used for paper manufacture. Logging of old growth forests accounts for less than 10% of wood pulp, but is one of the most controversial issues.
Paper waste accounts for up to 40% of total waste produced in the United States each year, which adds up to 71.6 million tons of paper waste per year in the United States alone.
Conventional bleaching of wood pulp using elemental chlorine produces and releases into the environment large amounts of chlorinated organic compounds, including chlorinated dioxins. Dioxins are recognized as a persistent environmental pollutant, regulated internationally by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Dioxins are highly toxic, and health effects on humans include reproductive, developmental, immune and hormonal problems. They are known to be carcinogenic. Over 90% of human exposure is through food, primarily meat, dairy, fish and shellfish, as dioxins accumulate in the food chain in the fatty tissue of animals.

The tasks …

If you plan to go paperless you won’t change the stats significantly but there are some other benefits when moving from ring folders to flash memories.

Scanning documents is a daily task for big businesses but it also can be useful for private purposes. You have access to all important information without taking heavy filing folders with you, search within documents without looking through countless pages, send documents or parts of them to companies or authorities, etc. instead of copying them on new paper. Another benefit is that you still have the content even if original documents get lost for what reason soever.

Here is a brief overview of documents which are worth scanning

  • Insurance Policies
  • Receipts
  • Certificates of Warranty
  • Passport, ID Card, Driver License
  • Ad-hoc information taken with a camera

After buying an iPad about one year ago I started to reduce paper consumption. The first step is to find out the right apps and then optimize the workflow from incoming or already existing documents to permanent storage on an iOS device.

The requirements …

For me, a reliable solution is based on software of reliable software developers which should meet the following requirements:

General …

  • UI design following Apple’s iOS Human Interface Guidelines
  • Reliable developer updating his apps regularly
  • Universal app (running on all iOS-Devices)
  • Further apps from the same developer for related tasks
  • Understandable and fast support
  • Code stability
  • iCloud support
  • Scanning

Specific …

  • Integrated camera usage
  • Saving photos as images or PDFs
  • Combining several photos as pages to a unique document
  • Connection to different well-known cloud storages including iCloud as well as WebDAV-Connections
  • Setting of meaningful filenames for images respectively PDFs
  • Organizing scanned objects in folders
  • Mailing of scanned objects
  • Availability of the iOS ‘Open in…’ command
  • Access to the camera roll and the photo stream
  • Password protection for the app
  • Encryption of documents when uploaded to cloud storages and sending by E-Mail
  • Syncing of scanned objects across all iOS-Devices using the same Apple ID
  • Printing of scanned documents
  • Extended search functionalities

There are three apps available at Apple’s App Store which meet all these requirements.

Scanning …

  • Scanner Pro by Readdle
    with an impressive user interface for scanning by using the integrated camera.
  • AiO Remote by HP
    for hardware-based scanning in connection with an AirPrint capable Three-In-One (Print, Scan, Copy) device by Hewlett Packard.
  • Prizmo by Creaseed
    for extracting text from photos and saving the content as PDF.
    This is a much more faster procedure than scanning documents with an AiO device although the quality is slightly reduced.

Document management …

  • Documents by Readdle
    as the main container for scanned documents with access to Apple’s iCloud and other cloud providers

Useful utilities …

  • File Browser by Stratospherix
    as a tool to access nearly all cloud storages as well as local computers running on OS X or Windows with powerful features like moving multiple files from one storage to another, zipping files, etc.
  • Native apps
    of cloud providers like Box, Dropbox, and iDriveSync
  • 1Password by AgileBits
    as the main password keeper for all sensitive data

It was a rocky road to find out these apps in Apple’s App Store with thousands of productivity apps. The developers of the mentioned products did their homework in the last months and today the apps are quite powerful.

As you can see this suggested solution is not based on a database system. I will discuss the alternate way to go paperless in my next post.

Feature descriptions …

Documents by Readdle

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Documents supports Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, SugarSync, SkyDrive, Office 365 Sharepoint, CloudMe, WebDAV, Windows SMB, FTP Server, and SFTP Server (as of Dec 2013).

For a full feature description of Documents by Readdle see my post mentioned under ‘Related links’.

AiO Remote by HP

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AiO Remote supports, iCloud (for syncing), Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, and any WebDAV access, e.g. iDriveSync.

Scanner Pro by Readdle

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Scanner Pro supports Apple’s iCloud so that documents e.g. scanned with an iPhone are automatically also available on an iPad.

Further considerations …

Many of the scanned documents contain information which must be available over years. So it’s indispensable to use a suitable file format which allows access over a long time and it turns out that it’s the PDF file format of Adobe.

Additionally it’s worth thinking about the folder structure where scanned documents should be saved.

My suggestions how to group the information …

I called the root folder ‘ARCHIVE’ with the following subfolders:

Long-Termed (many years)

  • Insurance Policies
  • Real Estate
  • Certificates of Warranty
  • Personal documents
  • Last Will
  • etc

Short-Termed (1-2 years)

  • Receipts
  • Carrier contracts
  • etc

I always use structured file names containing a date (e.g. conclusion of a contract) and an added short description pointing to the main content, for example 2013-12-06-AppleTV or 2014-01-13-CarLeasing.

An essential point is that there are at least two different storages so that access is still possible even if a device is broken, replaced, or not in use.

It needs some efforts to replace old documents by newer ones and to delete documents which are not valid any longer. But this is a task you also have to do when using ring binders. Nothing is more annoying than to find invalid information when searching for essentials.

Legislation …

Check the legislation in your country. Paperless storage of certain documents without keeping the originals might be inoperative. In this case the old-fashioned usage of ring binders is still indispensable.

Note
This was the case in Germany where companies sent their invoices as PDFs which were inoperative if the company didn’t digitally signed them. Legislation was changed because it hampered the workflow of small enterprises.

Security …

It’s up to where you primarily store your documents. Keep in mind that everything is stored in Apple’s iCloud if you device is backed up to iCloud. So if you don’t want your documents saved in iCloud you should turn off iCloud backup.
If you use a cloud provider it is indispensable to read the terms and conditions. Free cloud storages are subject to change and suspension without notification.
See ‘Risky free clouds’ under ‘Related links’.
A suggested provider is iDriveSync with encryption of data in transit (during transfer from your device via internet) and at rest (when saved on a provider’s server).

Summary …

Here is a summary of the hard- and software configuration

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Feel free to download this map from my Box account.

The alternative file formats have been created with iThoughts HD for iPad (.ITMZ file format). Compatibility to other tools is limited.

Application File format
Adobe Reader PDF
Apple iWork/Microsoft Word DOCX
iThoughts ITMZ
MindManager MMAP
XMind XMIND

An annotation …

Valid for reducing paper waste in the private and business sector …

If your goal in maintaining a paperless office is greater productivity, you may find it more useful to focus on that, rather than on the paper itself. For example, if you receive lots of printed documents and your main problems are finding information in them and figuring out where to file them, the scan-OCR-shred routine will serve you well. It won’t literally reduce the amount of paper you encounter, but it will address the inconveniences you struggle with.

Then there are the trees. Environmental issues, including saving forests and reducing waste, are certainly noble reasons to decrease paper usage.
MacWorld

Related links …

About paper …

Fast facts on Paper Use

Paper Consumption

About the hard- and software …

Documents by Readdle

zBase vs Tap Forms

Text Recognition (1)

Text Recognition (2)

About clouds …

Risky free clouds

iDriveSync Privacy

Thanks for stopping by.
Please do not print this page, just save the PDF version.





Three In One

8 09 2013

Three-In-One Concepts is an educational corporation based in Thousand Oaks, California with the purpose of assisting individuals who are interested and willing in taking responsibility for creating their wellbeing personally and professionally through the integration of Body, Mind and Spirit. Developed by Gordon Stokes, Daniel Whiteside und Candace Callaway in the 80s, it’s a worldwide accepted approach today.

For technical products Three In One is just a synonym for a set of three features implemented in just one product. Three-In-One concepts are well-known from printers. For printing, copying, and scanning documents there is just one device which does it all.

Within app development I found out an approach to combine note taking, outlining, and mind mapping resp. concept mapping.

The app is named MagicalPad by MagicalPad, USA.

The developer talks about his app …

MagicalPad is a Massachusetts based start-up provider of innovative mobile and web-based applications for visually organizing and managing information and ideas to drive structured thinking, spark creativity, and enhance business innovation and team effectiveness.
The thousands of users who use MagicalPad understand the value of structured notes to help structure their thoughts and ideas. MagicalPad has quickly become THE app for many business users for brainstorming, meeting notes, project notes, school notes, mind mapping, creative writing and other information management and outlining needs.

This announcement forces me to dip into the details.
Does this app really combine all these features?

The features …

What you should know is the meaning of the term ‘Notebook’. The developer uses it for single projects consisting of ‘Pages’. Notebooks can be created on the home screen and pages on the worksheet. It’s comparable with files (Pages) in folders (Notebooks).

Here is a full feature description visualized as a mind map created with the app iThoughts HD for the iPad. An image often says more than 1000 words.

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You may download this map in the following file formats

PDF

ITMZ (Native format of iThoughts)

MMAP (Mindjet)

XMIND (XMind)

The UI and UX …

Not all readers are familiar with all the abbreviations used in the IT world. So UI means the User Interface and describes the layout of an app seen by a user. Developers should follow some standards published by Apple in The iOS Human Interface Guidelines.

UX means the User Experience and describes what users feel when they use the app the first time and extensively later on. The impression must be positive to keep the app on the device for further usage.

Both UI and UX are in some way subjective criteria. So take a look on these screenshots and build your personal opinion.

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What you cannot retrieve from these screenshots is the feeling when interacting with the app. Sorry, but you have to buy it to check this out.
What I recognized on my iPad 3rd Gen was a stuttering behavior when moving objects and slow performance when loading complex notebooks.

Export, Import, Share …

Nearly all apps available at Apple’s App Store use native file formats. So sharing of files with other people not using the same app is an important criterion when it comes to collaboration.

I used the notebook coming with the app and exported it using all supported file formats as there are

  • OPML
    OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is an XML format for outlines. Each node contains a set of text values.
  • JPEG
  • PDF
  • RTF

The results:

The main disadvantages …

While using the app as a mind mapping tool I recognized that there is no automatic combining of topics. So it’s an ugly work to manually set every single arrow which combines a topic with a subtopic.

The performance of displaying objects when loading a page is near to be not acceptable (iPad 3 rd Gen). Moving objects to new positions is a bit jumpy.

Objects cannot be connected to internet sources by attaching a hyperlink.
I asked the company via E-Mail to get an answer regarding this flaw (and to test the support):

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The support is perfect. The company answered immediately even on further questions I had.

Summary …

Like all the other apps I reviewed here on http://iNotes4You.com there is still some work to do for the MagicalPad developers. The mind mapping features are stunted compared to specialized apps whereas the outlining feature is well-developed.
What can be named as MAGIC is the idea to combine outlining, mind mapping, and note taking.

It’s an ongoing experience to see useful features in one app that are missing in another app.

Related links …

Note taking

Mind mapping (3)

Thanks for dropping by.





PDF the Web

4 09 2013

With one command entered in the address bar of SAFARI you can seamlessly convert a website into a PDF document. No third-party app is needed. Added to the Bookmarks Bar of your browser the creation of a PDF is permanently available. With the commands ‘Print’ and ‘Open In’ the websites content can be easily transferred to other apps like Documents by Readdle, Apple’s iWork Suite, or sent by E-Mail.

Remark …

This post is based on a publication of

Mariam Yusuf on Technoduet

Thanks Mariam.

There are many scriptlets available which can be used e.g. to open an application on an iOS device. Mariam’s example can also be used with all browsers available for iOS devices.

And by the way I suggest visiting Technoduet, a great website to get information about all things tech.

The How-To guide …

Step 1 Open any website in Safari

Step 2 Tap on the Action button to Bookmark

Step 3 Select Bookmarks Bar

Step 4 Enter bookmark parameters

Title

SaveAsPDF

Address

javascript:pdf_url=location.href;location.href=’http://pdfmyurl.com?url=’+escape(pdf_url)

(Use the clipboard to transfer the command.)

Location

Bookmarks Bar

Step 5 Tap on Save.

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The new bookmark is located at the end of your Bookmarks Bar list.
Tap on Edit in the Bookmarks Bar list and move SaveAsPDF to the first position. This ensures that it’s always in your field of vision.

Prerequisites …

As you can see the command uses Javascript and should be shown in the bookmarks bar. This requires the following settings:

20130702-130617.jpg

Note
Javascript
JavaScript lets web programmers control elements of the page—for example, a page that uses JavaScript might display the current date and time, cause a linked page to appear in a new pop-up page or provides a Print button.

Using SaveAsPDF …

If you now want to convert a website into PDF file format just tap on SaveToPDF in the Bookmarks Bar. The PDF is generated by a function implemented in the iOS operating system.

If you tap on the PDF the commands ‘Print’ and ‘Open In’ will be available for further processing.

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There is a high-rated app available which allows non-linear presentations of slides. It’s Final Argument by Morris Cooke, UK.

See an app review here
Final Argument

The presentation slides can be arranged in a mind map-like outline. Single pages or the whole website can be assigned to a slide.

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This image shows an application of saving a website as PDF. The Apple website about iOS 7 was captured with ‘SaveAsPDF’ and a single page then was assigned to a slide of a presentation about the new operating system.

Applications …

  • Retrieving text from the PDF
  • Read later in a PDF Reader without animations
  • Annotations to an article with an annotating capable app
  • Adding parts of a website without loosing the formatting as a PDF file attachment

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Some pros and cons …

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Not recommended …

On a serious note do not …

  • Save Google searches as PDF
    Later on you have to enter all the useful addresses manually.
  • Record all websites you visited
    Your device’s memory won’t let that happen.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.





Air Mail by HP

2 07 2013

HP ePrint Service already was introduced in my article ‘Air Mail by Apple’.
Here are further informations about this service along with some details about the app HP Printer Control.

Here is a brief overview of the topics discussed in my series ‘Air Mail by…’ with details about HP ePrint Service.

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In retrospect …

HP about it’s ePrint service …
Print anywhere, anytime, with any device
HP ePrint technology lets you print at your convenience—from across town, or across the room—using any email-capable device. Simply send your photos or documents to a web-connected printer and pick up the pages later. The process is as easy as sending an email—no software setup required.

Using HP ePrint Service …
If you are not connected to another WiFi network you even can send a print job to your printer connected to your home or office network by using the HP ePrint Service.

Sign in to HP ePrintCenter, register your printer by entering the unique printer code (supplied by HP for every printer; shown in the Web-Service-Menu of the printer’s control panel). You can then create an E-Mail address for your printer. It looks like name@hpeprint.com.
If you send a document to this address HP ePrint Service will send a print job to your printer at home or in the office which is assigned to this E-Mail address.

The app HP Printer Control …

Some weeks ago HP updated it’s app HP Printer Control.
Now it combines printer management, file management, and scan functionalities. So it’s like Documents + Scanner Pro (by Readdle) in one app.

Help System …

An excellent help system is not standard at the time. Many apps in Apple’s App Store even don’t offer an integrated help system or link to a web-based help system. This is not what users expect.

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Scanning documents …

HP Printer Control scans documents via the scan functionality of an HP All-In-One printer and the integrated camera of your iPad or iPhone.
The device documents are scanned with often is an iPhone whereas further file management is done on an iPad. The optional syncing functionality automatically transfers documents scanned by an iPhone with the iPad.
No manual file transfer is necessary.

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File management …

HP Printer Control offers local as well as cloud-based file management.
Well-known cloud providers are supported, others can be accessed via WebDAV (e.g. iDriveSync). You just have to enter alias, username, password, and the server url to access your cloud account.

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Sharing files …

HP Printer Control allows sharing via iTunes, http, iCloud, and Facebook.

Share files e.g. from a Microsoft Windows PC with your iOS device by following these steps:

  • Make sure the mobile device is set up for file sharing.

    This is done by opening HP Printer Control on the mobile device and tapping on Settings.
    Tap Sharing.
    Turn on File Sharing.
    Note the URL beneath the Port setting (for example, http://192.168.0.1:8081/).
    To secure the Wi-Fi connection to your device, turn on Password Required and enter a user name and password.

  • Right-click the Start screen, and then select All apps at the bottom of the screen.
  • On the Apps screen, right-click Computer in the Windows System section, select Map network drive from the pop-up bar at the bottom of the screen, and then follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Type the URL found in step #5 of Set up a mobile device for file sharing.
    Note: You must type the complete URL.
  • Clear the Reconnect at login checkbox, if selected and click Finish.
    If you set up a password when you configured Wi-Fi on your mobile device, type your user name and password and click OK.

The new network drive is now available so you can copy files to and from your mobile device.

To reconnect to your device, right-click the Start screen, select All apps at the bottom of the screen, right-click Computer in the Windows System section, and then double-click the network location you created.
To transfer files and folders, use your computer to drag them from the computer to the mobile device or from the mobile device to the computer. You can find them in the Files/Documents folder on the mobile device.

You can also use HP Printer Control to upload images from your mobile device to your Facebook account. You can either enter your Facebook identification data every time you share images to Facebook, or you can set up HP Printer Control to automatically use the last Facebook account you used to log in.

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Supported file formats …

HP ePrint makes it easy to send and print standard PDF, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files, text files (.txt), and JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG and GIF image files—no printing software is required.

Unfortunately file formats of Apple’s iWork suite are not supported.
You will get this message when looking into the print job history on https://h30495.www3.hp.com/

Thank you for using HP ePrint!
Unfortunately, the “Printed With Error” message means that one or more of your attachments failed to print. There are a number of reasons why this may have happened. The causes and some workarounds are described below.

Additionally you will get an E-Mail containing a problem description and the file name of the document which could not be printed.

This is a perfect communication between user and application.
Sad to say that this is definitely not the standard behavior of apps for iOS devices.

Addenda …

When people are evaluating mobile printing solutions, one of the options is to buy a new printer.

If you already use a printer (even if it’s not AirPrint capable) it cannot receive print jobs from your iOS device.

FingerPrint by http://collobos.com/ addresses this problem.
It’s basically a simple solution running an all platforms which creates a new Bonjour service that tricks iOS clients into believing they’re talking to an AirPrint device.

The application finds your printers automatically and makes them available to your iOS devices.

Find more details in my blog

Printing from iOS devices

Summary …

It’s not really surprising that the winner is HP ePrint because this technology was developed by Apple and HP. It’s the easiest way to print documents or images from Apple’s iOS devices.
Furthermore HP offers a service with which it’s also possible to print from outside a WiFi network by using the E-Mail address of the printer.

The main disadvantage of Google Cloud Print is that there is only one iOS app supporting this technology.

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Air Mail by Google

29 06 2013

Google Cloud Print is an online service that connects your printers to the web. Using Google Cloud Print, you can make your home and work printers available to you and anyone you choose, from the applications you use every day. It works on your phone, tablet, Chrome device, PC, and any other web-connected device you want to print from.

Here is a brief overview of the topics discussed in my series ‘Air Mail by…’ with details about Google’s Cloud Print.

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The service is available through the Google Chrome browser, Google’s mobile apps such as Gmail and Docs, and other supported iOS, Android, Windows and Mac apps. It is also the default printing method on Chromebooks.

When starting a print job e.g. from an iPad data are transmitted from the iPad to a Google server and then to a selected printer over a secure internet connection.

What kind of printers can I print to using Google Cloud Print?

Google Cloud Print can print to Cloud Ready Printers, which connect directly to the web and don’t require a PC to setup. Google Cloud Print can also connect to existing classical printers that are plugged into a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with Internet access, using the Google Cloud Print Connector in Google Chrome.

How do I connect my printer to Google Cloud Print?

In order to print using the Google Cloud Print service, first connect your printer to the service. Google Cloud Print can print to either a Cloud Ready printer that can connect directly to the Internet or a classical printer that is plugged into a Windows or Mac computer with Internet access.

To connect a Cloud Ready printer to Google Cloud Print, follow the instructions for connecting Cloud Ready printers.
To connect your classic printer, you will need to install Google Chrome on a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer that is connected to your printer. Once installed, enable the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome.

Details of connecting classical printers …

To connect your classic printer, enable the Google Cloud Print connector on any computer that is already connected to your printer and able to print. You’ll need Google Chrome to be installed on the computer.

Once Google Chrome is installed, follow the steps below to enable the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome.

  • Log in to your user account.
  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click the Show advanced settings link.
  • Scroll down to the “Google Cloud Print” section.
  • Click Sign in to Google Cloud Print.
    In the window that appears, sign in with your Google Account to enable the Google Cloud Print connector.
  • Select the printers you want to connect, and then click Add printer.
    You’ll see a confirmation that Google Cloud Print has been enabled.
    Click Manage your printers to learn more.

    The printer is now associated with your Google Account and connected to Google Cloud Print. You can print to this printer using Google Cloud Print whenever you’re signed in with the same Google Account.

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Limited GCP features on iOS devices …

Unfortunately most of the apps for iOS devices do not support GCP at the time except Google Chrome and Gmail for iOS.
An app that supports GCP is PrintCentral by EuroSmartz but I cannot recommend this app as it has bugs since years and the UI looks a bit playful and is definitely not state-of-the-art.

Examples …

Printing a website

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Printing an E-Mail

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Printing is also available from within the app Gmail for iOS devices.

Sharing a printer …

You can let your friends use any printer you connected to Google Cloud Print, as long as they also have Google Accounts. Follow these steps to manage your printer’s sharing permissions:

  • Visit the Google Cloud Print management page.
  • Click the Printers on the left side.
  • Select the printer that you want to share.
  • Click the Share button.
    When you share printers, you’ll share printer names so choose a descriptive name when setting up your printer for the first time.
  • In the dialog that appears, enter the email address for the person or Google Group you want to share with.
    Click Share.
    Your friend will receive an email notification. To disable sharing, follow the steps above to open the Sharing dialog for the printer and edit the user list.

The security …

Cloud printing always submits documents via an internet connection to the service provider, in this case Google. So security questions have to be assessed.

What you should know is

  • Transmission is encrypted
  • Information about the jobs you send for printing, the documents themselves, and server logs created from each request ate shared with Google
  • Documents themselves are kept strictly confidential on Google servers but only for so long as the print job is not yet completed

Some technical details …

Notifications of waiting jobs are distributed to printers using a persistent XMPP connection. The printer initiates this connection with the Google Talk XMPP servers.

To maintain a persistent XMPP connection Google’s libjingle library can be used. A persistent connection to talk.google.com and subscription to Google Cloud Print notifications is established by sending a subscription stanza to the Google Push Notifications service.

Whenever the printer comes online or receives notification of a waiting job, it uses the Fetch API to grab any available jobs in the queue. The /fetch call takes the printer id (required) as a parameter and returns the list of available jobs in the Queued state. Each job has an id, a title, a status, and two URLs: one for the job ticket (in either XPS or PPD format, determined by the format in which the printer originally registered its capabilities) and one for the job file itself. The file is available in PDF, PWG-raster (March 2011 draft), or in the original format of the document. The document type served is specified via the accept header of the request made to the second URL of the print job: the URL of the job file itself. Not specifying this header will result in a PDF printout.

Summary …

Google Cloud Print is an extremely useful feature but Apple again said ‘NO’ to implementing this feature and only supports it’s own AirPrint feature. AirPrint is designed for using printing functionalities only for devices connected to the same WiFi network. So if you are out of the commonly used network you cannot print documents.
With the above mentioned exceptions no app designed for iOS is GCP capable.

So it’s recommended to use the HP ePrint Service if there is a need to print documents from outside the network to which the printer is connected (see Part (1) of my articles about Air Mail …).

Related links …

Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print Support





Air Mail by Apple

27 06 2013

Printing documents seems to be old-fashioned in the modern era of digital communication. But there are some cases where an occasional print out of documents is necessary. I use it for example when I have to look on two or more documents to compare the contents which is pretty uncomfortable on an iPad because of the just-one-window-display.

My articles ‘Air Mail by …’ explain the different possibilities to print from an iPad or an iPhone as there are Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, HP ePrint.

If both, a printer connected to a computer and an iOS device, are in the same WiFi network a classic printer can be used for printing from an iOS device. This case was discussed in my post Printing from iOS-Devices

Here is a brief overview of the topics discussed in my series ‘Air Mail by…’ with details about Apple’s AirPrint.

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Apple AirPrint …

Apple is known for highly simple and user-friendly solutions.
So let’s start this series of articles with the AirPrint technology developed by Apple and HP.

AirPrint is a feature which is implemented in Apple products starting with OS X Lion and iOS 4.2 in November 2010, for printing using a wireless LAN, either directly to any AirPrint compatible printers (such as HP’s entire ePrint range, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Gestetner, Hewlett-Packard, Infotec , Lanier, Lenovo, Lexmark, Ricoh, Samsung, Savin, Xerox and more) or to non-compatible printers through a MS Windows, Apple Mac OS X, or GNU/Linux PC. AirPrint does not require printer-specific drivers.

The current list of AirPrint compatible printers (at the time more than 500) can be found on

Apple Support HT 4356

A number of software solutions allow for non AirPrint printers to be used with iOS devices. For such printers, AirPrint support can be achieved by configuring such support on an intermediary system already having such printers configured for local printing, shared on the same network. Since AirPrint is driverless, such a configuration compensates for the lack of native AirPrint support by using the drivers on the intermediary system instead.

The simplest solution for all platforms is to create a new Bonjour service that tricks iOS clients into believing they’re talking to an AirPrint device.

Fingerprint by Collobos Software Inc. is an example for such a desktop application which allows printing from iOS devices to every printer connected to the same network.

AirPrint in details …

My home configuration consists of an Apple Airport Extreme Router and an HP Photosmart 6510 which is AirPrint capable. That means the printer has just to be connected to the power supply. In a further step the connection to the WiFi network is established via the iPhone-like control panel by entering the networks password.

After connecting the printer to the WiFi network the printer appears in the print menu of every printing-capable app.

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Suggested additional software …

HP offers an app called HP Printer Control which allows to fully control the printer and it’s features like scan, copy, capture, file management and some utilities. The file management feature additionally supports access to well-known cloud providers like Box, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, or cloud providers supporting WebDAV connections.

The latest version of this app has a perfect UI and is near to apps for file management like Documents by Readdle.

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Features of HP Printer Control …

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  • Document control from virtually anywhere
  • Seamlessly move between paper and cloud-based files with intelligent mobile scanning and easy control of your HPe-AII-in-One from your iPhone or iPad.
  • Create high-quality documents from the camera-enabled intelligent mobile scanning feature or send scans directly to your mobile device from your HP e-AII-in-One. Then print or share your device or Cloud-based files online or by E-Mail.
  • Intelligent mobile scanner technology automatically processes images taken by your [Phone or iPad’s camera to create high-quality documents.
  • Documents can be saved as PDF or JPEG to share, store or print from your device.
  • Access cloud document storage services such as iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive or social media site including Facebook.
  • Use your mobile device’s large screen to control scan, copy and print functions of your HP e-AII-inOne.
  • Print photos, PDF, web pages, email attachments, Microsoft Office documents and more from virtually anywhere.
  • Compatibility
    Print, copy and scan with Apple iPad, iPhone and iPad.
    Mobile scanning feature supported by iPhone 4, 4S, 5, the new iPad and iPod 5G (iOS 5.0 or later) or later with 5 megapixels or more camera with autofocus.

How to print with HP Printer Control …

  • Download a document from the cloud and print.
    Even if you are in another WiFi network or just 3G connected you can send the print job to your own printer by using your printer E-Mail address.
  • Use ‘Open in’ e.g. from within Apple’s spreadsheet app Numbers and select Printer Control from the apps menu to print.

Using HP Print service …

If you are not connected to another WiFi network you even can send a print job to your printer connected to your home or office network by using the HP ePrint Service.

Sign in to HP ePrintCenter, register your printer by entering the unique printer code (supplied by HP for every printer; shown in the Web-Service-Menu of the printer’s control panel). You can then create an E-Mail address for your printer. It looks like name@hpeprint.com.

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If you send a document to this address HP ePrint Service will send a print job to your printer at home or in the office which is assigned to this E-Mail address.
You can protect this service by entering E-Mail addresses from which it is allowed to send print jobs. Furthermore Google Cloud Print works together with HP ePrint Service. For example you can print Google docs without waiting for Google’s service to create a printable document.

Related links …

AirPrint Basics

HP ePrint Service

HP ePrint Data Sheet

Thanks for dropping by.
Comments, positive or negative, are appreciated.








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