I'm looking for an android app that functions just like a printer: I hit PRINT on my Mac, PC, or iPhone, and a series of pages is immediately displayed on my android device.

I realize there are several options for this, and I have tried many of them, but none seem to fulfill two crucial requirements:

  1. It has to really act like a printer, which means it has to immediately display the pages when I hit PRINT with no other intervention from me, including no app launching.
  2. It has to expose itself as a normal IP printer on the local network (connected via WiFi) and accept normal network print jobs. Not going over the "cloud" like so many printer apps.

Why? I have an eInk android device that is much more convenient that hauling around a printer and paper.

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  • 2
    "I'm looking for an app that does X" questions aren't generally a good fit here; you've already selected your solution. Better are questions that describe a problem to be solved. The answer may be an app, but might not. Please review the FAQ. – ale Sep 21 '12 at 12:54

The nearest I can think of is - generate a PDF and use that with some PDF reader such as EzPDF Reader ... but...

Having said that - Android does not have any facility to support printing (in any shape or form) so you may be out of luck with that!

Developers have often struggled with this and resorted to using the option to generate a PDF.. it is an oft-common question on StackOverflow on how to accomplish this!

Who knows, maybe Google noticed and realized that, just wait and see with the often rumoured Key-Lemon Pie or Lemon Meringue later on, just watch this space! :)


There was another question that was asked here previously. Google Cloud printing, PrinterShare as per the answers on that question was mentioned.

Amendment #1: The reason no print facility is there is because it is not a WYSIWG environment (What You See Is What You Get) unlike Windows which has a huge range of print driver support for all sorts including PDF.

The iText library is what developers struggle with - different pages, fonts, etc - it is a BIG technical feat... just saying :)

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  • I want to point out that what I'm proposing is actually a small feat technically; I'm not an Android developer, but I assume that it is simple enough to load a print server daemon on the device and generate a PDF from whatever it receives, then just display that PDF. – themirror Aug 23 '12 at 22:07

One idea would be to use the Kindle for Android app on your device and email the documents to your Kindle app using your Send-to-Kindle email address.

The missing link is a printer driver that sends print jobs via email. A quick search indicates that several are available. Here's a seemingly popular one for Windows.

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I'd go with a print-to-pdf driver on the Windows or Mac end, and set it up to save stuff to a Dropbox.

On the Android side, keep Dropsync or equivalent running on the Android device, auto-downloading stuff as it shows up. To get the 'instant', you'll have to set Dropsync up to check frequently, or trigger it manually.

Without writing it yourself, you are VERY unlikely to find something running on Android that pretends to be a printer - it's just not a normal thing that most people want to do.

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