[Tips] Printing and tranferring files (using apps)


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Jan 30, 2012
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Norcross, GA - USA
There are quite a few options for moving pasting cutting and copying files to and from your Android Phone. This is a mini guide. I am intentionally leaving out a direct connection due to the number of people who have problems with connecting to a PC and I am not a fan of Kies either. though for many people it works just fine. These are alternatives. (These suggestions also work for Android Tablets)

Best long term and easiest solution for some:

Purchase a microSD card, If the purpose is to transfer files it doesn't need to be especially big, fast or expensive but make certain it's a brand name purchased from a reputable source. Some microSD cards can be purchased with a USB card reader in a bundle if you don't have a card reader in your computer.

Apps for file management from your computer:

WiFi File Explorer
and WiFi File Transfer and AirDroid are only 3 of the apps, (all free), that will allow you to browse your phone from your computer and will allow you to transfer files in both directions.

File managers on your Android Phone:

ES File Explorer is my personal favorite though the default file manager will get the job done. It has the ability, (along with other file managers) to browse a share on your computer or network and allows you to cut/copy/paste individual or groups of files, (multi select), in either direction. You must have a share on your computer for this to work. I think ES File Explorer is the easiest, especially if you have a fixed IP address for your computers.

The cloud option:

I have more cloud storage available on my Phone than I could possibly use, over 65GB. The single most useful way to do this is by getting DropBox. a 2GB account is free, but other free options with various amounts of free storage include, Cubby (from the LogMeIn people), Box.net (BOX on the Google Store), and Google, (Drive), Docs are just a few options. What I like about DropBox is that a stub is installed on my computers and anything I put into the DropBox folder becomes available very quickly on my phone and the same goes for sending files, (through "share") from the phone). Box.net and SugarSync are other similar apps

Another option:

I have an app on my S3 from Wyse Technology called Pocket Cloud Explore. This also requires a small program install on my computers. With Pocket Cloud Explorer I have access to ALL the data on my 3 computers in my office anywhere I have an Internet connection. I can open docs on my desktop computers and save them on my phone.

Hope this makes things a little easier and/or more flexible for some of you.


So, you want to print! Piece of cake!

You have a lot of options so you need to choose which 1 or possibly 2, you will use. I'll explain how, and why.

Google Cloud Print

The most flexible way to print from an Android phone or tablet, is to use Google Cloud Print. It requires 2 things. You first need an app on your phone (or tablet) called.......Cloud Print, which can be found here. You will also need Google Chrome installed on a computer. Chrome does not need to be running for it to work. Make certain you are signed in to Chrome using the same account you used on your phone. In Chrome, click on the wrench then settings then advanced at the bottom to set up Cloud Print on your system.

Go here to set up what will for most be the classic printers and follow the instructions.

So, what will this accomplish? You will be able to print to nearly all the printers on the system Chrome is installed on, from anywhere you have an Internet connection. Cool huh? But some people have an issue with sending the print job to the cloud first, which is going to happen even if you're setting next to the printer. But it works. The computer Chrome is install on must have access to the printers you want to use, that's all there is to it.


PrinterShare will allow you to print to virtually all of the printers connected to your network when you are in the same location, without going into the cloud first. There is a free version of PrinterShare here, just to make certain it works. You will be able to print test pages to your printer(s) before having to shell out $12.95 for the full feature key, which can be found here. So, you ask, why spend the $12.95? Several reasons, though the big one is that it allows you to print to other people's printers when you are at their home or office. I have used PrinterShare to print to network attached printers at many of my customer's offices. And it works well. PrinterShare will also allow you to print to CloudPrint and has the ability to locate nearby printers, wired, wireless and/or blue tooth. Beyond that, many people have noticed that the included G-Mail app does not have the SHARE function, so printing cannot be achieved. PrinterShare can access your GMail, Calendar, Contact and Documents (if you grant it permission) to allow it to print to local or cloud printers. For other types of accounts, you are still out of luck because the, (Stock), E-Mail app does not have a share option either. Some other mail clients do have a share option to allow printing if you need it.

An app very similar to PrinterShare is PrintBot. Found here. It also has a full "Pro" key for only $4.99 and the free version, as with PrinterShare is for testing. Though PrintBot works, it isn't quite as flexible nor does it appear to support as many printers as PrinterShare.


Most of the major printer companies have free apps on the Google Store, like Epson, HP, (mostly for printing photos) and others so it pays to do a search on the Store to see if your brand is listed. There is no guarantee that if you have an Epson printer that their printer app will work but since the app is free it's worth a shot. These can be very handy if you have a mulit-function printer as some of these apps will allow you to print as well as scan from your tablet.

PrinterShare has been on sale several time on the Amazon Stores so you could get lucky. I prefer having 2 options. Cloud Print makes it simple to print to your printers from anywhere you have a connection, but apps like PrinterShare add the ability to print to other printers and if it's a WiFi printer it doesn't even need to be connected to a local computer. Be aware that even PrinterShare will fail to be able to print to some more sophisticated office printers but I have had good luck with it.