Android mini PC have come a long way, and for many use cases such as web browsing and online videos, they nearly match or even surpass the user’s experience you’ve got on a full blown PC. However, unless you’ve installed Linux on your HDMI TV stick or TV box, there were serious limitations using an Android device as a computer where you can install an office suite to create and edit text documents, spreadsheets, and presentation, and print them out. With the availability of apps such as AndrOpen Office, and the addition of printing support in Android 4.4 KitKat, it’s now possible to use Android mini PCs to create content and print documents just like in a normal PC. So if your kids need a cheap PC for their homework, you could just buy a $60 device, adding a USB keyboard and mouse, and connecting the device to an HDMI monitor.
Printing support is one of the most interesting new features in KitKat, so I planned to try this with Android 4.4 KitKat on MK908 and AndrOpen Office, but Zero Devices successfully tried Quick Office, an App by Google that allows you to work on Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, Powerpoint0, on their Z6C, also a Rockchip RK3188 device, running Android 4.4 Beta connected to a printer via Google Cloud Service.
First, you’ll need to add your printer to Cloud Print either a Cloud-Ready printer or a standard printer connected to a Windows, Mac, or Linux PC. The Google account used in your printer or PC must match the one used in your Android mini PC.
In Android, go to Settings->System->Printing, and click on Cloud Print to find and select your printer. Now you can start your open suite, in this case Quick Office, edit your document(s) and click on Print, may sure the right printer is select, adjust the page parameters, and click on Print to start printing the document.
The video below is mostly interesting at the start where it shows how to connect to the print (first 45 seconds), after we’ve got nearly 4 minutes of playing with Quick Office, before starting the printing progress at 4:19.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.