In an ideal world, this post wouldn’t exist. It wouldn’t exist because I wouldn’t have a printer. All my communications with people and businesses would take place online, not requiring me to print out forms or notes, or to scan in receipts and forms I send off. But we live in a world of people who don’t think like this and because of that, I own a HP printer that has apps.

This isn’t a review of the printer itself (does duplex ADF scanning, cost me only $375 and in the 45 minutes since turning it on, it hasn’t injured anyone and it prints shit out, so it’s already good), but rather, a casual walk through the apps built in on the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dw because it amused me and I want to share this amusement with others. And because my wife is normal and doesn’t really find it interesting in the slightest so I can’t share it with her.

On the homepage of the unit’s touch screen is an app button. Naturally, that’s the first thing I did when I turned it on. What the hell sort of apps exist on a HP multifunction centre?

There’s an ABC (Australian ABC!) app. What’s it do?

It prints out a daily summary of the news. You can even schedule it to appear every day at whatever time you wish.

This is what the print out looks like.

If you have a printer this fancy and managed to turn it on and set it up, surely you know that the ABC website exists and you can read it. Or you own a smartphone or tablet and read news on that. Maybe you can print it out to take to your dying grandparent in hospital – those are about the only people who’d find it useful.

Tony Robbins, “an American motivational speaker, personal finance instructor, life coach and self-help author” has his own HP app.

Daily updates on how to improve your life. What a crock of shit.

When I turned the printer on and saw “apps”, I shouted across the house “Hey Natalie, this fucking thing has apps – let’s see if it has Angry Birds” as a sarcastic joke that she didn’t even remotely acknolwdege or appreciate. 10 minutes later I see this:

Whilst you can’t actually play Angry Birds, it’s a collection of Angry Birds themed puzzles, arts & crafts and stuff like that. I bet the primary school staff room will go bananas over it.

There’s heaps more apps, but you get the jist. Little mundane things you can print out because you live in a world where real apps on smartphones don’t exist. Daily crosswords on paper, recipies on paper, Disney colouring in bullshit on paper. If you want to see a full list of apps, ya can’t, because you have to sign up for a HP account that adds your printer to a cloud service and lets you select new apps via the HP website. Rest assured, you are not missing much.

Just think of all the smart engineers who pissed away a good part of their time working on this instead of something useful.

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