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Inside AirPrint wireless printing with Apple's iOS 4.2

post #1 of 47
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Wireless printing finally comes to the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this November, and AppleInsider offers a closer look at the feature in its current state in the first iOS 4.2 beta.

Developers were given their first taste of printing in iOS 4.2 with the software's beta release on Wednesday. And with it, details of how the process works have been revealed.

Users invoke printing options in iOS 4.2 through a selection that is available in a navigation bar or toolbar. Tapping the button gives options, such as what printer to send the document to and how many copies should be printed.

iOS 4.2 also supports more advanced options, such as a range of pages to print, or single-sided or double-sided printing on compatible printers.

On the iPad, these options are presented through a popover, as is common in the device's user interface. On an iPhone or iPod touch, a full-screen list of printer options is displayed.

The status of an active print job can also be viewed in the Print Center button through the multitasking tray. Users simply press the home button twice to select Print Center, which automatically runs in the background on iOS 4.2.



The Print Center icon is only available when a print job is in progress. If the user is not printing anything, the icon will not appear as the task is not running.

Print Center can queue multiple print jobs at once. Selecting it when items are waiting to be printed can offer a range of options, including the ability to cancel a job before it it sent to the printer. Selecting a job offers a summary, including the status, time sent, and other details.



Other details of AirPrint:

Printing is only available on iOS devices that support multitasking. That means the iPhone 3G will not allow for wireless printing.
Multiple applications can submit multiple print jobs, and they will simply all end up in the Print Center queue.
An iOS device has one queue for all print jobs, regardless of the originating application or destination printer.
Print Order in the iPad multitasking bar. Screenshot via Apple documentation.
To print from a shared printer, developers must currently have the latest beta of Mac OS X 10.6.5 installed.
Devices running the current iOS 4.2 beta can print to a handful of printers that support iOS printing, including the HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-all-in-One Printer (model C410); HP Photosmart Premium e-all-in-one Printer series (model C310); and HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One Printer series (model B210).
Print Summary in the iPad multitasking bar. Screenshot via Apple documentation.

iOS 4.2 is set for release in November for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. It will also bring multitasking and folders -- features that already exist for newer iPhone and iPod touch models -- to the iPad.

Apple also announced Wednesday that AirPrint will be supported directly by a number of HP printers that support ePrint, including devices in the Photosmart, Photojet, Officejet Pro and Laserjet Pro series. Those devices will allow direct printing without the need for any drivers or additional software.

Printer options popover on iPad. Screenshot via Apple documentation.
post #2 of 47
looks pretty slick. I do agree that hp or whoever should come out with a small wifi or 3g tetherable mobile printer for use on the road. Maybe even plug it into a car cigarette lighter jack.
post #3 of 47
I sure hope this also works with HP PhotoSmart C309a (aka cc335A)!!!

This printer does work with HP iPrint 3.0 today, strangely the scanner feature does not work with this printer, even though it has a scanner!
post #4 of 47
Kindof ironic that a feature like printing, that isn't supposed to require the installation of any printer drivers requires that you install a completely new operating system to print!

I would hope that they don't require that in the release.

It doesn't look good for being able to print to a bonjour device attached to a PowerPC-based Mac.

post #5 of 47
Hi!

Have you tested it on AirPort stations or TimeCapsule shared printers? Does it work?

Regards

Miguel Arroz
post #6 of 47
This is very nicely implemented! Could be huge (for me).
post #7 of 47
I'd like to see a list of compatible printers. I've checked both Apple and HP web sites and seen little other than the four that HP is currently pushing as new purchases.

I have a seven-year-old HP PSC-2510 that prints wonderfully and wirelessly from the HP Print app for iPhone and iPad, and OS X. It would be nice to know if this will be incorporated into 4.2's Print Center as well, or if I'm going to have to buy a new printer (because for my wife, printing from her iPad is the killer app).
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arroz View Post

Hi!

Have you tested it on AirPort stations or TimeCapsule shared printers? Does it work?

Regards

Miguel Arroz

My C5280 didn't work through Time Capsule.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reaperducer View Post

I'd like to see a list of compatible printers. I've checked both Apple and HP web sites and seen little other than the four that HP is currently pushing as new purchases.

I have a seven-year-old HP PSC-2510 that prints wonderfully and wirelessly from the HP Print app for iPhone and iPad, and OS X. It would be nice to know if this will be incorporated into 4.2's Print Center as well, or if I'm going to have to buy a new printer (because for my wife, printing from her iPad is the killer app).

I am sure they will once iOS 4.2 final is officially released. It is still in beta 1. I've been using HP iPrint for a while and it works great in many situations.
post #10 of 47
This better work with bonjour. If it doesn't I'm gonna be pissed. If I have to buy a special printer I would not be a very happy camper. I am sure that Airport Extreme can be firmware updated to support printing from iDevices even if the printer itself does not support it.


At least they are not restricting printing to iPad only.
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post #11 of 47
I don’t know about anyone else but I wonder if a proper systemwide Services menu might be the best longterm option for iOS. Of course, first things first, let’s get basic printing working, then a new Notification System in iOS 5.0, and if they have time get a systemwide Service menu.
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post #12 of 47
What are the bug fixes for 4.2?
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmanke View Post

Kindof ironic that a feature like printing, that isn't supposed to require the installation of any printer drivers requires that you install a completely new operating system to print!

I would hope that they don't require that in the release.

It doesn't look good for being able to print to a bonjour device attached to a PowerPC-based Mac.


Maybe, though if they can make it work to a shared windows printer somehow one would only hope they'll extend that feature to PPC Macs running 10.5. Good luck if you run Tiger or Panther though, doubt they'll stretch that far back.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

This better work with bonjour. If it doesn't I'm gonna be pissed. If I have to buy a special printer I would not be a very happy camper. I am sure that Airport Extreme can be firmware updated to support printing from iDevices even if the printer itself does not support it.
.

Agree. Great if specific printers have built in software(ala airplay etc) for AirPrint.

BUT, seem like a better explaination is needed for somethings, perhaps I missed it in the article, but just wasn't clear to me, if so, I apologize.

What if the printer is networked(hard or wireless),
What if the printer is hooked directly to a PC.
Is this all Bonjour?
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post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hezetation View Post

Maybe, though if they can make it work to a shared windows printer somehow one would only hope they'll extend that feature to PPC Macs running 10.5. Good luck if you run Tiger or Panther though, doubt they'll stretch that far back.

Tiger is a (very) slight possibility, I think. Panther, no way.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

My C5280 didn't work through Time Capsule.

Can't think of any reason a firmware update can't fix this though, only makes sense.
post #17 of 47
AAPL over 270 YEAAAHHH! Must be the iPad wireless printing
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post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post

Agree. Great if specific printers have built in software(ala airplay etc) for AirPrint.

BUT, seem like a better explaination is needed for somethings, perhaps I missed it in the article, but just wasn't clear to me, if so, I apologize.

What if the printer is networked(hard or wireless),
What if the printer is hooked directly to a PC.
Is this all Bonjour?

printer drivers take a lot of disc space, I very much doubt it will work with bonjour printing since that requires loading a driver to the device. It appears Apple & HP are actually toying around in a new space, one where a job is sent to a printer without need for a driver, simply sent using an agreed upon communication standard.

This is actually quite intriguing since one of the biggest headaches of printer compatibility with systems is poorly written or broken drivers (especially on Windows). Imagine a world where you simply add a printer to your system, no driver installs or anything, and it just magically works! Why isn't this getting more press?
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

My C5280 didn't work through Time Capsule.

Not a good sign!!
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

I sure hope this also works with HP PhotoSmart C309a (aka cc335A)!!!

Dunno. Isn't that always the rub? So few supported devices/format/codecs/etc.?
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont know about anyone else but I wonder if a proper systemwide Services menu might be the best longterm option for iOS. Of course, first things first, lets get basic printing working, then a new Notification System in iOS 5.0, and if they have time get a systemwide Service menu.

launchd?

.
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post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

launchd?

.

Was thinking something more user friendly like this
http://releasecandidateone.com/221:a...enu_for_iphone
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post #23 of 47
Printing on iOS doesn't use any drivers. It is also compatible with ALLL printers that you can connect to your computer. It works using the printer sharing option in OS X. It didn't work for me at first but after enabling printer sharing on my iMac it shows all the "printers" on my iMac including Adobe Acrobat 9.



You can see its the same list, but it also shows my other printer as "1TB Time Capsule" (that its connected to

post #24 of 47
It's nice to see printing come to iOS for those who need it, but to be honest I can't remember the last time my printer was even turned on.

At the software company I worked for 10 years ago we had a ratio of one network printer per 15 employees yet it was common to find your print job stuck in a queue.

The company I work for now has one printer for all 50 employees and it's a special day when it produces more than 10 pages. I think the last time we purchased printer paper was 2008.
post #25 of 47
[QUOTE=crisss1205;1714945]Printing on iOS doesn't use any drivers. It is also compatible with ALLL printers that you can connect to your computer. It works using the printer sharing option in OS X. It didn't work for me at first but after enabling printer sharing on my iMac it shows all the "printers" on my iMac including Adobe Acrobat 9.



You can see its the same list, but it also shows my other printer as "1TB Time Capsule" (that its connected to )


What about a printer connected to an AE?
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmanke View Post

Kindof ironic that a feature like printing, that isn't supposed to require the installation of any printer drivers requires that you install a completely new operating system to print!

I would hope that they don't require that in the release.

It doesn't look good for being able to print to a bonjour device attached to a PowerPC-based Mac.


What the he'll are you talking about? Of course you have to install printer drivers to get a print working. HP however would have been working with Apple to get their printers working natively because HP are common printers. Other printers are setup using shared printing which means the shared computer is acting as a print server so will handle the communications with the printer instead of the iOS device.
post #27 of 47
This will be great for my iphone 3gs (4.1) when i have to print the PDF's that my professors send me.
post #28 of 47
[QUOTE=digitalclips;1714967]
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisss1205 View Post

Printing on iOS doesn't use any drivers. It is also compatible with ALLL printers that you can connect to your computer. It works using the printer sharing option in OS X. It didn't work for me at first but after enabling printer sharing on my iMac it shows all the "printers" on my iMac including Adobe Acrobat 9.



You can see its the same list, but it also shows my other printer as "1TB Time Capsule" (that its connected to )


What about a printer connected to an AE?

It should work since that printer is connected to my TC using USB. The AEs and TCs are pretty much the same.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisss1205 View Post

Printing on iOS doesn't use any drivers. It is also compatible with ALLL printers that you can connect to your computer. It works using the printer sharing option in OS X. It didn't work for me at first but after enabling printer sharing on my iMac it shows all the "printers" on my iMac including Adobe Acrobat 9.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1053190/Scre...49.16%20PM.png

You can see its the same list, but it also shows my other printer as "1TB Time Capsule" (that its connected to

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1053190/Scre...49.16-PM-2.png

What if I want to have it be wireless through airport? Would that work. I only have laptops at home and keeping one stationed just to print is not an option.

Also is it possible to hit print and have the job sit there until you get home and once the device detects the printer it simply prints it out, or do you have to be on a network with a printer before you can actually send the job to a print queue?
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post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by crisss1205 View Post

Printing on iOS doesn't use any drivers. It is also compatible with ALLL printers that you can connect to your computer. It works using the printer sharing option in OS X.

This is a bit disappointing since I have a networked Postscript printer that worked flawlessly from the Print Magic HD app.

Why should I have to share it through my computer which isn't always on.

Hopefully the Print APIs will allows these apps to update and fill in the gap.
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

What if I want to have it be wireless through airport? Would that work. I only have laptops at home and keeping one stationed just to print is not an option.

Also is it possible to hit print and have the job sit there until you get home and once the device detects the printer it simply prints it out, or do you have to be on a network with a printer before you can actually send the job to a print queue?

When you hit print it will search for printers on the network. It doesn't keep your printer in memory like a computer would. This is good in some way because there is no setup required. You can just walk into any building with a printer on the network and print. (if it's shares)

I'm not exactly sure how Apple will tackle this limitation. It looks like your computer has to be on and connected to a printer to work. If I turn off printer sharing on my iMac it will say "No Printers Found" on the iPad when I try to hit print.

The only way to print without printer sharing is to use an HP ePrint printer.

Quote:
Test with a printer that supports AirPrint
HP ePrint printers are the first to support AirPrint. You can test printing from your app to one of these printers:

HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One Printer series - C410
HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One Printer series - C310
HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One Printer series- B210
post #32 of 47
I've got my iMac on 10.6.5 (the beta that was issued with ios 4.2) and a shared Brother DCP-7010L on that Mac. It shows up on my iPad with ios 4.2b1, but all print jobs just hang there, sometimes showing to be preparing page 2 of 2, but nothing ever is printed - it simply doesn't work. I thought _any_ printer shared through a Mac with 10.6.5 would be supported. Alas, it seems this feature a) isn't quite ready yet or b) doesn't work with _all_ printers (the Brother uses CUPS). Currently, I'm not impressed (yet).
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by fryke View Post

I've got my iMac on 10.6.5 (the beta that was issued with ios 4.2) and a shared Brother DCP-7010L on that Mac. It shows up on my iPad with ios 4.2b1, but all print jobs just hang there, sometimes showing to be preparing page 2 of 2, but nothing ever is printed - it simply doesn't work. I thought _any_ printer shared through a Mac with 10.6.5 would be supported. Alas, it seems this feature a) isn't quite ready yet or b) doesn't work with _all_ printers (the Brother uses CUPS). Currently, I'm not impressed (yet).

And you thought otherwise of a beta OS on both platforms?
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post

I sure hope this also works with HP PhotoSmart C309a (aka cc335A)!!!

This printer does work with HP iPrint 3.0 today, strangely the scanner feature does not work with this printer, even though it has a scanner!

I've got the C309g, but I haven't tried the scanner feature. I will consider myself one lucky mofo if it just so happens that Apple supports my printer in its first iOS printing run.
post #35 of 47
Like many others have found, iPrint just works, it doesn't need a machine switched on to print.

It found my photo printer attached to Time Capsule, it found my PSC6210 attached to a 175X print server. Neat.

Looks like Docs to Go will have to do the heavy lifting, I only have a 3G :-(..
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I've got the C309g, but I haven't tried the scanner feature. I will consider myself one lucky mofo if it just so happens that Apple supports my printer in its first iOS printing run.

Bad news -- just installed 4.2b on my iPad and the C309 han not been recognized

Eras3r
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eras3r View Post

Bad news -- just installed 4.2b on my iPad and the C309 han not been recognized

Eras3r

Does your C309 work with the HP ePrint app?
post #38 of 47
I don't understand why printing is such an issue for iPad.

Wouldn't it just have been easier to make the iPad compatible with the Wi-Fi Direct standard?

This standard was supposed to make printing easier for laptop-equipped offices, hotels, schools etc. Where is it?

Why is Apple building different printing technologies into the Mac and iOS?
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post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

I don't understand why printing is such an issue for iPad.

Wouldn't it just have been easier to make the iPad compatible with the Wi-Fi Direct standard?

This standard was supposed to make printing easier for laptop-equipped offices, hotels, schools etc. Where is it?

Why is Apple building different printing technologies into the Mac and iOS?

Doesnt that service also require the primary device to have all the appropriate printer drivers for that printer? I thought that was the primary benefit of Apples solution.
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post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Doesn’t that service also require the primary device to have all the appropriate printer drivers for that printer? I thought that was the primary benefit of Apple’s solution.

Beat me to it. Even if Wi-Fi Direct could provide for dynamic loading of drivers, I believe Apple's solution allows for pretty much everything to reside on the printer (in the case of the ePrint implementation, with presumably more manufacturers shortly to come on board).

Reading around the web, it appears that there are other solutions that do provide this functionality, have no idea if Apple's version has any advantages beyond Apple branding (or if, indeed, "AirPrint" is just a rebranding of an existing solution, as is their Bonjour discovery service).

One question I would love to see answered is if AirPrint functionality can be implemented as a firmware upgrade on existing network capable printers. If so, there's little to keep it from being widely adopted, and I think the printer manufacturers know that there are enough iOS devices out there to make it a reasonable selling point.
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