Apple iPad, iPhone OS 4 appear set to gain direct printing support

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple has hinted at the prospect for direct printing from the iPad in its support documents for iWork apps, suggesting the feature may appear as part of iPhone OS 4.0.



Support pages for iPad's Pages, Keynote, and Numbers apps each note that "printing directly from iPad is not currently available," rather than simply stating that the apps do not print.



For now, Apple directs users to send their documents to a desktop computer that can print them, either via email or using iPad's new File Sharing feature in iTunes.



The ability to print via Bluetooth or WiFi may likely be part of Apple's iPhone 4.0 announcement on Thursday. Apple could avoid the need to include the massive amounts of (often buggy) printer drivers used by Windows or Mac OS X by simply supporting a limited subset of printing options.



Other details related to iPad's new hardware, its new Human Interface Guidelines, and its new feature tweaks (and curious feature omissions) will be considered in tomorrow's "In-depth review of iPad and iPhone OS 3.2."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    Yeah! Just what I was thinking of today. When I get my iPad this will be important.



    As soon as the new Ubuntu comes out I'm dual booting my HP computer because I'm tired of Vista. Having print support means I won't need to turn on my desktop computer, send myself an e-mail and then use Vista to print things. I'm sure Ubuntu will have all the drivers I'll need for printing, but at first I might not have the right one. I'll be able to print things immediately. I'll be getting my iPad sometime in June so the new OS might be out by then.
  • Reply 2 of 85
    ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    I'm not a developer (or even a power user), so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.



    Is it possible that Apple will be treating the printer driver as a second app? Perhaps one that detects the printer, loads the driver then prints the document.



    If so, perhaps they need to wait for iPhone OS 4 so that other apps will be able to take advantage of it.
  • Reply 3 of 85
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    I'm not a developer (or even a power user), so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.



    Is it possible that Apple will be treating the printer driver as a second app? Perhaps one that detects the printer, loads the driver then prints the document.



    If so, perhaps they need to wait for iPhone OS 4 so that other apps will be able to take advantage of it.





    What's that old saying, 'The only stupid question is the one that is not asked.' or is it 'There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers!' and since I am not a developer and would be of no help answering any computer question with the slightest degree of technicality, I'll save my stupid answer to myself.
  • Reply 4 of 85
    I'm particularly excited about iAd myself. Think about this: a running ad bar service is that is on the top or bottom of the iDevice (lord knows that there's plenty of space on the iPad), constantly letting you know about other apps that are similar to ones you've bought previously. That's pretty cool.



    You could take it further and have the entire background have 3-D ads, kind of like the city in Blade Runner or MInority Report. It would be like having the future RIGHT IN YOUR HANDS.



    And then I suppose you could take it even further by looking at that giant app database, or your 3G cellphone data tower, or whatever, and start putting in regular click ads into the mix that are targeted specifically to you based on your demographics. No more having stupid mortgage ads constantly pop up on web pages that don't interest me! Just like Minority Report, again.



    The future is a wonderful place.
  • Reply 5 of 85
    bongobongo Posts: 158member
    I was wondering what that was all about - Apple hasn't had much love for Bonjour of late, but just last week they pushed out the update.
  • Reply 6 of 85
    My understanding is that the iPad will only work with Apple's Bluetooth Keyboard... (don't have my own iPad yet - but my 3G is on order)... a nice enhancement would be support for ANY bluetooth keyboard.



    IMHO - more and more "full sized computer" features will be slowly added over time until, eventually, you have a simple full-featured device my 65 year old mom can finally use.
  • Reply 7 of 85
    It's inconceivable to offer a word app like Pages, on a device like the iPad, and not offer support for printing. To paraphrase another forum user, it's a basic business requirement to be able to print when connected to a network; also pretty basic to be able to print from within a business-related application like Safari, Mail or Pages.



    Not only is this is a major omission for the iPad, but the problem with third party apps is that they're all a cheap substitute for the main app (i.e. close the business app, open and view the document in the printing app and then send it to print).



    As for Apple directing users to send their documents via email, you lose all formatting, text wrap, etc. when this is done. http://discussions.apple.com/thread....7133&tstart=15
  • Reply 8 of 85
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by LTMP View Post


    I'm not a developer (or even a power user), so please forgive me if this is a stupid question.



    Is it possible that Apple will be treating the printer driver as a second app? Perhaps one that detects the printer, loads the driver then prints the document.



    If so, perhaps they need to wait for iPhone OS 4 so that other apps will be able to take advantage of it.



    This response is equally just a guess, but I would think that it would be a new API released in 4.0 that would allow the printing to be enabled through all apps including directly in Apple's own iWork apps. This would mean not that there is another app, just another piece of code developers could include into their apps to enable this.



    Written on my iPad
  • Reply 9 of 85
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FormerARSgm View Post


    My understanding is that the iPad will only work with Apple's Bluetooth Keyboard... (don't have my own iPad yet - but my 3G is on order)... a nice enhancement would be support for ANY bluetooth keyboard.



    IMHO - more and more "full sized computer" features will be slowly added over time until, eventually, you have a simple full-featured device my 65 year old mom can finally use.



    Any Bluetooth keyboard will work. This has been tested and confirmed with logitech and Microsoft keyboards. If it's Bluetooth, it should work.
  • Reply 10 of 85
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,185member
    HP has a nice solution for printing photos and such to their printers. I wouldn't have been surprised to see something like that if multi-tasking was not a part of 4. One of the nice things about 4.x is Apple has the opportunity to move its CUPS printing model to the iPhone along with other goodies like a printer monitor.



    Printing support will take some support from app developers but it should not be huge for most apps. I would expect that drivers will have to be added through your host computer (although possible to directly download from iTunes like the app store it would open a security hole that could be used for malicious payloads). The security issues are far from nil when opening up printing along with battery usage.
  • Reply 11 of 85
    damn_its_hotdamn_its_hot Posts: 1,185member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post


    This would mean not that there is another app, just another piece of code developers could include into their apps to enable this.



    True for the developers end that they will just connect the app view drawing routines to the new API's and the draw a modified version for printing but it will require at least one new app from Apple even if ran faceless - plus all the system support things like a popup for printing and options and page setup.



    I would not be at all surprised to see page setup additions with the other system stuff and then a spooler to your local machine - otherwise we will need discovery capabilities via Bonjour or something else and then the ability to select printers and authenticate, etc.
  • Reply 12 of 85
    My first thought when I saw Apple had added the ability for iPhone apps to create PDFs in OS 3.2 was that it'd be great for printing, in that a printer manufacturer could create a PDF printing app or at the very least I can just mail the PDF for anyone to print!



    Of course, the iWork apps for iPad uses the PDF support as an export option, but still, I wouldn't be surprised if the PDF support turned out to be key to printing.
  • Reply 13 of 85
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 716member
    I would be surprised to see if Apple didn't include this in os 4.0.



    Something along the lines of Vuescan, which is a terrific scan driver for hundreds of scanners.
  • Reply 14 of 85
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    I'd rather have threaded e-mail or an SMS client that retries when sending an SMS fails.
  • Reply 15 of 85
    As much as I want this feature, this seems like some pretty aggressive tea leaf reading.



    Have there been other hints the good folks at AI have received and this is just a way to keep things under wraps?
  • Reply 16 of 85
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,647member
    I've got a program that prints from my iPhone. There is a new version for the iPad as well. It's actually a Universal version. It does a lot more than print.



    It's called PrintCentral. Yes, it costs, $9.99. They have simpler, cheaper versions as well. But this really works well.



    http://mobile.eurosmartz.com/products/printcentral.html



    So if Apple doesn't get printing off the ground, this is a good choice. There are a bunch of interesting productivity programs coming out for the iPad. You can see programs here:



    http://appshopper.com/



    What's interesting about the site, for those who like to keep track, is that they keep running totals of iPhone and now, iPad app totals in the app store. There are now 178,977 iPhone apps, and 3382 iPad apps.
  • Reply 17 of 85
    ihxoihxo Posts: 562member
    I don't have a printer
  • Reply 18 of 85
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    I think this feature is a game winner. I recommended the iPad to my mother in law the other day, then retracted. Her big things, like may others, include email, web, viewing word documents and printing stuff.



    With this, I can recommend yet again.
  • Reply 19 of 85
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Direct printing support would go a long way in paving the way for an iPad in the hands of every student.
  • Reply 20 of 85
    bigdaddypbigdaddyp Posts: 811member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I've got a program that prints from my iPhone. There is a new version for the iPad as well. It's actually a Universal version. It does a lot more than print.



    It's called PrintCentral. Yes, it costs, $9.99. They have simpler, cheaper versions as well. But this really works well.



    http://mobile.eurosmartz.com/products/printcentral.html



    So if Apple doesn't get printing off the ground, this is a good choice. There are a bunch of interesting productivity programs coming out for the iPad. You can see programs here:



    http://appshopper.com/



    What's interesting about the site, for those who like to keep track, is that they keep running totals of iPhone and now, iPad app totals in the app store. There are now 178,977 iPhone apps, and 3382 iPad apps.



    Ahhhhhh the mods are spamming!



    Just kidding! I will have to try Printcentral.
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