Inside AirPrint wireless printing with Apple's iOS 4.2

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 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.
  • Reply 2 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!
  • Reply 3 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.



  • Reply 4 of 47
    Hi!



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



    Regards



    Miguel Arroz
  • Reply 5 of 47
    This is very nicely implemented! Could be huge (for me).
  • Reply 6 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).
  • Reply 7 of 47
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,166member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 47
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    What are the bug fixes for 4.2?
  • Reply 12 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.
  • Reply 13 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?
  • Reply 14 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.
  • Reply 15 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.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,251member
    AAPL over 270 YEAAAHHH! Must be the iPad wireless printing
  • Reply 17 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?
  • Reply 18 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    My C5280 didn't work through Time Capsule.



    Not a good sign!!
  • Reply 19 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.?
  • Reply 20 of 47
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    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.



    launchd?



    .
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