Apple may delay support for AirPrint through Macs and Windows PCs

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Last minute stability and compatibility problems with Apple's AirPrint for iOS devices may have forced the company to delay Mac and Windows support indefinitely, mitigating the impact of the much-anticipated wireless printing technology first previewed two months ago.



Apple CEO Steve Jobs first demoed the new wireless printing capabilities for iOS 4.2 on the iPad on Sept. 1, setting a November release date for the update. Two weeks later, in a press release to announce the beta version of the AirPrint feature in iOS 4.2, Apple specifically stated that AirPrint would work with shared printers on a Mac or PC.



"AirPrint is Apple?s powerful new printing architecture that matches the simplicity of iOS?no set up, no configuration, no printer drivers and no software to download," said Philip Schiller, Apple?s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the press release. "iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to an HP ePrint printer or to a printer shared on a Mac or PC."



On Tuesday, rumors arose that the AirPrint feature for printing from an iOS device to a printer connected to a Mac or PC had been canceled. AppleInsider has since confirmed that the Apple Developer site and iOS 4.2 golden master release notes no longer reference AirPrint support for Mac or Windows.



Release notes from the iOS 4.2 GM, which was released on Nov. 1, state that "iOS 4.2 devices can print wirelessly only to printers that support AirPrint and are running the latest available firmware." Prior references to printing to Mac or Windows have been removed.



5 HP printer models are now listed as "some" of the currently available printers that support AirPrint:

HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-All-in-One Printer - C410

HP Photosmart Premium e-All-in-One Printer series - C310

HP Photosmart Plus e-All-in-One Printer series - B210

HP ENVY 100 e-All-in-One Printer Series - D410

HP Photosmart eStation Printer series - C510"

On the Apple Developer forums, one developer claims that Apple Tech Support told him that "support for AirPrint on Windows and Mac has been cancelled."







The limitation of AirPrint to a select few HP printers would severely limit the usefulness of the feature, forcing most users to purchase a new printer to take advantage of it. Users, especially business users, have been greatly looking forward to the wireless printing feature, which was promised to be easy to use and to work with any printer connected to a Mac or PC, and will undoubtedly be disappointed to discover that AirPrint has been hobbled by a lack of Mac or PC support.



Adding to the confusion of whether support for the feature has been removed, developers have reported being able to print to Macs using earlier versions of Mac OS X 10.6.5 and the iOS 4.2 GM, as well as Windows PCs via the iTunes 10.1 Beta 2 for Windows, although it is unclear whether AirPrint support for Macs is still functioning in the latest Mac OS X 10.6.5 beta released Monday,.



Rumors suggest that Mac OS X 10.6.5 and iTunes 10.1 will arrive Wednesday, with iOS 4.2 coming on Friday at 10 a.m.



Though AirPrint support for Mac and PC printing may have been delayed, it's clear that Apple is committed to developing wireless printing on the iOS. In September, a batch of patent applications for Apple's AirPlay and AirPrint communications protocols hinted that the company has big plans for the wireless printing feature.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I think there may a problem with airplay as well. I can't seem to get video to play from iPad to aTV. Only the audio comes through.
  • Reply 2 of 63
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,138member
    Airprint to 5 new HP printers? Pretty well useless.
  • Reply 3 of 63
    cubertcubert Posts: 728member
    This is bad. Very, very bad. You have another 20 days, Apple. Delay releases and get it right!!!
  • Reply 4 of 63
    steve-jsteve-j Posts: 320member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Last minute stability and compatibility problems with Apple's AirPrint for iOS devices may have forced the company to delay Mac and Windows support indefinitely, mitigating the impact of the much-anticipated wireless printing technology first previewed two months ago.[ View this article at AppleInsider.com ][/c]





    These execution SNAFUs are building up. Faster and faster.



    Who's the guy below Jobs who's supposed to be keeping track of this stuff? Is it time for him to go?
  • Reply 5 of 63
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    Bummer.

    But when you think about it, these are probably new protocols, so difficulties are expected. Doesnt mean Steve will be happy. But, in the end, for the average user, this probably won't be missed that much, since a host computer must be running.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post


    These execution SNAFUs are building up. Faster and faster.



    Who's the guy below Jobs who's supposed to be keeping track of this stuff? Is it time for him to go?



    The guy in charge of iOS Software (vice president) development is Scott Forstall.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    So Steve Jobs presented a feature and now it won't make launch commitments afterall? Someone's definitely going to be held to account although hopefully this won't lead to infighting and finger pointing between the OS X and iOS teams.
  • Reply 8 of 63
    What was the problem with it? I've been using it with the betas and was actually very impressed. Printing web pages from mobile safari looked just like printing them from the desktop and printing photos from the iPhone to my photo printer came out just as well as they do from iPhoto. I can't really make any sense of this and will be very disappointed if it is cancelled for good.



    Quote:

    I think there may a problem with airplay as well. I can't seem to get video to play from iPad to aTV. Only the audio comes through.



    The problem with video through airplay is that they haven't updated the aTV to support it yet. I half expected to get an aTV update before 4.2 goes public so devs could test it, but at least expect it the same day. If not, then maybe they are still working on it and will delay the feature until the aTV update is ready.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    Why not just build on top of bonjour instead of creating a new printing protocol?



    Apple needs to stop announcing new enhancements until they can ship it the same day as the announcement. They're beginning to look incompetent. Leave that to the other Steve.



    I hope this is but a rumor.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    So Steve Jobs presented a feature and now it won't make launch commitments afterall? Someone's definitely going to be held to account although hopefully this won't lead to infighting and finger pointing between the OS X and iOS teams.



    The feature is there but you need a compatible printer. Personally, I think without universal network printing it is not that useful.
  • Reply 11 of 63
    I'm using the GM and AirPrint works fine for me with an HP printer shared from my Windows 7 box. This is a newer HP all-in-one, but it does NOT support ePrint.



    So I think this is either overblown, or completely false.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    The feature is there but you need a compatible printer. Personally, I think without universal network printing this thing is not that useful.



    Well the feature would be pretty limited if the supported list of printers are only those newer printers built with AirPrint in mind and not those shared by Macs and PCs. Hopefully those rapid additional builds of 10.6.5 released in the last week were meant to fix the issue rather than delay support for Mac AirPrint sharing as is being reported here.
  • Reply 13 of 63
    "...mitigating..."? Really?



    In fairness to the AI reporting paradigm, canceling a publicly announced "powerful and new printing architecture" deserves lead paragraph phrasing with at least some kind of edge.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    Bummer.

    But when you think about it, these are probably new protocols, so difficulties are expected. Doesnt mean Steve will be happy. But, in the end, for the average user, this probably won't be missed that much, since a host computer must be running.



    This is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say.



    The main feature of iOS 4.2 on the iPHone is the print feature. It's the main new feature for cripes sake. If it only runs on the five newest HP printers that's going to mean that 99.995% or better of everyone with an iPhone *won't* be able to print.



    If the main feature of the new OS version is going to be essentially a no-show, then the release of the update should be delayed until it's ready.



    Besides, as someone said above, this is hardly the only time Apple has screwed up lately. They have been screwing up on execution left right and centre ever since they started to take off a few years ago. The kind of delays and missed deadlines that would get Steve Jobs irate (and maybe get you fired for most of Apple's history), seem to be "par for the course" nowadays. It's sad IMO.



    I just un-boxed a new 11" MacBook Air this afternoon and the bottom case moves back and forth (relative to the top part), by whole millimetres when you squeeze it. It's a minor thing, but for an Apple product? There used to be a time when stuff like that wouldn't leave an Apple factory, now it's just shovel whatever out the door and deal with the complaints later.
  • Reply 15 of 63
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,576member
    This whole AirPrint thing has me confused. Do I need OSX 10.6.5, iTunes 10.1, and iOS 4.2 for it to work with a shared printer?



    I'm currently running iOS 4.2, 10.6.4, and the latest iTunes 10.1 beta and my iPhone 4 can't see either one of my shared printers.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 17 of 63
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JohnnyKrz View Post


    The problem with video through airplay is that they haven't updated the aTV to support it yet. I half expected to get an aTV update before 4.2 goes public so devs could test it, but at least expect it the same day. If not, then maybe they are still working on it and will delay the feature until the aTV update is ready.



    It works fine from iMac to aTV just not from iPad
  • Reply 18 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post


    Bummer.

    But when you think about it, these are probably new protocols, so difficulties are expected. Doesnt mean Steve will be happy. But, in the end, for the average user, this probably won't be missed that much, since a host computer must be running.



    I don't care if Steve's happy or not. I, the customer, am not happy and it's all that counts!
  • Reply 19 of 63
    Looks like a big CF in the making. Seems to me that the best and easiest *initial* implementation would simply be to use Bonjour and a robust generic postscript ppd. No need for a million different printer drivers - Bonjour would identify any postscript printers attached to a WiFi network, and print to the IP address passed back to the iDevice, with the language instructions in the single ppd. Easy.
  • Reply 20 of 63
    That's because the Apple TV hasn't been updated to work with it yet.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    I think there may a problem with airplay as well. I can't seem to get video to play from iPad to aTV. Only the audio comes through.



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