Category Archives: iOS

How to Find AirPrint Printers for the iPad

AirPrint Printers

AirPrint is an iOS feature that lets you print wirelessly from your iPad or iPhone. It’s a great feature that has got better each year – because the range of wireless printers that support it has grown substantially.

By now there are thousands of printers that support AirPrint, including printers from 24 leading manufacturers. That number has grown from 15 in just the last year – and includes major brands like HP, Epson, Lexmark, Canon, Brother, Dell and lots more.

It’s very easy to find printers that support AirPrint. Here are some of the best ways:

— Check this Apple support page that lists all current AirPrint printers from all the different vendors.

— Look for confirmation of AirPrint support when buying in an online store, or just ask a salesperson in a retail outlet.

— Visit Apple’s online store and their AirPrint Printers section.The wireless printers there start at right around $100.

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AirPlay Multitasking: All iPad Video Apps Should Have This

iPad AirPlay Multitasking

Last night I noticed a friend’s mention on Google+ that the HBO Go app now supports AirPlay Multitasking. As in, you can be streaming your HBO content from your iPad to a big TV via Apple TV and at the same time switch away from the HBO Go app and do other things on the iPad.

This could also be referred to as the ability for AirPlay, with full audio AND video, to work in the background. I’m not an HBO subscriber – but seeing this feature added to their app made me curious about how many iPad video apps support it.

My quick round of testing today shows that only about 50% of video apps for iPad support AirPlay Multitasking – with full video. This is a relatively small sample of course, but I tested 16 video apps out on my iPad 3 and iPad mini and found that the following apps do not support AirPlay Multitasking:

Epic Rap Battles of History, Frequency, Watchup, CNN, History, Video Time Machine, ABC News, BrainPop Jr

Here’s the good news – these apps do offer support for AirPlay Multitasking:

MLB At Bat, TED, YouTube, iTunes, Concert Vault, PBS, Squrl, ShowYou

The multitasking ability is a huge plus for many of us who are often dividing our focus between two screens. I spend parts of many evenings watching something on TV while also playing an iPad game or checking social networks, or even taking review notes. It’s great to be able to do that while viewing (often better) content via AirPlay.

I think all iPad video apps should add support for AirPlay Multitasking. What do you all think? Is this feature important to you?

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AirPrint – How to Find Compatible Printers

AirPrint

AirPrint, the ability to print wirelessly from the iPad and iOS devices, is one of the great features of using iOS devices. Some of the most commonly asked questions about AirPrint are all about whether it will work with a specific printer.

The good news is that Apple provides good, clear information on exactly which printers are supported by AirPrint. The even better news is that the list has grown tremendously over the last 6-12 months and now includes well over 500 printers from 15 different manufacturers. Here are the 15 leading printer manufacturers who have printers on the AirPrint supported list:

Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Fuji Xerox, Gestetner, Hewlett Packard, Infotec, Lanier, Lenovo, Lexmark, NRG, Ricoh, Samsung Savin

You can see the full list of AirPrint supported printers on Apple’s AirPrint Basics page.

Here are a few more useful things to be aware of in regard to AirPrint:

— Some printers on the supported list will need a firmware update to become AirPrint-enabled. Check the manufacturer’s website for available firmware updates and details.

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Updates to iOS and iCloud: More Important than New iPads This Year

iOS 6

I love a shiny new device as much as the next guy. Probably a heck of a lot more than the next guy when it comes to a new iPad. So I’m as enthusiastic as anyone about the possibility of Apple change their release cycle for the iPad to twice a year and bringing us more new iPads this year. A lighter, thinner standard iPad this year sounds great, an iPad mini with a retina display – even greater.

But I read something this morning that served as a great reminder that the best thing about the iPad is not the hardware or ever-improving processors and displays, or any hardware specs. It’s the software that drives the iPad that has always been, and will always be, one of the most critical factors in making it a great device. And it’s the software side of things that currently needs the most attention – as Rene Ritchie at iMore points out very eloquently.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’re going to be seeing a ton of rumors and leaks, real and fake, about the new iPhones and iPads and other devices Apple is thinking about for this spring and fall. None of them will be as important to Apple, to us, or to the future of Apple’s mobile platforms as iOS 7 and iCloud this summer.

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Stupid iOS Features: Delete Everywhere in Photos

iPad Photos Delete Everywhere

For those of us who have been using iDevices since the long-ago days of iOS 1.0, the first version of the iPad and iPhone operating system, it’s been great to see the volume and quality of new features added over these last 5 years or so. From the App Store to copy&paste to AirPrint and AirPlay Mirroring, it’s been mostly a great ride in terms of the ever-improving feature set – even though changes have often come more slowly than many users would like.

iOS is still far from perfect though, and it still has some features that leave me scratching my head and wondering why the heck they work the way they do. One prime example that springs to mind today is the ‘Delete Everywhere’ action in the Photos app. This one strikes me as 100% unhelpful and really just plain stupid.

Apple has traditionally made it very hard for us to do any sort of organizing of our photos on the iPad or iPhone. And when they finally gave us the ability to create albums, they rendered it virtually a useless feature when they added the Delete Everywhere to the mix. Just in case you’ve not come across this boneheaded corner of iOS, here’s how this works:

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iOS 6.0.2 Released – Claims to Fix WiFi Bug on iPad mini

iOS 602

Yesterday Apple released iOS 6.0.2, an update to the latest version of the iPad’s operating system. The details list for the update is about as minimal as possible, but it does list this item:

Fixes a bug that could impact WiFi

It’s said that this update will fix WiFi problems that some iPad mini and iPhone 5 users have been experiencing.

I’ve not had any WiFi issues at all on my iPad mini. Have any of you? If so, has this 6.0.2 update helped and fixed those? Let us know in the comments.

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In Praise of iPad Voice Dictation on the New iPad

iPad Voice Dictation

Voice Dictation on the iPad has steadily grown on me and is now one of my favorite features on the new iPad. I’ve always felt that it was a more interesting and useful feature than Siri, but when it first came to the new iPad I just didn’t remember to use it often enough to get great benefit from it.

Now I find that I’m using it more and more frequently, and that the more I use it the better it gets. And of course the better it gets the more tempted I am to use it even more frequently. I knew this feature was supposed to learn from you as you go along if you took the time to correct it, and I’m very impressed with how well it does at this.

As I’ve spent more time using it I’ve also started to remember to speak slowly and clearly to help it be closer to 100% accurate. It’s not at 100% accuracy just yet, but I’m beginning to feel it may get close to that soon.

By now it works so well for me that lately I find myself using voice dictation more than normal typing on the iPad, except of course when I’m out and about. I use it more than anything for taking lengthy notes on apps or accessories that I’m reviewing, but also for things like sending a quick email or a quick tweet.

Needless to say this entire post has been done using voice dictation – and I’ve only made a small handful of modifications to the final text.

What do you all think of using Voice Dictation on the iPad? Are you using it often?

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iPad and iOS Wish List Item: AirPlay in the Background

AirPlay on the iPad

Here’s an iPad / iOS wish list item I’ve been thinking about for a while now: I’d love to see AirPlay on the iPad be capable of running in the background.

AirPlay sort of snuck up on me – when I first heard it mentioned I didn’t feel excited, but once I started using it and more and more good apps began supporting it I’ve found it more and more of a favorite feature.

Now there’s just so much great video content available on the iPad – from video podcasts to Hulu Plus to TED Talks and news app videos and all sorts of useful how-to screencasts – and this all just makes AirPlay even more of a killer feature.

But … the iPad is a device that I’m nearly always wanting to be doing something on – not just viewing something on. More often that not, it’s in my hands when I’m watching TV in the evening – and I’m browsing news, playing a game, looking at apps for review, or writing notes. If I use AirPlay and switch away from the app that’s using it, then the streaming stops. So I can’t do anything with the iPad while it’s using AirPlay.

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Is the ‘Open In’ Feature in iOS Limited to 10 Apps?

Open In

I came across an odd iOS issue earlier today – apparently the ‘Open In’ feature is limited to ten apps in its list. The Open In feature is the one that lets you choose which app to use when opening an email attachment, for instance. So, for example, if you have several PDF editing apps installed you can choose which one to open a PDF file in from Mail or Dropbox.

Earlier today I was looking to open a PDF file on my new iPad and wanted to open it in GoodReader – which has recently been updated with ‘retina display optimization’ on the new iPad. When I tapped and held on my test PDF file in the Mail app and chose Open In, I got a list of ten apps, but there was no sign of GoodReader in the list.

I initially thought it might just be an issue with the Mail app, so I tried another PDF and using Open In in the Dropbox app. Same again though – 10 apps listed and no GoodReader.

At this point I wondered a little about whether I might need to delete one of the ten apps listed in the Open In list in order to see GoodReader as an option – but that just sounded crazy to me.

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iOS 5.1 for iPad Available Now

iOS 51 Update

The iOS 5.1 update for iPad (and iPhone) is out now. It’s available to download when connected to iTunes or via Software Update on the iPad itself. Here are the items most relevant to the iPad in the 5.1 change list:

  • Photos can now be deleted from Photo Stream
  • Redesigned camera app for iPad
  • Genius mixes and Genius playlists for iTunes Match subscribers
  • Audio for TV shows and movies on iPad optimized to sound louder and clearer
  • Podcast controls for playback speed and 30 second rewind for iPad
  • Updated AT&T network indicator

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AirPrint Supported Printers List Much Bigger Now – 4 Times as Many Printers & Manufacturers

AirPrint

Finally. The official list of AirPrint supported printers has grown. Actually it has grown quite a lot, and there are now printers from Canon,Epson, and Lexmark supported – as well as a greater number of printers from Hewlett Packard (HP).

As recently as late June of this year, there were only a total of 27 AirPrint supported printers – and all just from one manufacturer, HP.

Now – after the list was updated on November 14 –there are 100 printers supported. Here’s how they break down:

— 36 HP printers are supported, from the Deskjet, Envy, Laserjet, Laserjet Pro, Officejet and Photosmart lines.

— 41 Epson models are supported, from the Artisan, EP, ME, PX, Stylus, Stylus Photo, Workforce, and WP lines.

— 20 Canon printers are supported, all from the MG line.   

— 3 Lexmark printers are supported – the C792, the X548, and the X792.

So overall we’ve got nearly four times as many supported printers, and four times as many manufacturers as there were at the end of June.

It’s about time we saw some major expansion for AirPrint supported printers. Hopefully the list will continue to grow steadily now. You can check out the full AirPrint Supported Printers list for more details and to see whether a model you use is listed.

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