Airprint Printing in iOS 4.2 Looks Great – Print Command on Share Button

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Airprint is the new printing system for iOS devices that is coming in iOS 4.2, due for release in November.  Oliver from The i-Blog has done this cool, short video showing off Airprint in action.  Like me, he’s running the iOS 4.2 beta on his iPad – but he’s also running a pre-release build of Mac OS X that is required to make use of Airprint.

The super cool thing about Airprint is that it’s added a Print command to the Share button in built-in apps.  No need to go out to another app, it’s just another option alongside Email and Copy under the Share button.  I watched the video and then banged away on the Share button on my iPad running the 4.2 beta.  Sure enough, the Print command is right there in the Safari, Mail, and Photos apps.  Very good stuff.  This will quickly kill off most third party printing apps if Apple extends support for the print command to all built-in apps and third party devs start adding it to their apps, as I’m sure they will.

I can’t believe it took me this long to realize the print command had been added to the Share button in Safari, Mail, and Photos.  Once I spotted it, I’ve started looking round at some of the other built-in and Apple’s own apps.  The score so far on which apps show a Print command:

Mail: yes

Safari: yes

Photos: yes

Calendar: no

Contacts: no

Keynote: no

Pages: no

Numbers: no

Notes: no

So it’s only Mail, Safari, and Photos so far that support printing, as far as I can see.  Hopefully Apple will add printing support to the iWork apps and all those listed above by the time iOS 4.2 is released in November; and I imagine quite a good percentage of third party developers will as well.

I’m really pleased that Apple appears to have made printing dead simple in iOS 4.2.  From what I can see in the video it’s as simple and elegant a solution as we could hope for – and I’m dying to try it out for myself soon.

I spotted this video via a post over at my friend Brian’s Naked iPad site.


Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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