Here’s Hoping AirPrint Works with iOS 4.2 Public Release, Because It’s a Big Fail in Final GM Build

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AirPrint

AirPrint is one of the big new features included in the upcoming release of iOS 4.2 for iPad and iPhone (which many expect will be released this week). I really hope the feature is going to work much better in the final public release of 4.2.

I say this because I’m currently running the GM (gold master) release of iOS 4.2 and have upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6.5 (released yesterday) that is said to be required for AirPrint to work correctly. And so far that has got me a whole lot of nothing as far as AirPrint goes. Every time I try to use it, all I see is the ‘No Printers Found’ error message shown in the screenshot above.

I have a very recent HP Photosmart Plus multi-function wireless printer which I hoped AirPrint would recognize either as a supported wireless printer or as a printer shared via my MacBook Pro, where I had enabled sharing on it in preparation for AirPrint.

So far, it’s no go at all for me on getting AirPrint to see the printer. I tried unsharing it to see if it would pick it up as a wireless printer, but it doesn’t see at all with sharing on or off.

Normally, with an issue like this there would be a number of factors to consider. Perhaps there could be a problem with the printer’s own connectivity to my wireless network. Maybe it can connect but has not been advertised / shared correctly on the network via its own settings. Maybe it’s just not a wireless printer that plays nice with iOS or iDevices.

But … none of those are relevant questions for examination in this case. Why?  Because I have * three * separate third party apps on my iPhone and iPad that all have zero problems seeing the printer and very happily print to it. All of them use standard Bonjour networking to happily connect to my printer.

So I know network connectivity is fine and the printer is visible and ready, willing and able to print from my iPad and iPhone. It is only AirPrint that seems to believe I own a super-Ninja, stealth printer that it cannot possibly be found.  And as far as I can see there are no settings or troubleshooting tools at all for AirPrint – certainly nothing in the Settings app and nothing in the minimalist popup that comes up when you launch AirPrint.

I was hoping AirPrint would be similar to Apple’s treatment of copy&paste – something simple and elegant to use. I still hope that may be the case when the final version of 4.2 is released, but from what I’ve seen so far I don’t feel at all optimistic. It looks decidedly inferior to various 3rd party apps, and offers little to no guidance on how to make it work when it doesn’t do the Apple thing and ‘just work’.

If any of you are running OS X 10.6.5 and the iOS 4.2 GM build and have suggestions on how to make AirPrint see a printer, please share them in the comments.


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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5 thoughts on “Here’s Hoping AirPrint Works with iOS 4.2 Public Release, Because It’s a Big Fail in Final GM Build”

    1. No. They did not remove AirPrint. The reports are that they removed support for shared printers within AirPrint, not AirPrint itself or its supposed support for wireless printers. Read the article you linked to, or any of the others on this topic.

  1. Did you d/l the latest HP driver update? It appeared in software update for me only a couple days ago. Maybe that's required somehow?

  2. I have been able to print successfully from my iPad using AirPrint. I am running the Beta version of 10.6.5. I shared my Epson AcuLaser C900 printer via my MacBook and my Kodak EasyShare printer dock 6000, via my AirPort Extreme. They both appeared on my iPad straight away. I have subsequently upgraded my wife's MacBook to the Public version of 10.6.5 and her shared printer does not appear on my iPad.

    Printing to the Epson was perfect, however printing a photo to the Kodak got the orientation wrong.

  3. Thanks for the comments and suggestions guys. I'm actually not super fussed about finding a fix for this. I know there is a hack that's documented at various sites, to overwrite certain files in the 10.6.5 final version with the versions of them taken from one of the pre-releases. Honestly, I don't fancy messing with that. I have three perfectly good 3rd party apps that do all the printing I want to do from my iPad without a hitch. I don't feel motivated to hack my OS X build at all.

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