AirPrint is one of the headline new features in the latest version of the iPad software – iOS 4.2. It allows you to print directly to certain wireless printers from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch (see below for which models and other requirements).
This new feature has almost no settings, requires no setup on the user’s part, and is one of those typical Apple offerings that should ‘just work’ if you have the right device and printer.
Here’s a quick rundown of what’s needed and how it works …
— You need one of the following AirPrint capable devices:
iPhone – 3GS or later model
iPod Touch – 3rd generation or later
— The device needs to be running iOS 4.2 or later.
— You also need a wireless printer that supports AirPrint. Sadly that list is very short just now, with only seven HP printers currently on it. These are the printers listed as at 11/22/10:
- HP Envy eAll-in-One series (D410a)
- HP Photosmart Plus e-AiO (B210a)
- HP Photosmart Premium e-AiO (C310a)
- HP Photosmart Premium Fax e-AiO (C410a)
- HP Photosmart e-AiO (D110)
- HP Photosmart Wireless e-AiO (B110)—Europe and Asia-Pacific
- HP Photosmart eStation (C510)
** It is likely that the list of supported printers will grow rapidly now that AirPrint has been released. It’s worth checking on AirPrint support when considering a new wireless printer and also checking whether an existing wireless printer (if it is a relatively new one) may be updated with new drivers that enable AirPrint support.
— The printer must be connected to the same network subnet as your iPad or other iOS device.
— AirPrint works *only* with wireless printers. It will not work with shared printers or printers connected directly to your PC.
How To Use AirPrint
This really couldn’t be much easier if you meet the above-listed requirements. There is nothing to turn on – AirPrint is on by default, and nothing to adjust in your Settings app.
— To use AirPrint you just open an app that supports it – such as the built-in Safari, Mail, or Photos apps, and more 3rd party apps as they add support for the new feature.
— Once you’re in an app that supports AirPrint, you just tap the Share icon (generally the one that looks like an envelope with a rightward pointing arrow in it).
— That will bring up a popup with a short list of actions you can take on the photo / email / web page you are on. Print will be one of those actions. Tap on that.
— Now you’ll see the Printer Options popover. The first field in is Printer, with a prompt to Select Printer. Tap that and AirPrint will search for supported wireless printers on your network. If you have one, it should find and show your printer – just tap to select it.
— Once you have selected your printer, the only setting under Printer Options is number of copies to print. It defaults to one copy, but you can tap to adjust it. If you need to alter other print settings, you’re going to need to do that on the printer itself or via your PC.
That’s all there is to it. As you can see the hardest part is just having the right equipment. Hopefully we will see support for shared printers added soon via an Apple update and more new wireless printers offering AirPrint support.
If you need any more information on AirPrint, check this Apple Support document: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4356