It looks like AirPrint – the big new printing service included in iOS 4.2 – has been cut back severely in its final release. The service was originally touted to include the ability to print from iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch to certain supported wireless printers and to * all * shared printers on local network PCs.
Over recent weeks, Apple updated the description text for the service on its site – stripping out all mention of shared printers support – and now it is missing from the AirPrint section of the official 4.2 release announcement:
AirPrint is a next-generation Wi-Fi print architecture that dramatically simplifies printing by completely eliminating printer drivers. A selection of AirPrint enabled printers including the HP Photosmart, HP LaserJet Pro and HP Officejet will be the first to support printing direct from iOS devices. iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to any printer that supports AirPrint.
This leaves AirPrint as a not very exciting feature at all for most users. There is only a very slim range of supported wireless printers that are supported for it, and there are 3rd party apps that are already fully capable of printing to shared printers. Hopefully Apple will update AirPrint soon, as for now it’s become quite a lame new feature.