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AirPrint will enable iPad, iPod Touch (3rd generation onwards) and iPhone customers using software release iOS 4.2 to print wirelessly from select apps - no set up or downloads required. According to Apple, customers will be able to automatically find a printer on their wireless network and print to it with one touch.
HP are the first to publicly announce their support for Apple's new AirPrint technology in their existing and upcoming ePrint enabled printers. We hope more manufacturers will support AirPrint in the upcoming months.
A full list of supported AirPrint printers can be found here:
Apple have also said in a statement announcing the release of AirPrint beta to developers by Philip Schiller (Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing) that customers with existing printers will also benefit from AirPrint. According to Apple, ANY printer shared via PC or MAC over a WiFi network will work.
AirPrint has only just been officially released to end users so we're cautiously keeping an eye on this feature and will post any updates as they transpire.
So, 3 months on we've decided to reassess Apple's AirPrint technology to see how things have progressed. Unfortunately, Apple and HP may have some kind of special agreement because currently only HP machines work natively with AirPrint (17 machines and counting). Apple has said that compatibility will eventually extend to machines from other manufacturers.
Not all is lost because there are official and third-party Apps that will give users the same set of features without having HP forced onto them.
Manufacturer official apps:
Canon - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/canon-easy-photoprint/id331269951?mt=8
Dell - N/A
Epson - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/epson-iprint/id326876192?mt=8
HP - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hp-iprint-photo-3-0/id299531647?mt=8
Kodak - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kodak-pic-flick/id336104814?mt=8
Konica Minolta - N/A
Kyocera - N/A
Lexmark - http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lexprint/id333208547?mt=8
OKI - N/A
Ricoh - N/A
Samsung - N/A
Xerox - N/A
There are loads of free and commercial apps available so rather than list them here we'd recommend contacting us if no official app is available.
Use AirPrint on any machine:
If you want to use Apple's AirPrint interface but don't have a HP compatible machine there is another option. Simply install the printer onto either your Windows or Mac PC and then share the printer over your WiFi network - you may be required to install an app onto the PC/Mac for this to work. Again, for further help and advise please get in touch.
Several months on and we're disappointed to report that Apple's AirPrint technology is still only exclusively incorporated into HP machines. We mentioned third party applications that will give you similar features but to clarify this further:
With AirPrint you can only print from apps that have a print option within their standard features. According to HP, these apps are AirPrint compliant:
So, even with AirPrint Apple haven't managed to release an operating system that gives users the freedom to print from any application from any printer they wish.
Furthermore, the third party applications will only allow users to print from their photo albums. To print from AirPrint compliant apps, users are forced into purchasing an AirPrint compliant HP printer or sharing the machine via a PC or Mac over their WiFi network.
Update (26/09/2011):Canon have announced that they too will now begin to support Apple's AirPrint technology in a selection of wireless inkjet machines. For now, they are limited to the new PIXMA MG8220, MG6220, and MG5320 Wireless Photo All-In-One inkjet printers but we hope more will be made available soon.
The MG5320 machines have now arrived, click here to purchase.
Links to the MG8220 and MG6220 machines will also be provided when they arrive into the UK.
If you need to print from an Apple app that is not AirPrint compliant (or you're using a third party print app) simply press the home button and wake/sleep button at the same time on the Apple device to take a screenshot. This will automatically save a photo of what is displayed onscreen. You're then able to navigate into your photo album and print the screenshot.
More printers and multifunction devices are slowly becoming available from HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark, Brother and others. I'll provide the official link again but please note, there are a few not listed so it's worth giving us a call: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4356
You may notice that most AirPrint compatible printers/MFP's are inkjet. This is due to manufacturers expecting most people to print from iPads in their home rather than place of work. Please be careful if you're thinking of opting for one of the few laser models available because their running costs may be too prohibitive for heavy office use. This may change and if it does we'll report back.
Need help? Call 0800 170 7234 or 0161 308 5800.