I bet you're looking to see if your printer works with the new AirPrint feature from Apple aren't you? While Apple’s iOS 4.2 brings the ability to print from the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4, the iPad, and the iPod touch (3rd generation) it's not all as easy as it might sound. If you’ve clicked on the new print icon in a range of apps on your device, and wondered why it can’t find your printer, there’s a reason for that.
You see, for Apple AirPrint to work, it needs to have an AirPrint ready printer on your network from the list of devices below.
“AirPrint only works with a wireless connection to a printer that supports AirPrint. A printer connected to the USB port of your Mac, PC, AirPort Base Station, or Time Capsule is not supported”, says Apple.
That means you can’t just connect any old printer, but only ones that are “AirPrint friendly”. At the moment that gives you a choice of seven printers from HP, but none from any other manufacturer like Lexmark, Canon, or Epson.
Those printers currently are:
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)
Chances are, unless you’ve just bought one of the printers on the list of approved AirPrint printers, you’re stuck. Well not entirely. If you are happy for your Mac to be on all the time then an app called Printopia for Mac should be able to help you out.
“Whether you have an inkjet printer plugged into your Mac, a laser printer plugged into your router or even a network printer, if your Mac can print to it, Printopia will share it. Is your printer plugged into your AirPort or Time Capsule? No problem. Printopia translates for your printer, allowing it to speak to your iPhone or iPad even if it's not an AirPrint-compatible printer. Printopia even supports many password-protected printers”, reads the blurb.
The app even lets you print a PDF or JPG, saving it directly to a Dropbox.com folder if you aren’t fussed about printing it out physically.
The app is free for the first 7 days and the will cost you $9.95 to carry on using it. It doesn't look like the app is available for PC users at the moment though.
- Read our HP Photosmart Wireless e-All-in-One review