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AirPrint Information and FAQ

140108 Views 150 Replies Latest reply: May 25, 2013 8:31 PM by Fred*M. RSS
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HP Mac Architect Level 3 Level 3 (530 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 23, 2010 12:41 PM
All, I figured I'd start one of my famous FAQ threads here to help head off some of the problems. So with that being said, lets get started.

Q: What is AirPrint?
A: AirPrint enables printing from a supported iOS 4.2 device to supported AirPrint enabled printers. Today several HP models support AirPrint.

Apple AirPrint Information and Printer list:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4356

Apple AirPrint Support Page:
http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/airprint.html

HP AirPrint Information and Printer list:
http://www.hp.com/go/airprint

HP AirPrint Support Page:
http://www.hp.com/sbso/printing/mac/hp-airprint.html

Q: I don't have one of the supported printers, is there any other way for me to get AirPrint to work?
A: Yes, there are several third party AirPrint Sharing Solutions for the Mac (although I am not personally endorsing any of them):

FingerPrint
http://www.collobos.com/

Printopia for Mac
http://www.ecamm.com/mac/printopia/

If you have a problem with a specific printer while using one of these applications, please direct the question to vendor that wrote the app.

Q: Does AirPrint work directly with any Printer?
A: No. At this time, only select models from HP work with Airprint.

Q: Can I share a printer from my Mac and print to it?
A: See the above question for the 3rd party products that enable AirPrint Sharing.

Q: Can I connect a USB printer to my AirPort BaseStation (Express, Extreme, TimeCapsule)?
A: This is not supported. See above.

Q: Can I use AirPrint with my older HP printers?
A: This is not supported by HP. See above.

Q: I have one of the supported printers that is supposed to work now, but I'm not seeing it. What's wrong?
A: Make sure you have updated to the latest firmware available. You can check in:

Tools->Web->Automatic Updates->Check for Product Updates.

Note that you may need to enable eWeb Services to see the updates.

Q: I have on of the printers that will be supported in the future (ie one of the Officejets), when will it be supported?
A: While at the moment the latest official answer is December 27th. I hope to be able to update this soon with an earlier date, but it will still be sometime in December.

Q: I have an iPhone 3G or a second gen iPod touch. I have iOS 4.2, but I am not seeing AirPrint, can you help?
A: AirPrint only shows up on iOS devices that support multitasking. While these devices have iOS 4.2 available for them, they do not support multitasking and hence do not support AirPrint.

Q: I still can't figure this out, what am I doing wrong?
A: Hopefully HP will have a support doc posted later today with pictures to help you work through the steps. I'll post a separate link to that document once its ready.

I will build on this list in this thread over time if you have questions that aren't answered here.

And while most of you from the Mac forums know this, I need to make it clear here as well: Although I am an HP employee, I am speaking for myself and not for HP.

Just trying to help.

Andrew
MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • srbllb Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 23, 2010 9:38 PM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    Thank-you very much for your informative post. Unfortunately for many of us that have Windows only Offices the print function now available in OS 4.2.1 is a none starter. I guess it was too much to ask to be able to print to any networked printer via our wireless router in our Office. Maybe this will come in time along with a simple "print button" on the ipad. We are not "Apple People", only using the iphone and now ipad. Although we are all still "wowed" by the ipad (most have 3 months or less usage) we are all disppointed in the lack of Java and Flash support (Yes we have read all the arguments for and against) but regardless of the quality found on a Mac it is still a Windows World. On a side note 75% are extremely disappointed in the orientation switch functionality change, 40% so much so that they have reverted back to 3.2.2 . But again thank-you for the wealth of info.
    Ipad 32gb wifi/3g, Windows XP Pro
  • Stephen Affolter Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2010 5:32 AM (in response to srbllb)
    This was working before I upgraded to 4.2.1 from my windows 7 PC. The AirPrint service is running but no printers can be found now. I had it printing to an Epson and 2 Kyocera printers before the GM update
    iPad, iOS 4
  • Barry Keel Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2010 7:23 AM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    HP Mac Architect, I hope you can answer this. I know you may not be able to comment on the third party apps but I am going to ask anyway. I am the head of IT for a company and we are testing the iPad for some of our users.

    First, I tried the Airprint hack (so to speak) for the PC. I was able to get the software installed and the iPad saw the networked printers. However, they all had a lock icon by the printer names and I could not get them selected. I am sure this is a security issue, just have not had time to track it down right now. The docs for the PC Airprint alluded to giving the Guest account rights to the printer. Our network policy calls for the Guest account to be disabled for our network and is done so by Group Policy.

    So, I thought I would try one of these third party apps for the Mac on one of our Macs. Fist some network info. All Macs are bound to our Active Directory domain and all users logging into the Mac log in via a network account. Our wireless network is a 192.168.15.x subnet and our wired network is a 10.0.58.x subnet. All printers are on the wired 10.0.58.x subnet. The 2 subnets are completely open to each other via a static route with no firewall limitations. The users connect to the wireless network and authenticate via RADIUS using a certificate. iPad users connect to the wireless network the same way. The Mac with the shared printers has access to both the wireless and wired networks.

    The docs for these apps say that the iPad should see all printers connected to the Mac. This includes network printers. Does the printer have to be on the same subnet as the iPad? Can the above scenario be made to work? Any ideas on what we may do? Again, the iPad does find them when using Airprint on the PC, but are locked. The only thing I could think of is to connect a dedicated printer to the Mac and have it only on the wireless network.

    FWIW, Apple needs to do something to alleviate this issue with business users. We need network printing for the iPad and if we do not get it the iPad will be a no go for us.

    Message was edited by: Barry Keel

    Message was edited by: Barry Keel

    Message was edited by: Barry Keel

    Message was edited by: Barry Keel
    MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, Pad, iPhone, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • maccamp Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2010 8:00 AM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    HP MA,

    Thanks for the concise and informative post. I downloaded one of the airprint sharing solutions, cost $10, simple to install, and it works like a champ. It is increasingly rare to locate cogent posts, but yours was exceptional. Thanks for taking the time to help out the community!

    Thanks,
    john
    various, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • ktm200xc Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2010 8:39 AM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    Thanks for this extremely helpful post. I downloaded the Printopia version and instantly all the printers my MacBook can access are now available to my iPad. Unfortunately, most of us who travel will want the print feature via someone else's network (which will most likely be Windows based), so this doesn't help for where AirPrint is needed most. I remain hopeful that a more universal fix is under way.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • igmackenzie Level 4 Level 4 (2,285 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 25, 2010 1:23 AM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    A bit OT, but it's not obvious to me how certain apps are supporting Airprint.
    For example, in Office2 HD it is obvious. Open a document and there is the 'Print' icon which brings up the Airprint dialogue.
    However, in Print n Share, for example, it isn't obvious to me how Airprint is implemented. Open a document, select Print, and then the usual 'Print n Share' dialogue comes up. Where is the Airprint integration?
     iPhone 3GS 32Gb iOS 4.2.1,  iPad 32Gb 3G iOS 4.2.1
  • Tania1610 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2010 7:48 AM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    If Airprint uses Bonjour to find printers why would it not fine my HP C4180? It's on a Mac newtork and works wirelessly from my iPhone and iPad using the HP Print Ap. Ideally I'd like to use Airprint but it's not seeing the printer - is there a set up option either on the network or on the iPad

    I'm not a techie but normally Apple setup is pretty intutitive and easy to follow....

    Thanks for any help you can give me
    iPad, iOS 4
  • Richard Wessels Level 2 Level 2 (240 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2010 8:38 AM (in response to HP Mac Architect)
    I think part of the confusion here is the difference in technologies. AirPrint relies on another technology called ePrint. As far as I know, this tech is designed to allow you to print without needing any drivers. Instead, the device simply submits something called a UDF (similar to a PDF) directly to a drop box on the printer. The printer then sees this "document" and prints it.

    All printers, up until this point, used drivers to convert information from whatever app you are using into either PCL (printer control language) or PS (PostScript). These drivers are very complex and are updated routinely for enhancement, bug fixes, and security flaws.

    The beauty of ePrint and AirPrint is that it now eliminates this issue.

    In order for Apple to make it possible to print, directly from the iPad, to any of the HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of printer models out there right now, would require them to license the drivers from all the different manufacturers and incorporate all of that code into the iOS. This would nearly triple the size of the iOS install. Don't believe me? A recent update I saw for Mac OS X for only HP printers was over 150 MB in size. The entire iOS install is only about 500 MB.

    Is it a pain that we are in the beginning phase of a transition to a new technology? Yes... Apple knew this would be an issue and they where going to try to support using your Mac as a "print server" to service those older printers. Unfortunately, somehing came up, that they are not talking about, that prevented them from doing this.

    Maybe they will be able to do this in the future, and maybe not. We shall just have to wait and see.

    On a side note, I was able to enable the print server functionality from my Mac without having to purchase anything or even copy different files from a shady web site. All I did was create an AppleScript that created a new file that re-enables this functionality in Mac OS X 10.6.5. The directions are in another thread in this forum and they work flawlessly.

    Guess I just want people to understand that we really are talking about a new technology here and not just simply enableing wireless printing. Yeah, they could have done that, but it would have required a lot more work, a lot more space on the device, and a potential for a lot of instability in iOS.
    Apple MacBook Pro v4,1 w/17" Hi-Res Screen, Mac OS X (10.6.5), iPhone 4 and iPad running iOS 4.2.1
  • rbii Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 26, 2010 8:45 AM (in response to Tania1610)
    Bonjour allows software to find devices on the network:

    http://developer.apple.com/networking/bonjour/faq.html

    and in some cases to get some description of the device's capabilities. Bonjour doesn't allow devices to talk to each other it just provides the introduction. So, iOS can probably see your Bonjour printer and can get enough information to know that the printer does not support AirPrint communication. If the printer doesn't support AirPrint then it isn't listed in the list of printers.

    Apple has a list of printers that include AirPrint at the bottom of this page:

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/features/airprint.html

    and HP has the similar list here:

    http://www.hp.com/sbso/printing/mac/apple-airprint.pdf

    The only different I see between the lists is that Apple's list doesn't include the B110 but HP has it on their list.

    I hope this helps.
    iOS 4
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