I was quite surprised at the klunky workarounds required to make our Mac "Airprint compatible."
I have several linux computers around (running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS for example) and all I had to do was open the Printing app, go to the menu and choose Server --> Settings... (log in with administrator username and password if necessary) then click the checkbox that says "Publish shared printers connected to this system."
At that point the printer connected to the Ubuntu system was available to both the iPad and iPhone on the local network.
SO all you need to do to make a printer Airprint compatible is plug it into a computer running Ubuntu and install it. (The printer installation part is USUALLY automatic, but a few printers may require some unusual drivers or fidgety settings.)
At one time Apple took over the maintenance of the open-source CUPS software used by OS X as well as most linux systems, but strangely this is a feature they haven't included in their own Mac OS X versions?!? Weird.
SO all you need to do to make a printer Airprint compatible is plug it into a computer running Ubuntu and install it.
Or, you can use the donation-supported handyPrint or a commercial product such as Printopia ($19.95 with free trial). Either one of those options can be downloaded and installed in less time than it took to read about Ubuntu 12.04 LTS. Both do the same thing, by creating a Bonjour service on the Mac advertising it as an AirPrint device, and subsequently sharing its printers through its standard CUPS interface.
The Mac must be "on" but may be asleep for them to work.
Why Apple did not include this service in OS X is anyone's guess.
You can also buy this standalone print server:
These options enable you to use any printer available to your network, even older ones that may predate AirPrint by decades.
Lacking another device (Mac / Linux or other hardware print server) you need an AirPrint - enabled printer to print directly from an iOS device on a wireless LAN.
I tried HandyPrint, and not only must the Mac be on, it must also be logged in to a particular user account to operate. We share the Mac among several family members, and from all the other computers I can print to the Mac without having to have ANY account logged in. (I can print to its printer from all my Ubuntu systems for example.) I am sure HandyPrint or Printopia work fine for some folks.
I suppose I could buy yet another print server, though there are print servers built in to my router and all my other computers. Besides the lantronix one might even use the same software included in Ubuntu (it's free, after all).
The "less time than it took to read about Ubuntu" argument is an odd straw man to put up! I already have lots of systems around the house (including the iPad and iPhone other family members use) and I prefer suggesting ways to make them actually work together, not going at cross purposes.
Thank you for the AirPrint Activator/handyPrint. This was exactly the fix I needed to print photos from my iPhone to my local HP Photosmart C4700 printer.
What bothers me about this whole exercise, is that if this easy (and free with donation) app could so easily connect any printer to your various phones and tablets, why wasn't this just originally implemented into the design of Apple's AirPrint? Seems like a simple enough feature to include in the next update.
Apple's business model seems to be, they don't go out of their way to be compatible with 'everything', other manufacturers are expected to make their products compatible iwth Apple products. And it doesn't seem to be something that every single manufacturer jumps right on the bandwagon doing. Initially, only a few HP printers were air print compatible, but there are more all the time.
Many times in the tech world you'll run across a retail partnership, two companies that go out of their way to be compatible with each other while others...not so much. An analogy could be when iPhones first came out, how they were ONLY available on the AT&T network in the US.
Short term partnerships like this have happened before and will happen again.
I'm willing to bet that in a few years either every printer manufacturer will have air print enabled printers, or will have a free app to enable printing.
There are more than just a few printers that are Airprint compatible, the only manufacturer that does not sell AirPrint compatible printers is Kodak.
Your analogy to AT&T is really not valid in regards to AirPrint. And there was no partnership with HP, they were just first to market.
AirPrint was going to include an option to print via a computer (at least on a Mac) but the capability was removed at the last minute thanks to patent trolls in Marshall, Texas.
stuartfromsan francisco wrote:
... why wasn't this just originally implemented into the design of Apple's AirPrint?
Given that handyPrint and Printopia work so reliably, it seems logical to me that it could be implemented easily enough in OS X.
I have submitted the suggestion for Apple's consideration, but if there is a reason for them not to implement it, we will never know.
Yeah, Patent Trolls are an issue, and it's disappointing that they prevent technology from working. Speaking of patents... When I was working at Boeing, I made a suggestion to the SJobs@Apple.com email box that is widely available. I suggested that Boeing was considering the iOS platform for security reasons for airplane maps and charts. I also suggested at the time, making an iPhone out of Carbon Fiber... Similar to the 787 Airplane. Anyways, Mr. Jobs requested my resume, and brother's resume for a Carbon Fiber Case. I declined the job because I had worked at Microsoft (also in Seattle Area) and they had a patent, even for part-time employees. Microsoft gets "First right" to patents for a period of one year after you leave the company.
Anyways, Steve Jobs decided to hire some folks to patent common processes for using Carbon Fiber Composites, that anyone who works with the materials uses daily. It was a set of broad patents. My brother, working on the F-35 Joint Strike Aircraft, made of Carbon Fiber, looked at the patent, and thought it was too broad, and caused issues in other industries. It was discouraging.
Anyways, Boeing's subsidary Jeppesen made the iOS app to fly airplanes; had the iPad submitted to the FAA for approval relatively quickly-- within one year-- of the device being made available.. Fairly quick for an FAA approval, of a critical system!
But because of the questions about patenting common processes, I also made a reccomendation for the state of Colorado (where I was from) to find funding for a Patent Office to review frivolous patents. They accomplished this too. So Colorado was the first state outside of Virginia to get a patent office. The goal in that proposal; made to Governor of the State of Colorado at the time, was to find a way to determine a way to license and make available US-recognized patents with automated royalty settlement. Almost like a compuslsatory rate, and licensing outside of legal process, which requires expensive attorneys. Something not available for entreprenuers. Patent system is a bit crazy.
I apologize about this, somewhat off-topic comment, but these days, Airplane pilots have the ability to fly actual aircraft using an iPad, and they don't need to carry around 30-lb books of charts and maps.
But sometimes, you need to print something out. It's unfortunate it can't be accomplished because of patent trolls!
Of course! I shared my tips back in Feburary--
We have several large, and expensive commercial printers, and a unique setup. Replacing the printer doesn't make sense, when the issue is software (and likely patent) related. :-)
"Look into third party apps like Print N Share or Print Central. I have print n share and the app has a browser in it....basically I can't go into safari and 'send' the page to the printer, but I can open the print app, navigate to the web page and then print it from inside the app."
Yes you can print from Safari using PrintNshare. From any page in Safari, simply add a 'z' to the front of the URL. The page will now transfer to the PrintNshare browser from where it can be printed.
John... Apologies that I cannot make heads or tails out of this thread after it gets more and more technical. Here is our question... Have Xerox Phaser 8560 printer - not AirPrint compatible. Would like to use it as the printer for our iPad Minis. Have a MacBook Pro that is on line 100% of the time. Don't have need to print from anywhere other than in the house (when travelling, hubby's work can just be saved and archived if necessary later). What is the easiest way to do this? The Xerox is a $600 printer that is fast and cheap to use. We'd prefer to not have to buy another. Thanks.