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Summary:

In conjunction with the iOS 4.2 beta, Apple has issued a press release touting “AirPrint.” The trendily named wireless printing feature for iOS will be included with iOS 4.2. AirPrint will initially work with HP ePrint printers or shared printers on a PC or Mac.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab possibly printing

In conjunction with the iOS 4.2 beta, Apple has issued a press release touting “AirPrint.” The trendily named wireless printing feature for iOS will be included with iOS 4.2 in November.

“AirPrint is Apple’s powerful new printing architecture that matches the simplicity of iOS—no set up, no configuration, no printer drivers and no software to download,” gushed Apple VP Philip Schiller.

First demoed at the Apple Event in September, AirPrint will initially work with HP ePrint printers or shared printers on a PC or Mac. HP ePrint printers use unique e-mail addresses to receive documents from devices with e-mail capability, supporting a variety formats including Microsoft Office, PDFs, rich text, HTML, and others, though no mention is made of iWork.

Compatible shared printers include HP Photosmart, Officejet, and LaserJet models. Of course, only iOS devices capable of running iOS 4.2 will be AirPrint ready: iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (second generation and later).

As nice as wireless printing from iOS devices will be, the unanswered question in the press release is why we are hearing about it again. The answer is the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the first real rival to the iPad launching this week in the U.S. that is wireless printing capable. This is something of a role reversal for Apple, fighting a real competitor with features on paper, paper that can’t yet be printed wirelessly.

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  1. “Of course, only iOS devices capable of running iOS 4.2 will be AirPrint ready: iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (second generation and later).”

    The iPhone 3G will also be able to run iOS 4.2, but won’t get AirPrint. AirPrint needs multitasking, and that’s why an iPhone 3G can run iOS 4.2 but doesn’t have AirPrint. So a more precise version:

    “Of course, only iOS devices capable of running iOS 4.2 with multitasking will be AirPrint ready: iPad, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPod touch (second generation and later).”

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    1. exclude iPod touch 2g too

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  2. The big problem with iOS 4.2 is the removal of the ability to lock the screen orientation with the button on the side of the iPad.

    I discuss this at length in my open letter to Steve Jobs here:
    http://scottworldblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/16/ios-4-2-on-ipad-dont-fix-it-if-it-aint-broken/

    I suggest that everybody send their feedback to both Apple at apple.com/feedback and by sending an email to Steve Jobs

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    1. This is not a problem. Simply because you and others are already accustomed to having it one way doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be changed. I think it makes sense to make this button more intimately linked with the screen itself and its position. The position of the exterior switch is not fixed in 3-dimensional space, and can be in at least 4 different locations (up, down, left or right) depending on how the user happens to have turned the iPad when they suddenly want to lock position! The on-screen button eliminates that problem among others.

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    2. It will be implemented in the software, so you haven’t completely lost the ability to lock/unlock the screen. Really, is this that big a deal for you? Double click the home screen, slide to the left and change the lock option.

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  3. Here is a video of Galaxy Tab with wireless printing:

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  4. “AirPrint will initially work with … shared printers on a PC or Mac.”

    Does this mean I will have to have a running PC/Mac before I can use AirPrint to work? Or will it be like the app ‘Print n Share’ which can also print directly to the printer on the same LAN, like the GalaxyTab does?

    Appreciate any replies.

    Thanks.

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  5. For once, this is an iPad limitation I couldn’t care less about.

    I haven’t bothered with a printer in 12 years. Less important printouts wait until I can run them off at work — urgent stuff gets sent to FedEx/Kinko’s online, and the job’s done by the time I walk down the street to pick them up. If it costs a dollar per year, I’d be shocked.

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  6. Will I be able to print from my iPad on a printer shared from an airport express?

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  7. So … no love for my Debian Linux printserver running CUPS, eh? Does that make any sense, taking into account that MacOS also prints by using CUPS?

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  8. So far, you need to be running OS X 10.6.5, which will obviously change, you need either an HP ePrint printer—dumbest printer name ever—or certain HP printers, and it works shared or over a wireless network.

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  9. Samsung a real competitor. Not. Lets wait and see what HP or Motorola come out with. The Samsung is for all those Fandroids that have been drooling for their own tablet so long they will buy my grandma’s old panties if they had tablet & Android written on them.

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