Apple's new AirPrint for iPhone and iPad works with only 11 printers
As part of the release of the new version of its iOS operating system for its line of mobile devices, Apple announced a new function called AirPrint, which would allow users to print wirelessly from their iPhones, iPads and iPods.
"AirPrint is a next-generation Wi-Fi print architecture that dramatically simplifies printing by completely eliminating printer drivers," Apple said in its announcement, emphasizing the user-friendliness for which the company is known.
What Apple did not highlight is that AirPrint works on only a very small subset of available wireless printers, 11, according to Apple's AirPrint information page, all of which are made by Hewlett Packard & Co. Anyone with one of the many wireless printers available from Lexmark, Epson, Canon, Brother or Samsung won’t be able to use the service. Nor does AirPrint yet work with most of HP's other wireless printers, including any of its lower-cost Officejet models.
A post from PC Magazine notes that six more HP models, including Officejets, will be available after Dec. 27, and that Apple will support other manufacturers "down the road." Apple did not immediately respond to questions about which manufacturers would be supported, or when.
Meanwhile, devices running iOS 4.2, the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system, will see an option to "Print" Web pages, e-mails and documents, but unless you've bought one of the select printers, all "Print" will get you is the screen shown above.
-- David Sarno
Image is a screen shot from an iPhone 3GS running iOS 4.2.