Being an iPhone 4 user (I've yet to stump up for an iPad), the main feature of iOS4.2 that attracted my attention was the ability to print using AirPrint technology. Of course, HP would love me to go out and buy an AirPrint-compatible printer that the iPhone can talk to. However, I've already got three HP printers, a black-and-white Laserjet 3055 all-in-one, a colour Laserjet 2605DN and an A3+ Photosmart B9180 inkjet. HP have had enough money out of me in printers for a while.
Fortunately, those clever people at Collobos software have developed a utility for the Mac called Fingerprint. Fingerprint shares your Mac-connected printers as AirPrint devices, so as long as your Mac is on and Fingerprint is running (you can set it to run at startup), any iOS4.2 devices on the same wireless network can print to compatible printers. You have to remember to enable printer sharing in System Preferences, though. Collobos say that not all printers are compatible. I've only tested it with the Laserjet 3055 so far but it performed flawlessly printing from Safari and Mail.
Here's the FingerPrint application running on my MacBook Pro:
Back at the iPhone, selecting Print in Safari presents some printing options:
Selecting Printer in the print options, you get to choose a printer from the same list that Fingerprint is sharing...
There's a 7-day trial of Fingerprint available but after having printed the first page, I purchased a full license straight away. It only costs $7.95 (or £6.24 including VAT in the UK) and the purchasing experience is integrated nicely into the app.
So far, I've got nothing but praise for Collobos and their very timely release of Fingerprint. Hopefully, a similar facility will be available for Windows users very soon.
Nov 23 2010, 12:39 PM