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Printing from iOS 4.2 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) without an AirPrint compatible printer

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:

Fingerprint Application

Back at the iPhone, selecting Print in Safari presents some printing options:

Print Options in Safari

Selecting Printer in the print options, you get to choose a printer from the same list that Fingerprint is sharing...

Choosing a printer

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.

 


Posted Nov 23 2010, 12:39 PM by Steve Morgan

Comments

Philip wrote re: Printing from iOS 4.2 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) without an AirPrint compatible printer
on Mon, May 9 2011 12:51

So this app allows you to wirelessly print to any computer-connected printer? Or only if you have a Mac?

Mark Wilson wrote re: Printing from iOS 4.2 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) without an AirPrint compatible printer
on Tue, Jun 28 2011 22:41

With some hackery and some freeware, you can also get it working via a Windows PC. But, here's the rub, you have to have iTunes installed on it. Urghh.

I wish I'd blogged about it at the time, but my notes are all over the place :-(

Jake Eyre wrote re: Printing from iOS 4.2 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) without an AirPrint compatible printer
on Tue, Sep 20 2011 15:26

re previous comment, if you're speaking abbout Fingerprint, you do not need iTunes installed. Works a treat. Will be purchasing as soon as the trial expires for all of my windows and Mac comnputers

grandduke wrote re: Printing from iOS 4.2 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) without an AirPrint compatible printer
on Tue, Sep 27 2011 23:05

I wonder if it's possible to print directly throught the printer without any pc

Steve Morgan wrote re: Printing from iOS 4.2 (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) without an AirPrint compatible printer
on Wed, Sep 28 2011 9:58

@grandduke It is possible (and indeed, Apple's intent) that you can buy a new AirPrint-enabled printer and print to it directly. HP is the only manufacturer I know of that has these printers at the moment.

However, this article is really for those people who want to leverage their existing investment in printers without having to go out and purchase a new one.

Steve Morgan 2008. All rights reserved.
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