Basics of AirPrint

AirPrint is a relatively new feature on iOS devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.  The basic idea behind AirPrint is that you can print directly from the iOS device through a remote connection without having to first transfer your content to a computer that is tied directly to a computer.  This function becomes relatively easy if you have the right printer to work with.  Here is a basic outline of how this process works.

First, you have to make sure that your iOS device is actually compatible with the Airplay functions.  Since you will need the most recent version of the iOS, you will have to have an iOS device that can facilitate this.  This means the iPhone 3Gs or later, the 3rd generation of the iPod Touch or later, or any version of the iPad.


Most importantly, you will have to have a printer that is also compatible with this.  There are going to be several from Brother, Canon, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, and Samsung, amounting to a couple hundred compatible printers.  They also must have the most recent firmware to be safe; otherwise you may not be able to initiate the AirPrint job correctly.  It is also true that you will not usually be able to take advantage of every available feature with that particular printer, and if the printer is using Bluetooth or a USB port sharing device then it will not be supported for AirPrint.

Airplay is going to be enabled by certain first and third party iPhone apps, including Mail, Photos, iBooks, and Safari.  There are going to be other apps that come out and allow this feature, but it is not universal by any means.  When in an app and you locate an item that you would like to print you can hit the Share button, which looks like a curved arrow leaving a box.  This will give you several options, such as Tweeting the item or emailing it, depending on what app and function you are using.  Print should be one of these options as well, and this indicates a remote printing with AirPrint.  Once you do this you can look at, and alter, the printer options and then choose to print.

If you have not set a printer, which will likely be the case if it is your first time using AirPrint, then it will ask you to do this.  You can then find the available printers on the network and then set the number of copies that you want to print.  There are not the extensive features that you would find on a regular software printing station, so it does not replace computer based printing all together.


If you have set multiple things to print there will be a queue.  If you want to look at this then you can hit the home button twice to enable the multitasking bar.  Here you can select the print station and see what has yet to print, though this “app” is only available during an actual printing job and not independently.


You cannot just utilize the 4G network for printing and instead you must be on the Wi-Fi network that the printer is also connected to.  In this way it is similar to the Remote app, which requires that both the iPhone and the computer with the iTunes program are both connected on a common network.  Printers are slow to join networks, so you need to give it extra connection time.

Check Here for a Complete List of AirPrint Printers

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