I used to be a printer opportunist. Find me the cheapest printer in the store, who cares, they’re all the same.
Expression Photo XP-950 Small-in-One Printer by Epson Category: Printers Works With: iPhone, iPad, Mac, any other Wi-Fi device Price: $259.99
Which, honestly, is true for a technophile like myself (within a certain price range, anyway). I have a Wi-Fi network, spare cables, and a ton of different apps that will let me print from my various Macs and iOS devices.
Not so, however, for someone like my parents. When I went to buy them a printer a few months back to go with their new iPads, we found out that even the AirPrint printers need a WiFi network. They don’t have one (I know, don’t ask).
That’s where the Epson XP-950 comes in. Yes, it’s a high-quality up-to 11X17 photo, paper, and disc printer and scanning device, but the killer feature here? Directly printing from an iPad to the printer without an actual Wi-Fi network to send the print job across.
Printer use and paper sales have both dropped since the iPad launched
If you think about it, printers are probably the worst-designed gadgets in our homes (unless you own the same awful Samsung Behold as I do). But despite the mythical advance of the paperless office, nobody has been able to kill them off. Until now. A new survey says that the iPad has finally doomed the printer, and is even saving trees.
This new app from Epson significantly ramps up iPhone or iPad print capabilities: PrintJinni for Epson will allow users to print from an iDevice, via a web-based cloud service, to any network-connected Epson. It also comes with an impressive range of print options, even allowing the user to print attachments directly from an email — without requiring an app associated with the attachment to open it.
The range of document types the app can work with includes pdf, jpeg and most versions of Microsoft Office documents.
PrintJinni doesn’t come cheap. The app is $10 (though offered now at an intro price of $7 for an unspecified time), and continues to ding the user at what Epson says will probably be $7 each additional year for the cloud services; though they also say that these recurring fees won’t be necessary for all document types (users just wanting to print jpegs, for instance, won’t need to pop for the yearly fee), and that the yearly fee can be opted out of, should the user just wish to print on local networks not need to print MS Office documents.
With all the Apple hoopla yesterday, we missed the fact that Epson announced a new all-in-one printer it says is the “fastest in its class.”
The wifi-equipped all-in-one Epson Stylus NX625 printer will run at a blazing 15 pages/minute in black (but only 7.2 in color) — compare that with the Artisan 710 we tested late last year which clocked in at 9.5 ppm in black and 9 in color.
The NX625 will retail for $150 and should be available later this month. See the press release for all the details we omitted.
iPad-slash-Pogoplug users, quit yer whining that your iPad doesn’t print, find an iPad-sans-Pogoplug user and launch into an obnoxious victory dance in their immediate vicinity.
That’s right, Pogoplug has just begun rolling out a firmware update that’ll enable printing from any iDevice (so iPhone/iPt users get to shake a little booty also) to any 2005-or-newer vintage Epson or HP printer. The release says the rollout will stretch out over a week, so be patient.
All-business, pink-hating Pogopluggers and ‘Pluggers with their ‘Plugs way over on the other side of the room from their routers will be happy to hear that the $300 Pogoplug Biz (which ditches the hot pink highlights for stark grey and comes with a whole bunch of enterprise upgrades) and the $30 Wireless Extender (a USB dongle that obviously obviates the need for an ethernet cable connection) ship today. More good news: Current Pogoplug owners get the Wireless Extender for free.
One depressing omission from yesterday’s keynote was the long-requested addition of direct printing support for iOS devices. Jobs himself has said it’s coming, but apparently not this year, leaving your only option for printing a document on your iPad as emailing it to a computer with access to your printer.
If you don’t mind upgrading your printer, though, HP’s coming to the rescue with a line of new printers that will allow you — more or less — to print directly from your iDevice. Their line of new printers will cost between $99 and $400, and they come with a unique perk: each printer has its own, unique email address.
With HP’s new printers, all you need to do is email a document to your printer from your iPhone or iPad and have it automatically printed out. You can even share that email address with friends and family members.
There’s no word on exact models yet, but HP promises the first of their email-capable printers will be out next month, with small business models hitting in September.
Until Apple gets around to offering printer capability directly from your iOS, this seems like the best solution around… as long as you’re already in the market for some new printing hardware.
Is printing directly from your iPhone or iPad in the cards for iPhone OS 4.0?
Well, maybe, although the evidence is pretty scant. . Check the support pages for iWorks, and you’ll find this little note on the subject: “Printing directly from iPad is not currently available.”
The operative word here is currently, and while we’re reading a lot into it, it does at least hint that Apple’s considering how to best go about bringing direct printing to its line of handheld devices… and give iPad and iPhone users one less reason to open up their laptops.
Like many questions about iPhone OS 4.0, we expect to know more about this at Apple’s corporate event on Thursday.
Well, that didn’t take long — app developers have already begun rolling out versions of their apps that’ll expand the capabilities of the iPad, still a good two months away from store shelves. One of the first is ActivePrint, from developer Pocket Watch.
Currently, ActivePrint lets iPhone users pop out things like photos, web pages, plain text and clipboard contents. But Pocket Watch says the new iPad SDK will allow printing of office-type stuff — like word processing docs, spreadsheets and presentations — to any WIndows PC.
…wait, what? You heard right — currently, ActivePrint only outputs to printers connected to a Windows machine. But not for long, the developer says: Mac compatibility should be out in March.
We know that some of you are still sporting a dot matrix printer in your office. Sometimes its rattle and hum almost puts you to sleep. But for those of you that want to forge ahead to the 21st century, we have a great giveaway for you on Twitter.
The Giveaway: 1 Epson Artisan 710 printer with a retail value of $179.99. If you need some convincing that this printer is worthy of your printing projects, check out Eli’s review of this printer here.
Tweet this: “Follow these Mac techies: @cultofmac and get exclusive content, promotions, and giveaways #cultofmac” (you don’t need to include the quotation marks)
Remember to include the hash tag #cultofmac because that’s how we’ll track who enters the giveaway.
You’ll have 24 hours to enter the giveaway, and it’s 12pm EST. right now, so no more entries will be accepted after 12pm EST. on Wednesday, December 2nd. We will announce the winner on Twitter the following day.
Cyber Monday has come and gone, but it’s Giveaway Tuesday at the Cult of Mac. Ready, Set…GO GO GO!
Epson should have called the Artisan all-in-one the “Intern” instead — it works that hard to please. It’s up on all the latest technology, surprises with nifty tricks; and while it isn’t exactly cheap, for what it does it’s a bargain. And unlike that sloppy, kind of half-working old printer with coffee-stained teeth you hired ages ago, Epson’s new beauty is snappily dressed, fast and reliable.