Missing In Action: Still No Printing From iPad Using Lion and iOS 5 [WWDC 2011 Reaction]

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Definitely a major bag of goodies announced by Apple at WWDC today, but one item many expected further info on was not discussed: the ability to finally print from an iPad or iPhone using AirPrint and your existing printer shared by your Mac. A bit surprising that this important feature is still missing in action.


AirPrint was introduced with iOS 4.2 in November 2010, and support for shared printing was supposed to be included in the concurrent release of Mac OS X 10.6.5. However AirPrint support was pulled from the update at the last minute, with Steve Jobs noting via an email to a customer that it was proving more difficult to implement than expected:

“Lots more coming soon. It’s what it takes to make a giant leap to driverless printing, which is huge.

The only AirPrint capable devices available were a few HP printers. Users and pundits moaned, and resigned themselves to wait until a future Mac OS X release.

So its surprising to be here today, with at least 450 new features announced between Lion and iOS 5, yet nary a peep about AirPrint. The list of AirPrint enabled printers is currently at 18, all of which are still made by HP.

That Print button inside iOS apps is mighty tempting. One of the most common questions I get from my clients is “how can I print from my iPad?” My answer has been to wait until Lion and perhaps iOS 5. Now I wonder, why the continued delay?