One of the most frustrating aspects of iOS 4.2 and OS X 10.6.5 is how Apple’s new wireless printing standard, AirPrint, was gimped at the last minute from running on pretty much every shared network printer connected to a Mac to only officially supported on 11 AirPrint-compatible printers.
One iPad owner named Stan was so frustrated, in fact, that he wrote to Steve Jobs. “You got me all hyped about AirPrint. Now with iOS 4.2 released, I find out that I can only print on 11 select printers. Seriously?!”
Seriously, replies Steve, before reassuring Stan that the move to driverless, wireless printing is a vast undertaking, and that iOS 4.2’s AirPrint support is only the first step.
No surprises here, but if you’re not one of the lucky bastiches who manages to score himself a $399 iPad from TJ Maxx or Marshall’s this Black Friday, don’t expect the Apple Store to price match: as an email from Steve Jobs makes abundantly clear, TJ Maxx is not an authorized reseller, and they are selling them for $399 at a loss.
As a rule, Apple is secretive about when to expect updates to their product lines, but if you know Cupertino’s history of past releases, it’s usually pretty easy to guess when they are likely to announce a new product.
Most of the time, that’s good enough, except when it isn’t. As film postproduction consultant Dustyn Gobler notes, when Apple is secretive about future plans for its software suites — in this case, Final Cut Pro — people who are running their businesses on that software can get edgy.
Gobler decided to write Steve Jobs and see what was happening with Final Cut. As he put it, “My clients are making multi-year, hundreds of thousands of dollars decisions and we need to know what’s going on with Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Server, and Xsan. We need to know that Apple won’t abandon Final Cut Pro because selling iPads is more lucrative.”
Steve quickly got back to him with a response, assuring him that “a great release of Final Cut is coming early next year.” It was, of course, sent from his iPad.
Gobler’s full email contains a larger plea to Steve to allow the product managers of their pro apps to begin transparently blogging about what Apple is working on, which of course went unaddressed, but come on: good for customers or no, that’s just not Apple’s style.
Yesterday, reports suggested that support for Apple’s AirPrint feature had been plucked from iOS 4.2 for shared printers connected to Macs and PCs, leaving only a subset of AirPrint-compatible HP printers mentioned in the official developer documentation.
Has Apple just had last minute compatibility problems they’re not willing to delay their iOS 4.2 update for, or has the AirPrint feature been canceled? Not according to Steve Jobs, but unfortunately, his comments on the matter aren’t particularly illuminating.
If you’re expecting an imminent refresh of Apple’s MacBook, Mac Pro and iMac lines supporting the blistering fast USB 3.0 standard, don’t hold your breath: Steve Jobs says they don’t care about USB 3.0 right now.