With only a handful of HP printers being compatible with Apple's AirPrint -- after the disappointment of AirPrint's functionality being drastically scaled back in the final release of iOS 4.2 -- users have been left with two options if they want to print directly from their iOS 4.2 device.
get your hacking gloves on and install the necessary files from the developer build of Mac OS X 10.6.5 (which were pulled from the final public release). use one of the free or paid utilities to enable shared printing from your iPad via your Mac or PC. Or two, get your hands on one of the compatible HP printers.
Fortunately, option two is about to get a whole lot better, though it's still not ideal because you will have to buy a new printer if you don't already have one of these models -- the AirPrint capability is being added via a firmware update.
HP is adding six printers to the AirPrint availability menu shortly. The printers are all of the Officejet variety, but at least now there's a choice of more AirPrint compatible printers. If you already have one of these models, you're in luck: reader Eldon Brown reports that he updated the firmware on his 6500A Plus and the AirPrint capability was added automatically.
The newly AirPrint-savvy models are:
- HP Officejet 6500A e-All-in-One
- HP Officejet 6500A Plus e-All-in-One
- HP Officejet 7500A Wide Format e-All-in-One (pictured)
- HP Officejet Pro 8500A e-All-in-One
- HP Officejet Pro 8500A Plus e-All-in-One
- HP Officejet Pro 8500A Premium e-All-in-One
HP is also hosting firmware updates for several LaserJet and Photosmart models, which should enable AirPrint goodness:
- Photosmart e-AiO (D110) (USA/Canada)
- Photosmart Wireless e-AiO (B110) (EU, AP)
- LaserJet Pro M1536dnf Multifunction Printer (www.hp.com/go/airprint/M1536)
- LaserJet Pro CM1415fn Color Multifunction Printer (www.hp.com/go/airprint/CM1415)
- LaserJet Pro CM1415fnw Color Multifunction Printer (www.hp.com/go/airprint/CM1415)
- LaserJet Pro CP1525n Color Printer (www.hp.com/go/airprint/CP1525)
- LaserJet Pro CP1525nw Color Printer (www.hp.com/go/airprint/CP1525)
Of course, there is a third option. You could always sit tight and wait for Apple to unleash the full power of AirPrint -- hopefully sometime next year.
Post corrected to note that these are not new printers but are getting new firmware; also corrected reference to hacktivation process. GadgetVenue post referenced is incorrect.