A lot of iPad users had high hopes when iOS 4.2 came out with AirPrint, which was supposed to deliver “driverless printing.” Alas, it hasn’t turned out that way, as only a limited number of printers are compatible with the upgrade. One major maker of printers is on top of the problem and has just added six more models to the short list of those that are iPad-compatible.
It’s no secret what iPad owners want right now—they want to be able to print wirelessly to any printer, anywhere. That’s pretty much what Apple promised when they announced the coming of iOS 4.2, but not what was delivered. Yeah, you can print wirelessly from your iPad, but only if you have one of the few printers that work with iOS 4.2—all of them from HP.
At least HP is addressing the problem by adding iPad capability to more of their printers. Six more models were just added to the list, bringing the total to 18. The new additions are HP’s “all-in-one” models, including the Officejet 7500A Wide Format, Officejet 6500A/6500A Plus, as well as the Officejet Pro series (8500A, 8500A Plus, and 8500A Premium.) This will make a few more iPad owners happy, but not all of them, especially the ones with printers from makers other than HP. No one wants to go out and buy another printer just to use with your iPad.
When is Apple going to address this problem? We’re supposed to be getting yet another iOS upgrade, 4.3, in December. Why so soon after the release of iOS 4.2? The most often mentioned new feature in the ability to subscribe to magazines and newspapers on the iPad, but there could be other fixes included, like upgraded AirPrint support. The many iPad owners who have printers that aren’t from HP certainly hope so.