Has Apple removed network AirPrint from iOS 4.2?

It looks like Apple might have removed or postponed network AirPrint functionality from iOS 4.2. When Apple first announced AirPrint they said it would support both specifically compatible printers and printers attached to your Mac or Windows PC as long as they were on the same network as your iPhone or iPad. Now, according to MacStories:

We have been told from a few Mac developers that a few days ago Apple removed all the references to printing via OS X 10.6.5 and PCs both from Readme files and other online documentation posted in the iOS developer center. It seems like all that’s now mentioned in the release notes are the aforementioned HP networked printers, as if the shared printing option never existed.

A reply to a developer from Apple tech support purportedly added:

Support for AirPrint on Windows and Mac has been cancelled. We will be in contact with you if another opportunity arises in the future.

The feature currently works with the iOS 4.2 beta if you have the prerequisite Mac OS X 10.6.5 beta installed. Developers are saying, however, that network AirPrint suffered from instability and incompatibility. It certainly wouldn't be the first time Apple removed a feature from final release that they felt provided a buggy and bad user experience. Then again, enough buggy and bad user experiences have crept into iOS features over the years that even if AirPrint is having some issues, it's impossible to know for certain until the final version ships.

Would you rather Apple get AirPrint right, or get it out right now?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Has Apple removed network AirPrint from iOS 4.2?


I'm sure they will get it right, but to get it nright, it needs to work with ANY web conneted, wifi enabled printer, rather then just a selet models Steve Jobs thinks are cool.

I agree with Lee Miran. AirPrint was the one feature that had any value for me in iOS 4.2. What happened to quality control before announcements at Apple? They used to care about making Mr. Jobs look foolish. Is anyone on guard?

But the most disconcerting part of the reply to the developer is that network printer capability appears to be shelved rather than just delayed. Hopefully that's not the case.

Well that just sucks. I was looking forward to this feature. We have the kraft food app that can print using the wireless network on 4.1, so why can't apple get it to work on 4.2? Hopefully, this "rumor/story" is just that, a rumor. Seems like fewer and fewer reasons to upgrade these days, and watch the numbers of jailbroken devices increase. Watch AAPL take another dive today on that news alone. :(
Hey Apple, I love my iPhone, but I'm beginning to be tempted by the fruit of another...

If you have a half decent printer like HP or Lexmark, Canon they all already have print apps in the app store. Ive been using the HP one for a year.

AirPrint has been working for me just fine with my windows 7 machine using an HP 1610 all in one printer.
Not sure what the reason could be for removing the feature

This is a bit disheartening. I always saw Apple engineers as the "best of the best." I'm surprised they couldn't get this working effectively.
AirPrint wasn't a big deal for me just an added convenience. I don't ever see a reason why I'd have something on my phone that I couldn't print from my mac or my pc. But, that's just me.
AirPlay on the other hand, scrap that and I might start a revolt. lol

AirPrint would be great for businesses. If your company has their network setup right you could print to any printer.

Why is it being canceled? It works fine for me on windows xp with iTunes 10.1 beta 2, this is a huge disappointment. If true apple will lose faith.

Just add the GM version and dont upgrade. Thats what im using and everything prints fine. Im not going to get the final release if it doesnt have it. Google the gm build. No special credentials needed.

So what's the point in 4.2 for iPhone then? Airprint was what I was looking forward to for my iPhone. But now what's the point?
Owell still looking forward to the iPad multitasking. At least I have that

The HP app only prints photos, not emails and web pages. This is ridiculous, Apple.

I've never gotten it to work and I've never really thought I'd need to print from my damn phone anyway so I don't much care. As for the folks bashing the engineers, well, let's see you do it then. They are some of the best in the industry which should tell you this might be more difficult to implement than it appears.

My point is if the HP app can print photos, why can't it be extended to print other things like emails, webpages, etc.?

The person who said Apple's stock will drop??? Let's come down to reality and put this in perspective. It's not the end of the world, but it's a nice feature to have.

After Steve nearly nutted himself talking about this in his speech?!? wooooooooow it's just like the white iPhone 4.

I just printed to a networked printer on my ios 4.2 GM iphone. Oh, I have the 10.6.5 beta, I guess.
Is the problem with iOS or MacOS? Maybe it's just a matter of getting 10.6.5 right.

I've got he 4.2 GM loaded, and AirPrint is included and works great on an HP printer that is NOT in their list of approved printers. If that's all they change from the GM to what is publically released, I'll keep what I have for now.

is 4.2 GM available for anyone? I really want the Airprint feature (I also have an HP...the C7250). Thanks.

Been using print N Share since it came out. No problems printing from the web(recipes), and anything else. Yes I have to have the pc running, and the web program running, but that is minor. Air print would be great, but I have no problems with my current HP printer, and do not want to buy a wifi printer. I am guessing apple does not want airprint to work less than third party apps already out there. To me, if they get airprint right, you are one step away from wifi sync. That would really make all the devices complete.

you guys are crazy, a working version makes much more sense than buggy unreliable version. think of the headache apple would be welcoming if they released it. bigger picture people.

My thought is, apple is thinking they can push more people toward the MacBook air by not giving the iPad the option to print along with other features the MacBook air will offer. At the same time, I think as other pads come to the market with that option, it will eventually be implemented. Right Now apple isn't worried about pad competition. It just really sucks that they would mention it and then remove it. Bring it out and announce more printer comparability to come. But atleast give us hope that it's coming. Sheesh.

Q.> Would you rather Apple get AirPrint right, or get it out right now?
A.> Definitely wait for them to get it right :)

AirPrint is coming in iOS 4.2, still seems AirPrint will be compatible only with select "ePrint" series HP printers, according to ars technica.

It works just fine, after tweaking 3 missing files, for email, ppt and jpg print from iphone 4 to brother 1470N printer connected to airport express & shared through macbook :)

Without AirPrint, this update is absolutely worthless! Without Airprint, the potential for the iPad, in a business environment just went out the window! This is a major flaw for the iPad now, and will definitely benefit the competition down the road! Hearing that this feature is possibly being pulled, or that it only works with HP makes me wish I waited till other tablets came to market, because now the iPad is just a big glorified ipod or iphone! This will definitely hurt the iPad's future potential to be a serious business tool!