Moses’ tablets have generally been considered to have the edge over the iPad, in part because he at least had a hard copy. It’s been one continuing gripe about the iPad that it’s had no printing facility.
But Apple is narrowing Moses’ lead with the announcement that it’s launching a wireless printing feature that should be available to end users in November.
A beta version of AirPrint for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is being released to members of Apple’s iOS developer program today, and the feature will be included in the free iOS 4.2 software update in November.
AirPrint automatically finds printers on local networks and prints wirelessly over Wifi – without the need to install drivers or download software, says Apple.
The first printers to support printing direct from iOS devices it will be HP ePrint-enabled printers. Others will be added soon, says Apple, including HP Photosmart, Officejet, Pro machines.
For those that don’t have one of these, says Apple, the devices will be able to print to a printer shared with a Mac or PC.
“AirPrint is Apple’s powerful new printing architecture that matches the simplicity of iOS — no set-up, no configuration, no printer drivers and no software to download,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing.
“IPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to an HP ePrint printer or to a printer shared on a Mac or PC.””