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Jobs: No TCP/IP option coming to AirPrint in near future

updated 12:20 pm EDT, Tue October 26, 2010

May limit devices' use in schools, businesses

Support for TCP/IP is not coming to iOS 4.2's AirPrint feature, at least not in time for launch, an e-mail from Apple CEO Steve Jobs indicates. AirPrint should allow direct printing from iOS devices by way of a Wi-Fi connection. To date, however, the feature is only expected to support a handful of HP printers when it premieres.

TCP/IP printing has become a relatively common standard, particularly in corporate and college environments, where large numbers of people may require the use of print servers. The technology can also be used to send documents to a remote printer, instead of having to operate on a LAN. The lack of TCP/IP support could hinder corporate adoption of the iPad, which is otherwise proceeding quickly.

by MacNN Staff



  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Steve's e-mails

    I find it rather hypocritical that pretty much EVERY time we see an e-mail from Steve, the person who publishes the exchange makes careful effort to obscure his own e-mail address, but has absolutely no problem publishing Steve's. I know that Steve's e-mail address is pretty much public knowledge at this point, but when you provide screen shots of your exchange with him it is in really poor taste to show everyone how careful you are with your own privacy, while being oblivious to other people's.

  1. lysolman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It appears the question was, "Can you shed some light on this please?".

    Which Steve replied, "Sorry, no.".

    In my opinion, Steve was saying, "I can't talk about it right now", and not "We're not going to support TCP/IP".

    Just my 2 cents.

  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So many interpretations

    Sorry, no. [TCP/IP printing won't be added before release, because it is already there. We just didn't QA it yet]


    Sorry, no. [We aren't going to lard your iPad up with the gigabytes of PPD's required for every TCP/IP capable printer out there. Third parties will handle that]


    Sorry, no. [I cannot shed some light on that. You're welcome!]

    -- Len

  1. Marook

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What are you smoking?

    TCP/IP printing is what they use!*

    You just need to connect to a AirPrint (Bonjour) compatible printer for it to work.. !
    Remember, you can't load drinterdrivers on the iOS device, so they need to make sure the printer in the other end knows how to tell the iOS device what it's printing on.

    All it takes, is to click 'Share' on your OS X or Windows box in a couple of weeks, and you can print to any printer you can setup there - what more do you need?

    *AppleTalk died years ago - remember? ;-)

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969



    AirPrint can print to ANY printer connected to your Mac and shared with printer sharing. This is because the drivers are on the Mac, and the Mac knows what to do with it. You can print DIRECTLY to an ePrint enabled printer, of which only a handful by HP are listed as supported at this time. More will come.

    ALL printing is over the TCP/IP protocol. Bonjour is used to self discover the device on the network. No, direct entry of the IP address isn't going to be supported, but shouldn't need to be, as the printer should just show up as available.

    With use of a print server, this also should be possible. The print server can in theory direct printing to any printer in the world that it's configured for.

  1. eliotw

    Joined: Dec 1969


    His question is flawed.

    TCP/IP is the common networking protocols used today. What does this fellow mean by "TCP/IP printers". Is this now the common term for "LPD" capable printers ? Steve shouldn't have wasted his time.

  1. apple4ever

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    It should support direct connection to the printers using a general postscript printer driver. You don't need thousands of drivers.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    hope it works via bonjour with my laser printer connected to my apple airport extreme!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Misconception

    You can print DIRECTLY to an ePrint enabled printer, of which only a handful by HP are listed as supported at this time. More will come.

    Except ePrint is (a) HP-only, and (b) requires web connection (since you don't print directly to the printer, you send your printout to an email address at HP, who then forwards it to your printer).

    The flaw is people trying to find the 'flaw' in the guy's question. Yes, he didn't ask it right. But the question is still the question: Will one be able to print directly to a printer on a network, not through a Mac or PC shared printer? I prefer to set up my printers (office, home, others) on a network and have the computers access them directly, no need to worry about "Is the computer hooked to the printer turned on?". And you can access them easier across zones and the like.

    Put a generic PostScript driver and a generic PCL4/5/6 driver on the damn thing, print to that and send it to the printer. It ain't hard. You're on an iPad, you're not expecting to have 600 different printer options for your specific printing device.

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