Printing From i0S To OS X

I was pretty excited, based on reports in the community in the past about being able to print from my iPad in the new iOS 4.2.1 operating system via my Mac computer. My Wi-Fi laser printer in my home office is a good printer, but it certainly is not AirPrint enabled. So leveraging my MacBook (which is pretty much always up and running) was to be a good option for me.

no airprintBut, alas, iOS 4.2.1 is here, and OS X 10.6.5 is installed and running on my MacBook (after some troublesome issues that finally got resolved)… But it looks like Apple removed the AirPrint capability from the 10.6.5 release of OS X. It was in the beta versions, but not in the version they finally released.

Lifehacker has a brief article describing how to manually enable AirPrint support in 10.6.5, so you can share your non-AirPrint printers with your iOS 4.2 devices via your Mac.

In a nutshell, you just do this:

  • Download a few files (which are pulled from the OS X beta)
  • Copy them to a couple of specific locations (described in the linked site, above)
  • Remove your printer from the system
  • Restart your Mac
  • and re-add your printer, and share it

Of course, this is not a supported configuration and undoubtedly there is some very real reason why it was not included in 10.6.5, so your mileage may vary should you decide to try it.

For those who may not want to break open the Terminal app in OS X, someone also built a quick Mac App called AirPrint Hacktivator that you can run, which will allow you to automagically install the proper files and configure the OS.

Again, your mileage may vary. But I can tell you, it worked for me! I used the Hacktivator app and didn’t even have to restart my computer. I ran it, removed the old shared printer and re-added it, and instantly my iPad “saw” it and was able to print.

So, I’m now printing from my iPad, via my MacBook Air on the WLAN, to my office laser printer. Pretty slick, and a nice feature to have. No more emailing links and copy/paste content to one of my other computers in order to print things I find or need from the iPad.

If you’re interested in what else is available in iOS 4.2 for the iPad, I suggest you check out the Lifehacker review and video.

To read more about this sort of thing, converting HD DVDs to Blu-ray, exchanging water-damaged iPhones, network security, Easter eggs, or whatever else Greg Hughes feels like talking about, you should drop by his blog. He may not update daily, but the wait’s always worth it!