Mental Drizzle

Not a Brainstorm - Just Some Mental Drizzle

Posts tagged AirPrint

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iOS needs a PDF print function

It’s quite simple really. Apple already has printing in iOS. If you have an AirPrint capable printer, printing from your iPhone and iPad is easy and wireless.

One place where this capability falls short is PDF creation. On desktops and laptops, making a PDF in a word processor or a other content producing application is easy. Adding a PDF printer to iOS’s print capabilities would help people in low connectivity areas access information that they need.

Imagine that you are a home, on your WiFi network, and you pull up a long bridal gift registry from a store’s website. You’d rather not print the list since you regularly carry an iOS device with you. Also, you know that the store doesn’t have WiFi or a cellular data connection. How can you take that information with you?

Screen shots are an in-elegant kludge. You would clog up your photo stream with multiple images of your iOS screen. I use my iPhone camera as a second brain and the images of price tags and other random self notes make my Apple Tv screen saver a mess.

Imagine hitting the add button (the square with an arrow coming out of it) and selecting print. Then in the select printer dialog, you could just select PDF. This would create a PDF formatted just as it was for the printer and then it is sent to iBooks. Then you could open your shopping list in a convenient format without the need for Internet connectivity.

Filed under iOS AirPrint PDF

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An AirPrint Solution!

Lately, I’ve been helping out a lot of folks with their iPads. Many people are quite taken with the tablet and enjoy using it.

The big question almost everyone asks is “How do I print from it?”

Most Geeks and Nerds bristle at this question.  And their attitude has some  merit…  Nowadays, there isn’t much that needs to be printed.  However, need is a subjective term. 

So let’s talk answers:

The very same folks who want to print from their iPads are usually intrigued when I mention that I can print from my iPhone in my living room.  Fast-forward to two nights ago, when my buddy who has an iPad couldn’t get it to happen… I was a bit embarrassed. 

Backstory:

I happened to pickup a cheap HP 6500A during the holidays.  This printer happens to be listed on Apple’s AirPrint list.  And when I set it up on my network (wired) it worked instantly with my iPhone.  Nice!

Then I connected it as a network printer to the other Macs in the house.  I didn’t have a need to use the AirPrint feature until it failed…

So I took a chunk of alone time to try and solve my issue.  After a few tries reading the forums that Google sent me to, they suggested removing the printer from the Macs, reseting to factory, then re-adding the printer.  I did this, but to no avail.  

A curious problem revealed itself.  After the printer was connected as a network printer, another visit into System Preferences>Print & Scan>+ (to add another printer) showed the printer as “Bonjour Malfunction.”

AirPrint uses Bonjour services to communitcate with iOS devices.  

Further poking around led me to the printer’s internet settings page (just put the ip of your printer into a browser).  There I found that I could change the friendly name of the printer on the network; AND I could change the Bonjour name of the printer.  I made the names different then proceeded. 

I removed the printer from the Macs again and had some AirPrint success.  The final working solution was to add the printer onto the Macs as a Bonjour printer.  This is usually a step further than adding them as a network printer because the System Preferences>Print & Scan will show it to you as a nearby printer (this is a network printer).  Just hit the + button to get to the same printer from the Bonjour service and hopefully everything will be happy with your AirPrint-ing. 

P.S. - There have been some solutions posted to use a third party program to host up any printer connected to a computer as an AirPrint computer.  I haven’t tried them, but here are a few links:  PC, Mac, Linux

Filed under iPad print AirPrint HP 6500A network iPhone Bonjour