Wednesday, February 23, 2011

[How To] iOS Airprinting with Airport Express

Just a quick "How To" to get your iOS devices printing on your home network.. with ANY USB printer.

I had, during iOS 4.2 beta testing, my USB HP CM1017 color laser printer shared via my iMac working on my iOS 4.2 test devices. We've now moved to a new apartment and when setting up our office I did not want to use a USB printer anymore.

We had a couple of unused Airport Express (with USB ports) devices so I figured it would work and was worth a go. Indeed it was!

Setup your Airport Express to join your existing wireless network, you should update the firmware if needed. Restart the device, turn on and connect your printer. Using your Airport Utility make sure it detects your USB printer.

On one of your networked Mac's (I used my 2nd floor EyeTV Mac Mini since it stays on all the time), download and install Airprint Activator LINK. Now just add and setup your "Bonjour" printer and make sure you share it.

WOW, there is no 3! On your iOS 4.2 or newer devices open an app (like Elemental PToE that offers printing), select your printer and off you go!

Here's several thousand words...

iOS application

Just to clarify, even though all the other Mac's on your network will work with the shared printer on the Airport express, your iOS devices will only "see" Airprint capable printers which is why you need to install Airprint Activator.

Have fun

Community Project Update

Things are moving right along on the community project and I'm very glad I signed up to work on it. Yes it has cut into my limited time but the experience has far exceeded whatever lost time on my current projects.

One of the biggest benefits is to watch the progress (changes, updates, tweaks, etc) over each iteration. The interaction between the other contributors has been great too.

I'm now somewhat disappointed that I didn't sign-up for more!

Here is the link for the community project.