Usefulness of AirPrint with an iPhone and MacBooks...?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mazda 3s, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. Mazda 3s macrumors 6502

    Mazda 3s

    Oct 29, 2006
    I'm sure this has probably been brought up before, but I have to question the usefulness of Apple's AirPrint when used with an iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

    I question it because your MacBook has to be running at all times to be able to share the printer on your network for your iOS device to be able to print. Now I don't know about you, but if I'm on my iPhone lounging around the house, my MacBook Pro is usually closed 90% of the time -- no need to keep both devices running.

    Same goes for night time. I close my laptop and transfer 100% of my surfing duties over to my iPhone. But if I do want to print something out of the blue, my notebook would have to be open and running. Kinda defeats the purpose...

    Now don't get me wrong, AirPrint works just fine on my MacBook Pro with my HP 3800n and my Canon MX860 (using the hacktivator app), but the implementation seems a little limited to me.

    Now, I do also have a Photosmart Premium C310 with ePrint (I have it temporarily for testing purposes) that I can print to at any time I want no matter if my laptop is open or not. That seems like the way to go and I just wish there were a way to get around having to run your main computer 24-7 to have printing access.

    Maybe Google's cloud-based printing solution will be the better way to go?
  2. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    I think you can wake your computer just for the printing job, in energy saver tab of the settings, you can check wake for network access, I don't know if that actually works with airprint, but it's worth a shot.
  3. Mazda 3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mazda 3s

    Oct 29, 2006
    I have that option enabled on my MBP, and only the C310 shows up when I try to print if my MBP's lid is closed.
  4. shootermac macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2009
    Your Macbook does not need to be on, nor does your printer need to be networked through the Macbook. In fact, if my memory serves me correct the ability to "airprint" via "networked" printers (meaning physically connected to a computer via USB) was removed from the final release.

    You would print to an Airprint enabled printer (this is the key) over the wireless network, no need for a computer or any sort of print server.

    "No cables required” means exactly that. AirPrint printing is 100 percent wireless. iPad automatically locates and connects to AirPrint-enabled printers on your wireless network. "
  5. Mazda 3s thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mazda 3s

    Oct 29, 2006
    We're talking two separate things here:

    - AirPrint via OS X: Your printer is shared and your computer must be on because it prints via your computer

    - AirPrint-enabled printer: the printer has native AirPrint support and can be printed to over the network without the need for a PC (like the Photosmart C310 I mentioned above)

    I beef is with the first option
  6. shootermac macrumors newbie

    Feb 3, 2009
    Great point. And this is the way I have shared out a printer for many years. I could be wrong but I think they removed the ability to "Airprint" to a printer connected to a Mac via iOS4.2 And to your point yes, if you have to have your Mac on and connected to the printer the feature loses its luster.

    However, I now have an "Airprint" enabled printer, the HP 6500A ePrint enabled printer and the ability to print directly to the printer via iOS4.2 from either iPhone or iPad I think is pretty cool. I can see it being useful to not have to turn on any of my PC's to print out a quick email or document.
  7. paolo- macrumors 6502a

    Aug 24, 2008
    I don't think it's that bad, most people have their printer on or close to their desk and connected all the time.

    Stupid question but is your computer completely off or is it sleeping? Otherwise, apparently, it's possible to wake your mac with an app on the iPhone. It seems to be very possible if you plug your computer through ethernet with a wake-on-lan app for the iPhone. If you're using an AirPort or TimeCapsule, I think the remote app by apple will let you wake your computer with Wake On Demand. Otherwise, this cryptic thread might be able to help you if you're using another router.
  8. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    I'm still on 4.1 but I can see AirPrint being very useful.

    Work computer (PC) with an attached HP laser printer. Get a M$exchange email on my phone in which an attached word document must be printed. Hit print and done!
    Would be much nicer than having to go to the computer, logging into webmail, saving the document, then printing.

    Sorry if that's off topic. :eek:

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