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What Is AirPrint and How Does It Work?

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What Is AirPrint and How Does It Work?

Key Points

  • AirPrint is Apple’s answer to printer drivers and is designed for wireless printing from Macs, iPhones, and iPads.
  • Initially, there were only a dozen or so compatible printers at launch, but now there are thousands of printers from dozens of manufacturers that are compatible with AirPrint.
  • Compatible printer brands include Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, Sharp, Lexmark, Ricoh, and Pantum, as well as traditional printers, multifunction systems, laser printers, and around a dozen AirPrint servers.
  • If you have a suitable i-Device and want to use AirPrint with a printer that isn’t compatible, you can download special software for your PC, such as Printopia, which allows for wireless printing from an iPad or iPhone with any printer, including older machines.

AirPrint is one of Apple’s older tech tricks and something many users tend to overlook. This handy feature is designed to make printing easier, and it does when set up properly. If you want to know what AirPrint is and how to use it, our guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What Is AirPrint?

Apple is known for attacking various problems in interesting ways. AirPrint is their answer to printer drivers, something that has driven consumers crazy for decades. While it can certainly frazzle your nerves occasionally, the technology can make wireless printing a breeze.

As the name implies, AirPrint is a technology designed for Apple’s devices. That means you can’t use it from an Android smartphone or slate. It’s compatible with Macs, iPhones, and iPads. The software was introduced in 2010 and integrated into the iOS 4.2 release. It opened the doors to wireless printing from iPhones and iPads, although compatibility was initially an issue.

While this technology allows users to skip drivers and print from their device, the printer has to be compatible. Initially, that was an issue, considering there were only a dozen or so compatible printers at launch. That’s changed, and you can now find the feature on thousands of printers from dozens of manufacturers.

Apple AirPrint Requirements

If you want to try AirPrint, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment. If you own an iPad or Mac of any kind, you’re good to go. Otherwise, you’ll need to ensure you have an iPhone 3GS or better or at least the 3rd generation of the iPod Touch.

You should also make sure your device is up-to-date, and you have access to the Wi-Fi network you want to print from. After that, you need to check on the compatibility of the printer you plan to use to ensure that it is AirPrint compliant.

best wireless printer
AirPrint gives users the ability to print wirelessly from an iPhone or iPad.

AirPrint Printers

There weren’t many printers that would work with this technology when it first arrived, but you won’t have a problem finding a compatible printer in 2023. You can find printers from Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, and more.

Those are some of the more prominent brands, but you can find printers from companies like Sharp, Lexmark, Ricoh, and Pantum. Apple’s list is impressive and the best way to check and see if your current printer has AirPrint technology.

Supports
Canon Pixma iX6820 Wireless Business Printer
$179.00
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Supports Air Print, Google Cloud Print, and Pixma Printing Solutions (PPS)
  • Inkjet printer with individual ink tank system
  • 150-sheet capacity with auto-feeding
  • 9600 x 2400 DPI
  • 15ppm color print speed
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2024 08:55 am GMT

That includes traditional printers, multifunction systems, laser printers, and around a dozen AirPrint servers. There are also USB devices with AirPrint capabilities from Brother and Cannon, like the CanoScan LIDE 400 full-color scanner.

Scanner
Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner
$80.99
  • 7.7 x 14.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Scans as fast as 8 seconds
  • Includes USB-C cable
  • 4800 x 4800 dpi resolution
  • Scan and send right to cloud services
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/02/2024 08:54 am GMT

Using AirPrint With Other Printers

If you have a suitable i-Device and still want to use AirPrint but don’t have a compatible printer, there are workarounds. To print using AirPrint on a printer that isn’t compatible, you’ll need to download special software for your PC.

One of the most well-known is Printopia. This award-winning software allows for wireless printing from an iPad or iPhone with any printer, including older machines. It can automatically scale documents or send things to Dropbox. Printopia 3 is an excellent choice for anyone interested in printing from an iDevice, and there’s a free 7-day trial. The paid version is $19.99, and there’s a Pro version for businesses as well.

  1. Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner
    $80.99
    • 7.7 x 14.5 x 0.4 inches
    • Scans as fast as 8 seconds
    • Includes USB-C cable
    • 4800 x 4800 dpi resolution
    • Scan and send right to cloud services
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/02/2024 08:54 am GMT
  2. Canon Pixma iX6820 Wireless Business Printer
    $179.00
    • Compatible with Windows and Mac
    • Supports Air Print, Google Cloud Print, and Pixma Printing Solutions (PPS)
    • Inkjet printer with individual ink tank system
    • 150-sheet capacity with auto-feeding
    • 9600 x 2400 DPI
    • 15ppm color print speed
    Buy Now

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    03/02/2024 08:55 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use AirPrint with Bluetooth?

No, while it’s a wireless technology, it only works through Wi-Fi networks.

Is AirPrint free?

AirPrint is completely free to use on compatible devices.

How can I tell if my printer has AirPrint?

The best way to see if your printer is compatible with AirPrint is to check the list on Apple’s official site.

Where do you get the AirPrint app?

AirPrint isn’t an app but a type of technology built-in to devices from Apple.

Why doesn’t AirPrint work with my printer?

If AirPrint doesn’t work, ensure your devices are up to date and the printer is compatible with AirPrint.

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