As reported last week, Apple has removed a feature from AirPrint that would allow users to print from any iOS device running 4.2 or higher to any printer, as long as it was shared from a Mac or PC.

Since then, several people have posted possible workarounds, which included some rather questionable things — including downloading old beta builds of 10.6.5 and tinkering the command line — neither of which are super user friendly.

Collobos Software has released an $8 utility that promises to restore this function in a neat, clean fashion.

Once the app is fired up, it lists all printers the Mac is currently connected to, and gives the option to set those up as AirPrint printers. Nice and simple.

FingerPrint isn’t perfect, however. While I can print just fine to the newer HP Color LaserJet CP3525, which is shared from a 10.5.8 Mac mini, I can’t print to any printer simply on the network.

I have a new HP LaserJet P4014 and an older HP Laserjet 5200 set up on the network using DHCP and Bonjour. I can’t get my iPad (running iOS 4.2 GM2) to print to either one — I don’t get an error on my iPad or on the printer — the job simply never prints.

If I enable printer sharing for the P4014 and 5200 on a Mac on the network, however, I can print to them. In short — computer-based printer sharing is still necessary for this to work, which makes complete sense, as that was the solution Apple had in place. I wish that FingerPrint’s interface would only show shared printers, not all the printers available to the Mac itself. The app could then prompt users to enable printer sharing. As it stands now, it’s a little confusing to see FingerPrint display a green dot next to a printer and that printer show up on an iPad, without the ability to actually print to it.

If the developer could clear this issue up in the UI, this app would be just about perfect. As it is, it’s almost there. This is $8 well-spent for any hardcore iPad or iPhone user with printers not officially supported by AirPrint.

Article Via TUAW

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