Rumor: Apple dropping AirPrint via Mac or PC

According to Mac Stories, “AirPrint,” a feature of the forth-coming iOS 4.2, won’t be as full-featured as originally announced.

In the original PR article about the feature, Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing said:

iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to an HP ePrint printer or to a printer shared on a Mac or PC.

However, as noted by Mac Stories, the bit about shared printers has not only disappeared from Apple’s website outlining iOS 4.2’s features, but also from the beta versions of Mac OS 10.6.5, which are available to registered developers. A Mac Stories source is even reporting that Apple Tech Support said that the printer sharing function had been “cancelled.”

In short, it appears that to take advantage of AirPrint, users will be limited to printers that support the feature, such as HP’s ePrint family of printers.

This is a big blow to users with existing infrastructure that doesn’t include brand-new printers. While printer sharing is simple to setup, I can’t help but wonder if Apple thought that cutting out a computer as the middleman simplified the process even further.

This morning, however, Ben Brooks is reporting that a Mac developer he is contact with says AirPrint is intact in the latest 10.6.5 beta builds. Time will tell, but I don’t think we’ve heard the end of the rumors surrounding AirPrint quite yet.

To be clear, Apple isn’t canceling AirPrint itself, despite some claims online. The feature is still outlined on Apple’s website, and is intact in the Gold Master of iOS 4.2.— Airprint isn’t going anywhere, but it may be less flexible than initially thought.

Thoughts? Be sure to sound off in the comments below!

Stephen Hackett, formerly a Lead Mac Genius at Apple, now spends his days running the IT department of a large non-profit in Memphis, TN. He writes about Apple, design and journalism at Like all twenty-somethings, you can find him… Full Bio