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Friday, December 10, 2010, 11:30 am PT (02:30 pm ET)

HP updates six printers to work with Apple's AirPrint

HP this week updated the firmware of six of its printers, enabling compatibility with Apple's AirPrint, which allows printing directly from iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

HP added the functionality to six of its Officejet line of printers with firmware updates released on Thursday. AirPrint is built in to the recently released iOS 4.2 software update for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

Printers that just received AirPrint functionality are:
  • Officejet 6500A e-AiO
  • Officejet 6500A Plus e-AiO
  • Officejet 7500A Wide Format e-AiO
  • Officejet Pro 8500A e-AiO
  • Officejet Pro 8500A Plus e-AiO
  • Officejet Pro 8500A Premium e-AiO

The addition of six new printers makes a total of 18 printers from HP that are now compatible with AirPrint. Five existing printers offer AirPrint functionality out of the box, while another seven had previously released firmware updates that added the ability to print from iOS 4.2.

AirPrint was originally intended to work from any printer shared through a Mac or PC. In early builds of iOS 4.2, iTunes 10.1 and Mac OS X 10.6.5 issued to developers, printers could be shared over a local network to iOS 4.2 devices.

AirPrint


That functionality was eventually removed, and now only HP printers with support for direct wireless printing without sharing through a Mac or PC work with AirPrint. However, a number of fixes and workarounds have been released that allow users to share a printer once again.

There were rumors that a legal dispute led Apple to remove the printer sharing feature from Mac OS X 10.6.5, iTunes 10.1 and iOS 4.2 at the last minute. Apple's own website now only promises that AirPrint allows users to "print mail, photos, web pages, and more directly to a printer on a wireless network."