AirPrint was absolutely ground breaking when it was introduced and still sets the standard for ease of use. That’s because Apple worked with printer manufacturers to make it so integrated. There really are no cables involved, no downloads or activation steps. In a few taps or clicks, you locate a nearby printer and just print.
I remember the very first time using it from my first iPad. Not only was it so easy, but it was magical. It also really felt like Apple listened to its users. That’s because Apple initially released AirPrint with iOS 4.2 after hearing consistent complaints that it was so hard to print from iPhones and iPads. There was a clamor for Apple to come up with an “insanely great” solution. After the launch, I was amazed when Steve Jobs actually responded personally to an email and said, “Lots more coming soon. It’s what it takes to make a giant leap to driverless printing, which is huge.” True to his word, AirPrint really did turn into something huge.
Fast forward three years and you can see how significant a milestone the AirPrint launch was when you consider it is integrated into every current Apple iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Mac device. If you count the Apple devices that support AirPrint since 2009, that’s over 600 Million units. At three years old, it also has an extensive list of supported printers from all printer manufacturers. I’m proud to say that as of today, Epson supports AirPrint on 117 models and tens of millions of units worldwide.
AirPrint is so well integrated that it just seems intuitive. So intuitive that my four year old son figured it out just last week. We knew he worked it out himself because he wasn’t supposed to be using my iPad at the time. He was downstairs and pulled my iPad out of my briefcase and printed to the upstairs printer. I just happened to be next to the printer at the time.
In fact, the vast majority of users have no idea they are using AirPrint. True to Apple’s design philosophy, the technology really does “get out of the way” when you are ready to print. Once you send the print job, you can go back to what you were doing – the print job is handled in the background. It definitely sets the standard for wireless printing integration.
That’s really the only problem I see with AirPrint. It has nothing to do with the technology behind it, but with awareness. It’s no longer actively marketed on the Apple website by name. It’s a quiet workhorse that is easy and intuitive to use. That’s why I wanted to wish AirPrint a very Happy 3rd Birthday and congratulate the Apple engineers for such magical work.
If you own an iPad or iPhone and haven’t printed from it, you really need to try AirPrint out. Open up any email and tap on the “Arrow” icon to see the print option. If you are near a Wi-Fi printer and on the same network, chances are you’ll be able to print to is in just a few clicks. Experience some of the Apple magic.
To find out more about how to use AirPrint with Epson Printers, click HERE.
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