iPad printing to an unsupported printer

A reader who wishes to remain unnamed shouldn’t be so shy, as this is a perfectly lovely question. He or she writes:

Is there a way to print to an Airport connected printer from an iPad? Seems like there ought to be.

There is, although you’ll need a third-party utility to make it work. The utility I use is Ecamm Network’s $20 Printopia 2, a printing utility that works with all iOS devices. First, be sure that the printer is “seen” by your Mac (if it doesn’t appear in the Print & Fax (Snow Leopard) or Print & Scan (Lion) preference click the Plus (+) button at the bottom of that preference window and add it. It should appear as a Bonjour device.

Now install Printopia on your Mac and it appears within System Preferences. Select it and in the printer list enable those printers connected to your Mac—your AirPort-attached printer should appear in this list.

And that’s really all there is to it. When your iPad is on the same network as your printer, that printer will appear as one of the choices in the iPad’s Printer menu. Select it, tap Print, and good things should happen.

Updated to mention compatibility with all iOS devices.

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