Very informative post. Thanks!As the other posters have suggested, third party apps can do this. For example ‘Print N Share’ can print to both WiFi printers (directly) and to networked printers via your PC or Mac.
It allows printing under iOS 4.2.1 and iOS 4.3 to non-AirPrint printers. AirPrint is Apple’s proprietary printing protocol that is currently only supported by a few printers. ‘Print N Share’ allows printing to non-AirPrint printers by ‘translating’ the AirPrint printing protocol to a format that your printer ‘understands’.
‘Print N Share’ cleverly inserts itself into the in-app ‘Print’ menu of apps that support in-app printing and ‘pretends’ to be an AirPrint printer. If you have a WiFi printer it prints directly to the printer (i.e. the PC or Mac can be turned off). For non-WiFi printers - i.e networked - it uses a small program (app) that’s loaded onto your PC/Mac (available free to download from the Developer’s website) and ‘links’ your PC/Mac to your iPad. When you print from your iPad the printing data is sent using WiFi to your PC/Mac, where it’s forwarded over the network to your printer. Sounds complicated (OK - that’s because I’ve done a poor job of explaining!) but, in reality, it works just fine!
You need to be aware that not all apps support in-app printing. For example, Apple’s iWorks ‘Pages’ app (Microsoft ‘Word’ compatible) does support in-app printing, but the iPad’s native ‘Calendar’ app doesn’t. So, if you have some specific printing requirements check the app supports in-app printing. That said, there are usually ‘workarounds’!
Let us know if you have any other questions, or if I can clarify what I’ve said here (well, I can hardly make it less clear!)
I should add the usual disclaimer - I have no association with the developers of ‘Print N Share’, other than being a satisfied customer. There are, of course, many other third-party printing apps and I’m sure you’ll get feedback from other Forum members about those apps.
Enjoy your iPad and Happy Printing!