I have an iOS application that prints just fine. I'm connected to a WiFi network that has a printer that supports AirPrint and I can send to that printer just fine. But I also need to print to specialty printers (like a Datamax/Oneil or even a Boca) that do not support AirPrint. Are there any software/hardware solutions that would allow for my iOS apps to print to printers without native support for AirPrint?

  • "airprint activator" allows you to print to any printer shared by your Mac. I just tried it yesterday and it works, and is free. There are also paid solutions (printopia, etc) and well as hacks for Windows systems. – Jason Jan 25 '12 at 17:07
  • So what are some of those hacks for Windows systems??? – Jim Beam Jan 25 '12 at 17:31
  • google "airprint windows" - I haven't tried any so I can't recommend one over another – Jason Jan 25 '12 at 18:06

I have been recently working just in this same topic. I would suggest you to have a look at these blog entries (AirPrint I, AirPrint II) where we share our experience in some sort of tutorial.

The setup presented in part II has been implemented in a small hospital, and now the users are able to print from their iPads to several printers shared this way. Some of the printers are really old ones (more than 10 years old).

The resulting setup works flawlessly, so I do recommend it.


You could save the file to the server and then have either a file watcher application running to monitor the folder you upload to, or you could trigger a server process after uploading the file to stream that file to the printer. This would be easy to accomplish using a web-service on either Windows or Linux.

  • I'm concerned about the speed of this type of solution. I'd like to find a solution that would keep everything on the local network. – Jim Beam Jan 25 '12 at 17:03
  • That server can be on the local network BTW. I do this for network connected printers. – ElJay Jan 25 '12 at 17:14

You can turn any non-AirPrint printer into one if you are running a Mac with them connected, we use it quite a bit as we have no AirPrint printers...

AirPrint Activator

  • Interesting solution. I'll research this one further but ideally I'd like to find a solution that is using Windows simply because I already have those installed. – Jim Beam Jan 25 '12 at 17:47

Not to sound like I work for them (as I don't), but I looked far and wide for a good solution and this is it: Fingerprint by Collobos (mac or pc). It is $9.99. But, I can assure you it will be the best $10 you've spent in a while (they have a trial version). Not only can you share ANY printer (regular, pdf, etc.), you can send to file, to dropbox, etc. A great example is that you snap a photo on your iPhone and want to open it on your computer, click print and select Open on my computer.

Set it and forget it, anyone that comes into my house can print way (as long as they are connected to my wifi).

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