Rumor: AirPrint Dropped From Macs And PCs

With the rumor of iOS 4.2′s impending arrival, new stories are circulating about AirPrint functionality being cancelled from networked Macs and PCs.

AirPrint was one of the most hyped features of the 4.2 since it was first mentioned by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. There’s a huge segment of iOS users who want, no need, printing capabilities from their mobile devices.

That AirPrint would enable this as an integrated feature — first with some HP printers, and then other shared printers connected to networked computers — well, that inspired tears of joy from a lot of people.

But now there’s a new rumor that support for it is being dropped for networked printers, leaving only select HP printers being compatible with this feature. The story goes that there’s been some alteration of the documentation and Read Me files for iOS 4.2 and Mac OS 10.6.5 (which is also set to debut any day now, and is required for Mac users who wanted to benefit from iOS 4.2′s AirPrint and AirPlay capabilities).

Any mentions of AirPrint supporting anything outside a few HP printers has been yanked. So a developer contacted Apple, asking, “What gives?” Here’s the reply:

Support for AirPrint on Windows and Mac has been cancelled. We will be in contact with you if another opportunity arises in the future.

Bizarre, especially considering AirPrint worked in 4.2 Gold Master and 10.6.5′s latest build. Was it glitchy? Is that why Cupertino whacked it down? Narrowing it down to only those specified printer models is seriously going to limit things for a huge userbase of would-be AirPlay users.

Again, this is a rumor, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Thankfully, the wait won’t be long. (iOS 4.2 is rumored to launch on Friday, and as early as today for iTunes 10.1 and Mac OS 10.6.5.) [UPDATE: Mac OS 10.6.5 has indeed come out and is currently available for download.]

Were you looking forward to AirPrint? And if so, would this undermine your excitement for the iOS 4.2 update? Or would it make little difference to you? Let us know in the comments.

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