Apple announces printing from iPad and iPhone as developers get iOS 4.2 beta

In addition to releasing the iOS 4.2 beta to registered Apple developers, Apple on Wednesday announced AirPrint wi-fi printing functionality that will be soon coming to consumers.

"AirPrint is Apple's powerful new printing architecture that matches the simplicity of iOS--no set up, no configuration, no printer drivers and no software to download," said Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, Philip Schiller in a statement Wednesday. "iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users can simply tap to print their documents or photos wirelessly to an HP ePrint printer or to a printer shared on a Mac or PC."

Apple's statement on Wednesday highlighted the ability to print wirelessly with HP ePrint printers, but the functionality will by no means be exclusive to iOS. In June, HP announced the functionality would support most smartphones available today including BlackBerry and Android.

In fact, the wireless printing functionality is just about the only thing Steve Ballmer guaranteed would be present in Windows tablets.

The iOS 4.2 beta has been reported to have: multitasking, folders, the ability to import .ics calendar files, and various mail improvements to iOS. To run the beta, developers also get an early version of OS X (10.6.5) which, like iOS 4.2, is not expected to come to consumers for another month.

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