Before AirPrint became available, printing wirelessly might require installing 3rd party app and having the document traveled a long distance through an external infrastructure before coming back to the printer possibly right next to you. Whether you choose to print via AirPrint or 3rd party app, the steps to configure should be pretty straight forward for a single or a few users on the network. In a corporate environment with hundreds or thousands of devices, however, any manual configuration must be avoided at all costs. Besides, the organization may choose to limit printing to a specific printer(s) when security is of utmost importance. With VMware AirWatch, you can easily configure, deploy, and manage AirPrint to all your mobile devices. Let me show you how.
For this post, I will use the printer below as an example but any printer that supports AirPrint will do just fine.
Step 1: Confirm that your printer supports the AirPrint feature
Per Apple, you also need to make sure that your iOS device and your printer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network and that you’re within range.
Here are some of the links you may find helpful with this setup.
- HP Printers – Wireless Printing from a Laptop, Phone, or Tablet
- HP LaserJet Pro – Set up, Install, and Configure AirPrint
- HP LaserJet, HP PageWide – Printers that can use mobile printing solutions
Step 2: Identify the IP address and resource path of the printer
To identify the IP address and resource path of the printer which will be required for the AirPrint payload in AirWatch, grab a Mac, and follow the steps outlined in the link below.
Using my MacBook Pro as an example. I would identify the IP address and resource path by connecting to the same network as the printer. Even if the printer’s subnet is different than your Mac’s, it should be fine as long as communication is allowed between the two subnets.
If you are not able to retrieve the resource path with the method above, don’t give up just yet! Based on the link below, it’s quite possible that both HP and Dell have ipp/printer as the resource path for their printers.
Step 3: Configure and deploy payload in VMware Workspace ONE UEM console to support AirPrint
You may check out the link below from AirWatch on the proper configuration of the AirPrint payload. You can also configure more than one printer by clicking on the + sign.
“Configure an AirPrint payload for an Apple device to enable computers to automatically detect an AirPrint printer even if the device is on a different subnet than the AirPrint printer.”
While the KB specifies the format (XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX) for the IP Address field, I tested and confirmed DNS name would work just fine. In fact, we utilize this AirPrint profile for ‘Follow Me Print’ which points to a virtual IP (VIP) for a print server in the load balancer.
If you also have a restriction profile in place, be sure to check off Allow AirPrint.
Step 4: Test printing functionality from the device
First, confirm the printer is published under Settings -> General -> Device Management -> Device Manager -> More Details -> AIRPRINT CONFIGURATION. Here, I have 2 different printers published.
To print, click on the icons shown below in the proper order.
Regardless of the number of printers published to your device, initially you need to press Select Printer to specify the printer to print to.
Press on the printer you wish to print to. You will then notice the lock icon turns into a spinning icon.
Finally, click Print.
If you go back, you will notice the lock is now unlocked.
If you are curious like me, press on the info icon will show details of the printer such as the one below.
A true mobile professional can now enjoy this benefit without compromising security. It’s a win-win for everyone!