Lantronix has released a new version of its xPrintServer which lets you connect any printer to your home network with a small box and turn it into a wireless printer for your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad.
The company released its first xPrintServer late last year, allowing you to turn any network-connected printer into an iOS printer simply by plugging an Ethernet cable into the little box so that it could discover networked printers.
Now the company is adding the xPrintServer Home Edition to its lineup, adding a USB port for the types of printers you’re more like to find… at home.
The $99 print server basically means you can send print jobs from your iPad to virtually any printer, not just one that supports Apple’s AirPrint service.
Of course, if you use a USB cable to connect your printer to the xPrintServer, that means you can’t plug the printer directly into your PC — but the xPrintServer will allow you to treat your standard USB printer like a shared network printer so you can still use it from your computer as well as your iPhone or iPad.
Unfortunately the xPrintServer doesn’t support WiFi — so you’ll need to have a router and printer that are reasonably close to one another.
I got a chance to talk to the folks at Lantronix about the print server this evening, and the first thing I asked is whether there were plans to develop a version that would support non-iOS devices. Printing from an Android phone or tablet or a Chrome OS laptop, for instance, is still a little tougher than it should be.
The answer is that it would be very easy for the company to develop an xPrintServer for Android… but the decision was made to start with iOS. So I’ll call that a definite maybe.