The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Apple iOS 17 users unable to use mobile printing

FollowMe printers around campus are rendered unusable to students who have updated to iOS 17
Photo by Caleb Kleinhans
Only the FollowMe printers have had issues with the iOS 17 update so far.

Since the release of the Apple iOS 17 software update, students who have updated have been unable to use the mobile print function on the FollowMe printers.

Craig Ernst, information technology manager of Client Support Services for Learning Technology Services, said this has been an issue since Sept. 18.

PaperCut, the software UW-Eau Claire uses for its mobile printing system, released a statement on Oct. 6 saying the issue was due to a change Apple made with iOS 17 and is not something they can fix. This issue impacts all PaperCut customers, not just UW-Eau Claire users.

“It is definitely something they’ve (Apple) changed in the operating system that prevents those devices from seeing how the printers are broadcast on the network,” Ernst said. “That is all on Apple to address in their software. We hope that they would address it sooner rather than later.”

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LTS sent an alert via email on Wednesday, Sept. 27, warning all students using iPhones to avoid updating to iOS 17, in order to keep mobile printing functionality.

“I have not updated my phone in order to avoid that issue because I need to be able to print stuff,” Jocelyn Battista, a first-year student and member of the Student Senate, said.

Although Apple ultimately has to fix the issue, LTS has been working to find a temporary alternative for iOS 17 users, which Ernst said, is not guaranteed to work.

“Since last week, the LTS team has been exploring another option to essentially make a workaround for Apple’s mistake,” Ernst said. “It’s not necessarily designed for what we’re going to use it for and we’re still testing to see if it can actually work.”

In the meantime, Ernst said students who have already updated to iOS 17 can still use the FollowMe printers by logging into a lab computer, such as one in the library, and queueing a print from there. 

“I think there are ways to go back to iOS 16, but I don’t know that’s a very elegant, pretty or easy process,” Ernst said. “There is no other really good option besides finding a different device or computer to print from.” 

Ernst said this issue is isolated and is not impacted in any way by other UW-Eau Claire technology systems, such as the Blugold Mobile ID.

Battista said she believes the university’s technology systems to be generally reliable. She said technology is frequently used by the senate for meeting notes, files, budgets and communications. 

She said the only real issue since she’s been on campus has been a Wi-Fi outage.

“It was a three- or four-hour period of the day that it wasn’t working,” Battista said. “I was like ‘I guess I’ll go do something else instead of homework right now.’”  

As far as the FollowMe printers go, Ernst said this is the first major issue, especially of this scale. He said he does not believe the incompatibility will last forever, even though it is unlikely Apple will give any announcement.

“The PaperCut system — since its inception over five years ago — has been generally very reliable with making it easy for students to print from their personal devices,” Ernst said. “Unfortunately there are a lot of other hands that have to make that work.” 

Kleinhans can be reached at [email protected]

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