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Apple releases slew of new printer drivers for OS X

If you've been bogged down by printer problems, Apple's latest batch of drivers just might be the ticket.

Apple's print system is built on the open-source Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) technology, which it acquired a few years ago and implemented in its Mac operating system.

The printer drivers for the CUPS system are largely developed by refining generic driver sets to accommodate the features in new hardware, rather than being developed completely from scratch and distributed by companies separately. As a result, Apple periodically releases driver updates for printers from various companies.

Today Apple has issued a new round of driver updates for Mac users running Snow Leopard and Lion, which covers new and current print and scanning devices from Canon, Samsung, Gestetner, Ricoh, Infotec, Lanier, InfoPrint, and NRG. Apple has made these driver sets available for download from its Support Downloads Web page.

While most of the driver packages are between 16MB and 34MB in size, the drivers for Canon, as with other large-name printer manufacturers, are well over 300MB in size, because it contains the software for numerous devices instead of just one or two.

Even though Apple makes these driver packages available for download, you can instead use Software Update to install the drivers. Software Update will detect which printer devices you have and only download the driver updates for those devices instead of installing many that you might never use.

These driver updates include some for Samsung, and following recent problems some people have had with Samsung printers causing a "printtool" process to use up system recources, these updates might help address the issue.

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