On April 15th, Google announced a new approach to printing, Google Cloud Print.  The idea behind the new service is to give phones, web apps, and any cloud based services the ability to print just like native applications running on your desktop or laptop can today.  This idea is ambitious to say the least.  It also brings security and Google's access to our data into question, but that's a discussion for another post.  Here is an overview at how Google is planning to implement the service:

Google  Cloud Print

Applications will connect through the Google Cloud Print Service, to then print to cloud-aware printers and legacy based printers.  Rather than rely on the local operating system (or drivers) to print, apps can use Google Cloud Print to submit and manage print jobs.  Google Cloud Print will then be responsible for sending the print job to the appropriate printer with the particular options the user selected, and returning the job status to the app.

What does this mean to you and me?  Installing and printing using Google Cloud Print could make printing much easier.  Today, just the process of getting a printer installed with the correct drivers can be difficult for some users.  Tell Google what type of printer you have, and then let it handle the rest.  Now imagine you are at work and need to print something personal.  You could print directly to your home printer using Google Cloud Print.  Think about buying something from your phone.  You could print the receipt to your home for archival purposes.

Even though printing is now something that everyone is trying to do less, it is still something that we all need to do from time to time.   Google's approach appears to be a fresh look at how to make printing easier for everyone, and gives us the ability to print anywhere, from any device, to any printer.

We would definitely like to hear our readers' comments on this new service from Google.  Here are a few questions:

What are your thoughts on Google Cloud Print?
How would Google Cloud Print change your approach to printing?
Is the security of Google Cloud Print a concern?

Google Chromium Blog - A New Approach to Printing