cloud_print_logo_betaGoogle announced that, starting Dec 7th, Google Cloud Print would be enabled in new developer builds of the Google Chrome browser. This new service aims to make the printing process much simpler. Cloud Print works by storing the drivers and configuration information for your printer in the cloud, as part of your Google Account. Once configured, you can print from any internet connected device (mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) to your Google Print connected printer. This means that you can print from anywhere, including your home or work printer. Here is a diagram provided by Google that shows how Cloud Print works:Cloud Print DiagramWhat 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.

This is similar to what HP is doing with their new ePrint enabled printers. No printers are available yet with this functionality built in, so Google is using Chrome to distribute this functionality. Currently, Cloud Print is only available to Windows users. Mac and Linux support should be soon to follow. Cloud Print will also be a central part of the new Google Chrome OS. It will be interesting to see how quickly this functionality takes off with home and business users. There still are some major security questions related to Google Print, such as:

  • Is it possible, in error, to send a print job to the wrong printer?
  • Could a hacker intercept all traffic sent to a printer?

Are you, or your company, ready to move to cloud based printing solutions?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

For more information on Cloud Print, please visit Google.