If you haven't heard of Google Cloud Print, that's not entirely surprising. Although it has been around since 2011, it has been widely used. However, that is likely to change over the next year or so. Unlike some Google services that were boxed during the spring cleanup, Google Cloud Print has gotten more and more features added to it.
So first of all, what is Google Cloud Print? Basically, it's a way for users to connect their printers (wired or wireless) to the Internet and be able to print from any device (web, desktop, mobile) from anywhere. In the world. The interesting thing about Google Cloud Print is that you can print from the device without installing any printer driver on the system. This can save a great deal of time and energy.
For example, if you bought a new Windows PC and connected it to your network, you'll normally have to find the driver for your current printer, download the software, and perform all the steps to install it. on that PC. Now just doing that takes time and lots of common problems, it also slows down your system with lots of additional printer software / tools you don't need. From here on out, I'll call it GCP.
With GCP, you just need to install the Google Cloud Printer Driver on your Windows machine and now you can print directly from any program to any printer you have added in GCP. So is GCP the best thing in the world? Yes, there are a few warnings and limitations that I will explain below.
Where can I print from?
GCP sounds good, but can you ask where I can actually print from? Well, that's where the GCP has taken big leaps over the past year. At first, you can only print from Chrome OS, Google Chrome on all platforms, and Gmail and Google Docs on your mobile phone. The first increase on this list is Cloud Print application in Google Play Store for Android devices.
With this application, users can print a variety of local files directly to GCP including SMS chats, photos, Facebook, Dropbox, Box, Mail and more. Users can also manage printers, share printers, manage print jobs and more from the application. Right now, there's no Cloud Print app in the Apple App store, but with Google's awesome tracking profile for releasing Google apps for iOS devices, chances are we'll see Cloud Print soon. appear on iPhone and iPad.
On July 23, 2013, Google really made GCP a lot more helpful by introducing Google Cloud Print driver. You can install this application on any Windows machine and it will allow you to select Google Cloud Printer when printing from any Windows application.
They have also released Google Cloud Print Service in addition to the Print driver. Cloud Print Service will run as a Windows service and can be used to connect older printers to GCP. Print services are more geared towards businesses and schools.
Finally, there is one Short list of applications Works with GCP and allows you to print from them. For example, on iOS, you can download it InCentral Pro, will allow you to print emails, contacts, text messages, etc. from an iOS device to GCP. At this time, Google has released the Print Driver for Mac, but you can download an application called Cloud printer that do pretty much the same thing.
Now that you understand where you can now print from, consider connecting your printer to GCP.
Cloud Print Ready vs Classic Print
The main thing to understand about GCP is how you connect the printer to the actual service. There are two types of printers in the GCP world: Cloud Ready and Classic Printers. Cloud Ready printers are printers that came with the GCP service installed and configured. This is the best way to use GCP because the printer will actually register itself with the GCP service over your network and will always be available for printing.
Another great thing about Cloud Ready printers is that they automatically update their firmware and drivers over the Internet, so you don't even have to worry about that. Unfortunately, there are many printers that currently support GCP. You can view the full list of Cloud Ready Printers here:
If you have one of the printers listed there, you can click on the link provided to set it up with GCP. Basically, you just need to register your Google email address with GCP on the printer.
Next is the Classic Printer. Classic printers are what most people will use when setting up GCP. Classic printers are printers that are connected directly to your computer through a cable or wireless printer installed on your machine. Any printer you can print from your computer can be added to GCP regardless of how it is connected.
Now, the big difference between Cloud Ready and Classic printers is that to print with any Classic printer, the computer with the printer installed must be turned on and you must be signed in to Google Chrome. If you turn off your computer or log out of Chrome and try to print to GCP, the print job will only be added to the print queue. When the computer is turned back on and you are logged into Chrome, the print job will be printed.
Add a classic printer
Adding a classic printer to GCP is quite simple. First, go to the installed computer and open Chrome. Then click the Chrome menu button (three horizontal lines) and select Setting.
Scroll down and then click Show advanced settings. Scroll down some details until you see Google Cloud In.
Go ahead and click Add a printer A button and popup box will appear with a list of currently installed printers.
You can also choose to automatically register new printers when you connect them to your computer. That's all there is to adding a printer to GCP. It will now take you to the GCP management console where you will see your printers listed.
Upload the file to print
In addition to the various ways you can print mentioned above, you also have the option to upload the file directly to GCP and print. So for example, if you're on a Mac and want to print a PDF or image or Word document or whatever, you just have to upload it. Log into GCP control panel, click PRINT and then click Upload file to print.
I uploaded an Excel file and it printed fine. From what I can say, it seems you can print any file type. I can even print an Adobe Photoshop file. So far, I haven't been able to print something, so that's pretty awesome.
An interesting feature of GCP is the ability to share printers with other people with Google accounts. It has become one of the best features of GCP. Last week my parents went to town and they needed to print a boarding pass for the return flight. Usually, they just use my computer and print it from there, but this time I decided to give GCP a little bit of testing.
I went to the GCP control panel, selected a printer and clicked on Share.
Then I just type the email address and select Printable permission
In her Google account, she received an email with a link to add a printer.
She clicked on the link and then had to click Accept to add my printer to her Google Cloud Print account.
And that is literally it! Then she just printed a boarding pass from Chrome and chose my printer. It printed in two seconds and we were done. No need to use my computer, no need to download the printer driver on her computer. Just post a link, click it and print! The next time someone visits you and needs to print and you don't want them on your computer, use GCP if they have a Google account! For the first time in a long time, I was impressed by something that worked very well and effectively.
By using Google Cloud Print, you can also consolidate all your printers into one place. For example, if you have a wireless printer installed on one, but have a second printer connected by a cable to the second, you can add both printers to Google Cloud Print and print from any computers or any mobile device.
Alternatively, you can print any file to Google Drive or directly to FedEx Office. The ability to save to Google Drive makes GCP like Evernote. You can print a web page to view later directly to Google Drive.
Overall, Google Cloud Print has become a lot more useful over the past year. Google will continue to add more features to GCP, which will make it a great way for consumers to print easily from anywhere and any device. Enjoy!