In the age of high-tech mobile devices bringing everything to you from streaming video, to email, to Angry Birds, and so on from the touch of your finger tips, we still sometimes have to rely on “ol’ fashioned” desk-top style hardware. Sometimes you need a large monitor, more processing power, or just that full QWERTY physical keyboard. Let’s no forget printers! Yes, people still do print from time to time, even in this age of soft-copies and electronic forms. So what do you do when you’re on the road and need to print something (lets say to your office) from your mobile device and you just don’t have the time/means to email it? You need a cloud printing solution, and you want it to be printer-model agnostic.

Google Cloud Printing, which is still in beta, has developed this capability. Even though options are still limited, it’s a taste of what’s to come. To get started, queue up this video from cnet.com and watch it: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20032138-1.html 

So now you’ve watched the video, you’ve downloaded the Google Chrome Browser, and followed the steps to sign-in and enable Google Cloud printing. Perhaps you’ve even sent a test page! Congratulations! But wait, did you get through all of this without any issues? Need more information? Keep reading…

Issue #1: When I first saw the list of printers appear in the pop-up window for Google Cloud Printing, I noticed not all my printers appeared. I had to exit Chrome, and come back in, then all the printers were listed (that I have installed on my computer). Yes, this even works for printers you are connected to through a print server.

Issue #2: This wasn’t made absolutely clear in the video, but you MUST leave Google Chrome open on your local computer. Once you close it, you are no longer connected to the cloud printing service (which happens behind the scenes).

Issue #3: You must use the web portal for Gmail and Google Docs to print. The native Gmail app does not support printing.

Issue #4: When in Google Docs and trying to print documents, spreadsheets appear to be not supported. At this time, it appears that only word documents are supported for Google Cloud printing.

Other than those issues, printing was fast! I was able to print an email, and it didn’t appear to take any longer than if I printed it from my local computer. For still being in beta, the “product” works very nicely and has a lot of potential. Hopefully Google keeps working on this and expands its capabilities. I’d like to see a separate application running on a local computer to avoid having to leave Chrome open, like a Windows Service running in the background. This could then be integrated much cleaner with corporate print servers.


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