Google launches Cloud Print
Google, perhaps in an attempt to take the wind out of Apple’s AirPrint sails, has launched its own cloud printing feature called Cloud Print. Now one may be excused for pondering why we need to kill trees remotely with technology more mobile and handy today, but I digress.
The feature allows you to give the print command from an Android or iOS smartphone. All you have to do is open a document on Google Docs or Gmail and click the print option from the drop-down menu. You’ll also need to activate the feature by connecting the printer to Google Print. The printer must be on a Windows OS and the conduit is the latest version of the Chrome browser – yes, you’ll need to have that installed. Google states support for Mac and Linux is coming soon.
The feature uses Google Cloud to manage and host the print drivers on a Google account. The attraction, I suppose, is that you can print something out at the office while you’re on your way to work and it is waiting for you when you get there. That might be convenience overkill, but in fairness, I’ve never been a paper kind of guy so perhaps the convenience of this escapes me.
Not only does this new feature compete with Apple’s AirPrint, but also Microsoft’s cloud support for Office. In late 2010 Google launched a service called Google Cloud Connect which allows users to sync documents with Google Docs and creates backups. Each backup gets a unique URL and can be shared and edited.
Google seems to be working hard to offer new features for enterprise smartphone users. Google Docs released a feature in September allowing for real time editing of word, Power Point and spreadsheet documents.
All things considered, doesn’t it make you wonder what kind of personal data this will provide to Google? They know an awful lot about most of us as it is.
Google provides the setup instructions here: http://www.google.com/landing/cloudprint/win-enable.html
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