Google came out with another good idea, this time, what about being able to print to your printer from anywhere (computers, smart phones and Cloud-Aware Printer)? Google Cloud Print is a web service that allows you just to do that.
The idea behind Google Cloud Print is to provide a cloud based print service, where printers do not have to rely on the PC anymore and at the same time, have a similar or better printing experience either with web-based apps or with traditional applications, like the ones we use today on computers or mobile devices. The user will just need to associate the printer with the Google Account, and Google Cloud Print service will take care of the rest. In the future, users will be able to share printers with family, friends, and co-workers from any where in the planet. The up coming Google Chrome OS will use this new print service for all the printing, so no drivers worries in this department.
There are 2 different methods on how a printer connects with Google Cloud Print. The first one is with Cloud-Aware Printers (the best solution), we don’t yet have these kind of printers, but it is possible to designed a protocol that printers can use to connect directly to Google’s print service without the need of extra software or configuration — we may see these kind of printers in the near feature –. And the second one is with the Legacy Printers, these are the kind of printers we use today (USB, Networked, and the new Web Connected printers), these printers do not know how to talk the Google Cloud Print service. This problem can be solved by creating a software that is installed in the computer and it acts as a proxy between Google Cloud Print service and the printer itself — this is the piece of software that you can enable today with the latest beta version of Google Chrome that we are reviewing below –. The issue with this solution is that requires to have the computer to be turned on and connected to the internet in order to print, but it will do the job just fine! Also there are possibilities that someone will be able to create a proxy in other devices like in a router, for example, eliminating the need of a computer turned on all the time just to use the printer.
Note: Google Cloud Print is currently available for Windows 7, Vista, and for XP, Linux and Mac support will be coming pretty soon. And you also need to have installed the latest beta version of Google Chrome 9.
Follow these steps to connect your printer to Google Cloud Print using Chrome
First launch Google Chrome, go to tools and select Options.
Click the Under the Hood tab, scroll down and click on Sing in to Google Cloud Print.
A dialog box will appear and sign in with your Google Account.
If you have successfully signed in your Google Account a confirmation will appear. If you want you can also print a test page by clicking the Print a Test Page button and choose to which printer would you like to send the print job.
Now, that you have completed the configuration you will have 2 new options Disable Google Cloud Print and Manage Print Settings…, that I think are self-explanatory!
Manage Print Settings
You can now close the Google Chrome settings and print like your normally would, going to wrench and select Print… or using the Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut.
If you are not able to print you can try to disable the feature and rest start Chrome and sign in once again to Google Cloud Print. In the case that you still cannot print, check out this page Basic information on Google Cloud Print to troubleshoot or to learn more.
Download Google Chrome beta
Google Cloud Print is just great and it works! I was able to enable the feature really quick, Google Cloud Print detected all the printers right away, and I printed test page without any problems.
Source Google code labs
Mar. 30, 2011 Update
Starting Google Chrome 10 there is a new settings interface. So to get your location tracking settings by just cutting and pasting this URL chrome://settings/search#cloud into the address bar.