What is Cloud Print?

Google is known to come out with good ideas that shifts the very foundation of technology and its future usage patterns. They recently came out with another good idea, related to being able to print to your printer from anywhere. The answer, “Google Cloud Print”.

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 9. The issue with this solution is that it 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.

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.
Quite interesting isn’t it? We are certainly moving towards a cloud-based world where we are becoming more and more dependent on the web.

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