Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Google adds a print service and standard print driver to Cloud Print

Google made printing to the cloud easier, on Monday. With the changes, users can now print to a Cloud Printer outside of Chrome, even printing to what appears as a standard Windows driver.

For those unaware, Google Cloud Print connects Cloud Print-aware applications to any Google Cloud printer. Some f these printer are Google Cloud-ready out-of-the-box, while some legacy printers can be shared via a PC and Chrome. It's possible to print to Google Cloud printers from both PC and mobile applications, including PrintCentral Pro (iOS).

Still, from a desktop, there were limitations, but the new Google Cloud Print driver means you can print from any Windows application. You still need Chrome to be installed, and you also need to have Windows 7, Vista or XP with XPS Essentials Pack. That's right, while Windows 8 is not supported, Windows XP is.

Google also released the Cloud Print Service for Windows, which allows IT administrators (or techies with home LANs) to easily connect printers in their schools and businesses to Google Cloud Print. The service runs in the background and connects your printers to the Cloud Print.

In another change, Google has added the ability to share a printer simply by sharing an URL.

Naturally these new products are officially in beta.

To be clear, when when a print job is executed using a Google Cloud printer, the document is sent to Google, with a permanent record of the job's metadata being stored in the user's Google account. Google's Cloud Print FAQ says:
Google also keeps a copy of each document you send for printing -- but only for so long as the printing job is active and not complete. We have to do this to make sure your document gets printed. Once the job is complete, the document is deleted from our servers.

Documents you send to print are your personal information and are kept strictly confidential. Google does not access the documents you print for any purpose other than to improve printing.
It's possible to delete the metadata through your Cloud Print dashboard.

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