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  (Source: Google Mobile Blog)

  (Source: Google Mobile Blog)
Allows smartphone users to print mobile docs and Gmail e-mails and attachments

We've known about Google's printing-from-the-cloud ambitions in Chrome for more than half a year now. As of yesterday, those ambitions are finally becoming a reality.

The Google Mobile Blog announced that the company began rolling out a beta version of Google Cloud Print for mobile documents and Gmail for mobile yesterday. The functionality allows smartphone users to print a document open in Google Docs or an email in Gmail -- as well as certain attachments -- right from the device.

The new feature will be available to English-speaking users in the U.S., who are running devices that support HTML5 -- Android 2.1+ and iOS 3+. Before it can work, a printer must be connected to Google Cloud Print, so far only on a Windows PC. Mac and Linux support are on their way. Additional support can be found on the Google Cloud Print help page.

While it may come in handy, this is only a sliver of the full functionality Google intends to implement with Cloud Print. The software is designed to eliminate the need for different drivers for every printing device. The final goal is to allow any app to print to any printer without the use of wires or direct communication, which, if done right, has the potential to disrupt the tethered nature of printing.


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RE: confusing
By omnicronx on 1/25/2011 5:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
There is a clear need, I just don't think Google is following the right path to get there.

Current printer sharing is very limited outside of windows based machines. Wireless printer sharing is irrelevant if you don't have the drivers on your device to make use of it.

Problem is, driver support outside of Windows (and to a lesser extent OSX and Nix), is essentially non existent.

On mobile platforms, it is non existent. Printer manufacturers don't and probably never will create drivers for all the mobile platforms out there.

So disagree, there is a need, I'm just not too fond of Google's implementation. The fact that this is essentially a user-level application which leverages a browser sort of makes me laugh as this is something an amateur programmer could have come up with. Especially when you consider the fact that they are still clearly utilizing the windows print driver model..


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