Google Cloud Print for Mobile Documents Launches
January 25, 2011 9:10 AM
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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.
Google Mobile Blog
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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Wow... big picture here guys...
1/26/2011 4:06:27 PM
Google is focused on wireless printing and NFC... think this is going some where? Here's a big use, universities. Right now lots of universities have a print quota for printers, imagine then that you have a smart phone in school, and you need to print a document for class. You pull up the document, and then go to print, you select, "Local Printer" and then you walk up to the closest printer and wave your cell phone in front of it. You are recognized as a university student, and the printer informs you of the quota usage for that particular printer. Maybe you get fewer pages on a less toner efficient machine, because quotas after all are all about reducing usage and spending. So you say, "ok, I'm fine with using two pages of quota to print a single page, because using the printer right outside of my class is convenient." Hit print, and retrieve your paper. Bam, automated, authenticated, and done with a minimal amount of prompts, setup, or user interaction. This would also be useful at a large company... there's a printer in the room you're presenting in, and all of a sudden the group you're presenting to takes a real interest in a project you're pitching. "Hey, can we get hard copies of that chart to show to our project manager?" Yep, let me just print those up for you.
Finally, anybody here use dropbox? I know I do, and because my phone is always with me, my files are always with me. So making printing from my phone easier is a great idea. Seriously, tons of functionality here if/when this is integrated with NFC. Want to print something at Kinkos using your phone? Setup an account, press your phone to the machine, send the file, retrieve your documents and walk out the door. All without ever talking to the cashier.
I'm always on the road, and my clients are always asking me to print a file last minute. Despite the fact that I have access to the file on my smartphone, currently, I have to get out my laptop, save the file to a thumb drive, and head to the closest place that can print. That's a real pain folks, and this will alleviate that pain.
Basically, every printer will be "smart" with an embedded system and wifi. So long as it has internet access, you'll be able to use it. That sounds pretty sweet to me... not sure why people are hating on this idea.
"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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