While Google announced their cloud-based printing service in April of 2010, they today passed a huge milestone by offering the Cloud Print wireless printing service for mobile devices (as long as your desktop computer is powered on). Starting today, Android 2.1+ and iOS users can print Google Documents and Gmail right from their phone. Devices with HTML5-compatible web browsers should also be good to go with Cloud Print.
This wireless print option is not limited to Android and iOS, as any mobile device that supports HTML5 can take advantage of the feature. As it stands, the option to print from a mobile device is only available on certain Google websites (like the mobile version of Gmail), but we hope that future application updates will soon implement this. Cloud Print is currently only available to Windows PCs, but Mac and Linux versions should be on their way in the near future.
While we’re trying to go “all-digital” with our smartphones, and have physical print-outs become less important, Cloud Print is terribly convenient. Sometimes email just can’t do it all for you. Having the option to print a document while you are on your way to work and have it waiting for you when you get there may be a dream come true to many people, and giving mobile devices this option makes the service just that much more powerful.
Setting up the Cloud Print service is easy enough, and after you link the printer to your Gmail account, printing is only a couple clicks away. As you’d expect, when viewing an email, hitting the menu option on the mobile site (Gmail, Docs) will reveal the option to print the current document, or email, that you’re currently viewing. As it develops, we can expect to see more advanced printing options become available.
So whether or not you think you’ll ever use Cloud Print, if you use the Chrome browser, you might as well set it up. You never know when you may need it.