Google has unveiled a new cloud-based printing service – Google Cloud Print – which it claims will allow any web connected device to print to any printer, anywhere in the world.
The move comes after Apple added AirPrint technology to the latest version of iOS, allowing iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to print wirelessly to compatible printers.
Watch our hands-on first look video review of AirPrint to see it in action.
Printer giant HP has also developed its own software, HP ePrint, which works solely with the company’s own printers. It works by allocating a web-connected e-printer its own email address which can be used to email documents and photos directly to the printer.
Which? has a first look review of the HP Photosmart Wireless e-All-in-one B110a printer.
All three cloud printing services are aimed at reducing the need for printer drivers and complicated set-ups when connecting different devices to a shared printer.
Google servers handle web printing
Google Cloud Print will manage the task of sending print jobs to the appropriate printer, with direct web-printing from services such as Gmail. Printer drivers are stored in users’ Google Accounts and documents to be printed are sent to Google’s servers where they are processed and sent back to your printer to be printed.
There are no Cloud Print-enabled printers available to buy yet, but some printers may become compatible via firmware upgrades. The Google Cloud Print service is also likely to be an integrated part of the Chrome operating system. The Chrome OS pilot program and test Cr-48 Chrome Notebook were unveiled earlier this week.
Users wishing to try out Google Cloud Print now can download the latest version of the Chrome web browser, version 9, although Google warns that the software is in beta and may have some rough edges.
For more information and to learn more about Google Cloud Print, check out Cloud Print Help.
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