Friday, March 25, 2011

Google Cloud Print - Cloud Computing in action

Many a times we are faced with the situation where we have to take a print-out of our document but we do not have access to the printer or its drivers are not available. Currently we rely heavily on the device specific hardware and their associated drivers for accessing and taking print-outs from a printer. To overcome this problem Google has come up with another innovative and unique feature viz. Google Cloud Print. Google introduced Cloud Print in April 2010 and since then it has been in limelight. Google Cloud Print reached beta stage on 25 January 2011. Also read my another article on another Cloud Computing offering from Google : Google Cloud Connect.

The idea behind Google Cloud Print is to harness the Cloud Computing for making printing driver free across the globe. One just needs Google Chrome browser installed on the machine to use this feature. Applications can print through a web-based, common print dialog (web UI) or an API. The service then forward the job to the printer registered prior to the service. A new kind of printer will be able to directly connect to Google Cloud Print, current printers will have to connect through a proxy server. As current printers cannot print to a cloud service, Google Chrome 9 contains a "Cloud Print Connector" – the user will only be able to use Cloud Print while the connector is running. Not only this we can also use this with the smart phones and hand-held devices. This will open up new arenas where one can use the Cloud Computing to harness the maximum benefit with minimum investment on a large scale. And Google Cloud Print is a step in this direction.

To enable and install Google Cloud Print you should have Google Chrome 9 or higher version installed in your system. In the Settings menu go to "Options" tab and then select "Under the Bonnet". Here you will see the option to enable Google Cloud Print.
Select the "Options" menu.

Here select the option "Sign in to Google Cloud Print".

A Pop-up would be there asking for a sign in to your Google Account to access this service.

On successful sign-in you would get the following conformation pop-up.

To manage and see the printers avaliable choose "Manage Print Setting..." option

You will now see the following screen where you can see the pending and completed printing jobs and the printers available in your network.

Google Cloud Print is still in continuous improvement phase and soon in coming months we would see a more robust and reliable version of it that would suite each OS, printers and devices.

For more readings refer the Google Labs link for Google Cloud Print. Also for any further reading about the Google Cloud Print and the FAQ refer Google Cloud Print Help.

Also read my another article on Google Cloud Connect.


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