Google has updated its Cloud Print service, and now we can use it from tablets, smartphones, chromebooks, as well as PCs. How can we use Google Cloud Print on Windows? Let’s check it out.
Until now, we could connect our printer to the cloud Cloud Print, and then print from our mobile device whenever we happen to be. There was only one downside, namely the service has previously been accessible only via Chrome. What's more, the service was limited to print files from smartphones or tablets with Android - it was impossible to print files from another PC.
The latest release allows us to use an internet-connected computer, smartphone or tablet to send documents directly to Google Cloud-enabled printer. It proves to be extremely useful, especially if you want to print a text document while travelling. Another great advantage is that we can use Google Cloud Printing to print a web page directly from the Chrome browser. Plus, we can save websites and documents as PDFs in Google Docs.
Google Cloud Print service
Google Cloud Print extension for Windows comes with two add-ons. The first component is a Google Cloud Print service, which lets you easily share printers in the cloud. Once you installed it, it runs silently in the background and makes your printers accessible in the cloud. Thanks to the inclusion of this service running in the background, we do not need to use our browser every time we want to print something from another device.
For this step, we need to use Google's website and select: Download Cloud Print service. We need to launch Chrome to download and configure the service. When this is done, Cloud Print will ask you for authorization.
We need to enter a password for our account (user account). This is necessary because otherwise the system will not be able to register the service. Once you log in successfully, Google Cloud Print will be displayed, where you will be able to assign your printer to Google Account. Log in to your account and then you'll be asked to choose one of your printers to be shared in the cloud. Pick the one you want and click Add Printer.
From now on, our printers are available in the cloud and we can print files directly from other devices using Google Cloud Print. We no longer need to run Google Chrome on the computer sharing the printer.
Printing files from another Windows PC
The second element is Google Cloud Printer, a virtual printer driver. If you carefully followed the instructions presented above, you already know how to print from a web page. But there's still more than we can do with Google Cloud Printer. For example we can print from our Windows computer. For this reason, the service provides virtual printer driver, so that it is displayed in the system as a normal printer. If you want to print something from a text editor or any other program, your file will be redirected to the proper printer available in the cloud Google Cloud Print. In this way, Virtual Printer acts as a relay.
Virtual printer driver can be downloaded from Google’s website: Download Google Cloud printer. Installation is dead simple- after clicking on the download button, the printer will be automatically installed and displays all programs that can print. The only complication is that you’ll need a copy of Google Chrome to install and use this function.
How to print? It's very simple. All you have to do is open any text editor, and when the printing options appear, select "Print with Google Cloud Print". Click the "Print" button and you'll be asked to choose one of your cloud printers. Choose the one you want and your printer should print out a document.
The service works fine and I did not notice any problems while testing except one - the service may not be able to print files from Modern UI in Windows 8. When it comes to traditional desktop applications, it works without any issues.