A few weeks ago I said that, "Google is just a great source of interesting, informative and OK, just plain fun applications you can get for free…at least the large percentage are free." Due to a large amount of email regarding Google I figured it is time to get onboard the Google train again. It seems like every several years I have columns about new Google related things, so today we start another cluster of them.
Google Cloud Print is a fairly recent technology that has obviously been developed by Google. Google Cloud Print (bit.ly/wlbCwv) can connect all of your personal (most of us have at most one) and business printers using the web.
Picture this; you are at your local favorite breakfast shop writing your weekly newspaper column. Oh wait, that is what I am doing right now. You remember that you need to print something to take with you to work the next day. There are many ways you can digitally get this information to yourself to use tomorrow. You could copy the file to your thumb drive – if you have it in your pocket, email the document to yourself, put the file in your Dropbox account (sign up for free here, http://bit.ly/aszzao) or ask the restaurant if you can use their printer on their private corporate network. These are all doable. Okay the last one is very, very iffy and the others require you to remember to check your device or email and print the file before you go to work.
What if you lived in a time where you could print the document to your home computer from wherever you were – as long as you had an internet connection? Well that time has arrived!
That is exactly what you can do with Google Cloud printing. And I did not mention it yet, but you know me; it is another free service from Google. All you need is a free Google/Gmail account.
Google Cloud Print has been made to work on notebooks, phones, tablet PCs and any other web-connected device you want to print from including Apple products. You will read in some places that it requires a "cloud ready" printer, I say, "Malarkey!" I have it installed on my old Lexmark printer at home and it works fine. As long as you set it up the way Google tells you and leave your home computer on and connected to the internet you are good-to-go. The cloud ready devices connect to the internet by themselves and do not need a computer to connect them. Not a big deal in my opinion.
It really depends on which device you want to print from as to how you install the application, so I will not get into details here. However, the setup is very easy and has worked flawlessly for me on my phone, multiple computers and my Android tablet.
To get answers to any questions you may have regarding the "what ifs" and "how tos" of Google Cloud Print visit their support site at "support.google.com/cloudprint". I imagine all of your questions can be answered there.
Have fun printing from anywhere to anywhere! Next week I believe we will be looking at Google Voice, so get ready!