Posts tagged ‘print’

December 16, 2011

Google Cloud Print one year later

A few days ago, Google Cloud Print was rolled out to more users, with new features. One of the more interesting is the ability to embed a cloud print button on one’s website. Read on to learn the reason this cloud print button is important.

Reverse colors in 2011

Google Cloud Print's new logo

The Google Cloud Print landing page now offers complete instructions for registering a printer that is not connected to a PC or other computer. There is also a detailed user tutorial, which wasn’t available a year ago.

The full list of operating systems, device types and browsers from which one can access Cloud Print is extensive.  This seems to be the easiest way to decide whether Cloud Print will work with a user’s current “configuration”:

On any web page, if you see a “Print” button with the Google Cloud Print logo, you can print without leaving your browser.

As I wrote this article, I found a few user tips. Profiles and Cloud Print for Any Page has good instructions for embedding the Cloud Print button, and for using it with multiple Google profiles in Chrome 16.

Variety of services

Google Cloud Print offers versatility

Implementation and strategy thoughts

The level of detail required to specify device (mobile/ tablet/ PC/ Mac/ Chromebook), operating system (Android/ iOS/ Windows/ Mac/ Chrome OS) and print app makes one think about the project management complexity. I can only imagine the hardware and data integration challenges!

It is worth noting that Google chose to expend this effort on printing, which is one of the least interesting computing services, for marketing and developers alike. This is a reality, despite the importance of print functionality to those who need it.

In Beta

A certain problem URL, described in my  Cloud Print post last year, still returns the same 400 error. I don’t fault Google for that. Google Cloud Print remains is in beta. It is more prudent to keep the beta designation until a product is ready. Avoid the sort of headaches Google recently had with the still-buggy Gmail for Apple iPhone mess a few weeks ago.

December 9, 2010

Transition to server-side moves forward with Google Cloud Print

print from the clouds with Chrome OS

Google Cloud Print logo

Google has been extremely busy recently. Maybe a more accurate statement would be that they’ve been extremely prolific. Google introduced the Chrome Operating System Netbook, also known as the Cr-48, to select users. It shipped yesterday. That was probably the highest profile event.

But Google also quietly unveiled a new cloud print feature, now available in public beta.

Google Cloud Print

The landing page for instructions to connect a printer  to Google Cloud Print describes the product with a nicely stylized flow image (see below). Here is the official product description:

By connecting your printer with the Google Cloud you will be able to print to your printer from any computer or smart phone, regardless of where you are. Just activate the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome and your printer will automatically be available to you from Google Cloud Print enabled web and mobile apps.

This page includes a button to install Google Chrome browser, stating that it is for Windows 7, Vista and XP. It probably refers only to the Chrome browser, not to the Cloud Print functionality. I came to this conclusion after reading a Cloud Print help page, “Where can I print from?”

We’re working hard to provide Google Cloud Print integration with many Google products and services, the first of which will be Chrome OS….

Flowchart for using Cloud Print

Flowchart for connecting a printer to Google Cloud Print

Still a beta product

I looked for more information in the footer of the Google Cloud Print Help page. I found and clicked on this Google Cloud Print link. I presumed this would be an “About” page, or maybe a post from the Google New Products site on Blogger. Instead I was surprised get a return of the same URL in the header,

http://www.google.com/cloudprint/intl/en

and the following text:

Missing X-CloudPrint-Proxy header.

Error 400

It appears that Cloud Print isn’t quite ready yet for everyone. For now, it is ONLY available for users running Google Chrome Operating System.