While Android is a great operating system stacked with apps that work on your smartphone and tablet, it does have a drawback when it comes time to print. Basically, without the mass of driver software supplied with most personal printers these days, Android devices simply can’t connect to printer hardware.
That’s now set to change with news that Google has released the first beta of its Cloud Print service onto the Google Play store.
Cloud Print allows you to print direct from your Android apps to any compatible Google Cloud Print-ready to printer over your home network – or even around the world. You get to choose which printers can sync with, so not anyone can get prints from your device. But once they’re sync’d, you can select the printers from the app and print documents over Wi-Fi to your compatible printer – all using secure HTTPS transfer.
Not only does it support text but you can also use it to print photos from the Gallery app.
Google also has a website up and running outlining the printers that are Google Cloud Print-compatible – unfortunately, they only include mostly very recent models such as Canon’s PIXMA x220 and x320 series, some of the more recent HP models and other newer printers and multifunction devices. Check out more on the basics of how it works.
All this said, it’s not the first time Android devices have had something like this – there is a similarly named app on Google Play that has allowed users to tap into the Cloud Print service for the last year. But now Google’s own app makes it official.
The app is available now free at Google Play and only requires Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) or better to run.
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