The original unveiling of Google Cloud Print some months previously saw difficulties encountered with a number of older printers, which still required a connection to the web via a computer terminal. After the initial problems had been resolved, HP announced that all Google Cloud Print users are now able to print directly to any HP ePrint-enabled printer from any Google Cloud Print supported app on any computer or smartphone.
With the requirement for some users for the printer to be connected to a print driver or PC finally removed, it is now a simple process of signing into a Google account, entering an unique e-mail address of the HP ePrint-enabled printer being used, and clicking onto the “Connect my printer” button.
In all other respects, the way the printer itself is set up or the use of paper feed tray, printer ink cartridges, toner cartridges or compatible ink cartridges remains unchanged when connecting with Google Cloud Print via mobile.
The printing of hard copy documents still remains a widespread necessity for a number of applications within many workplaces. A key difference is that as a result of increased environmental concern, every document is carefully considered if it is strictly necessary to be printed. Cloud printing now brings enhanced cost-efficient print management, space reduction and easy use to the commercial environment.
The trend is now towards an increasing number of company employees to work mostly out-office or on the move, where access to a PC/laptop to printer cable connection may not be available or only with authorised use. Adopting a cloud-based service for printing wherever or whenever required will represent a key contribution to time management and productivity.
It’s understandable that in today’s high security conscious workplaces with the ever present concern for protecting sensitive company data, the majority of company office workers will have restricted or no administration rights at all to allow a printer driver to be installed when connecting to an unknown printer network from a laptop.
The security principle still applies, even if a remote worker wants to print at another office or at home with a different or newly-purchased printer. The issue is further complicated by the emergence of a number of devices – such as the iPad – or other smartphones and netbooks, which use the Google Chrome OS. Many still do not have onboard printing capabilities or only allow a basic support of a restricted number of current printers.
Although some manufacturers have introduced printers which do offer an option to directly print images from commercially used smartphones, they however, do not possess an embedded printing system and simply convert images to print data, unsuitable for document printing.
The development of an easy to print web-based system, on-demand, at any location, is now a key requirement as increasingly, the web is being accessed via mobile/smartphone and with widespread use of mobile apps. Google Cloud Print Apps currently include support for Gmail, Google Docs for Mobile, and Chrome OS, which is soon to add use of third-party apps.