updated 09:30 am EDT, Fri April 16, 2010
Google wants printing over Internet
Google today addressed a common problem of portable devices by previewing a technology that would allow them to print anywhere. Cloud Print would use the typical printing option in an app but send the job to an Internet service that would in turn talk to an Internet-aware printer or one put through a proxy. As long as the printer is registered, a user could always print out a document even when well away from the home network.
The programming interface being developed would permit two-way communication and could report the print status back much like a nearby printer.
Development remains early and includes just some basic code for both the Chromium web browser and the Chromium OS platform. Google however stresses that it wouldn't be software-specific and would be ideally targeted at all computers and mobile devices, including smartphones.
Printing has been a particular issue both for the web-app-only Chrome/Chromium OS project as well as for tablets like the iPad, as both either don't have the regular software drivers available for printing or lack the physical ports needed to connect directly. Cloud Print would still need a basic printing dialog but could avoid most of the requirements that come with printers.