Wondering how to print your Google Doc, that important Gmail message or MS Word attachment (well, in case you really have to!) when you’re not working on your desktop pc? Wouldn’t it be neat, being able to print your Docs or email from your smart phone while you’re still on the road, before you even get to the office? The new Google offering, Cloud Print (still in beta by the time of this writing) will address these issues – providing your main computer and the attached printer are online and switched on, of course.
Connect your printer to CloudPrint
For the Cloud Print beta to work, you need the latest Chrome browser and at least Android 2.1 or iOS 3.0 in your mobile device. Pretty much all it takes is to connect your standard printer(s) to Cloud Print on your desktop using the Chrome extension and your Gmail account, then try it out and print a test page. You can then print from your Gmail-on-the-run using the mobile Gmail web page; the free Cloud Print Android app offers quite a few additional possibilities.
Tricky printing from the desktop
So far, CloudPrint does not support printing directly from the desktop so presently the easiest way of printing a document is to mail it to your Gmail, fire up the mobile Gmail page (not the app!) and – surprise! – print. However, if you really need to print from non-Android or non-iOS devices, there are also ways of doing just that.
I’ve only tried Cloud Print a couple of times so far but I must say it’s really, truly cool and in many situations a real life saver. Printing directly from the cell phone still has a bit of a wow factor – even though it shouldn’t!