Google Docs to get cloud printing, device sync

By on November 3, 2010, 9:00 AM
Google Docs may soon be getting an update that will help it better compete against Microsoft's latest cloud based Office product and make its upcoming Chrome OS a whole lot more useful. Top among the new features is cloud printing, which will let you print documents -- whether web-based, on a mobile device or desktop -- to any Internet-connected printer anywhere in the world.

The cloud printing service was announced a few months ago as part of its web-centric operating systemís capabilities, so the update to Docs makes sense if Google wants to make Chrome OS + Docs a better rival to Microsoft's Windows and Office, for example. Basically Google is doing away with the need of locally stored drivers by keeping them on their servers and simply sending the print job to the appropriate printer.

For it to work, users will have to install a small proxy software on their computer that will communicate with a printer attached to it or thatís on the same network. This means the computer has to be turned on and connected to the Internet for the print service to work, but Google hopes printer manufacturers will eventually make their printers "cloud aware" from the beginning.

Other features expected to hit Google Docs soon include support for third party applications and a device sync function. Although no official announcement has been made, the folks at Google Operating System blog speculate that the first probably describes APIs that could be used to extend Docs beyond its current capabilities (by enabling PDF editing, for example), while device sync could push Docs files to a number of devices (much like Google calendar and contacts with Android) allowing users to make changes on any of them and automatically re-sync them to the Docs service.

User Comments: 16

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brianmsu said:

this is pretty cool, you can print from anywhere at anytime really, but why do i feel like i dont want to be part of google's cloud?

Cryptopsy said:

This is not a new technology to share printers over a network but anyway, google wants to make everything...

posermobile89 said:

haha, i can only imagine someone spamming printers around the world with porn..

"Joe, why was 500 pages of gay porn printing out this morning"

"I don't know, new guy maybe?"


Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Aren't they day dreaming that 'everyone' will rush to sign for google docs? For now it only makes sense for someone who 'occasionally' type small reports or write letters; so it ain't going to go anywhere in business sector (especially large and medium companies).

Another question which I haven't got a 'satisfactory' answer is, why would businesses want to entrust their critical data (which may include information about their competitive advantage or R&D etc.) with all this cloudy business? No one I know or have talked to about this is really interested in it for now, and I think it wouldn't be getting much headway any time soon.

Guest said:

Great!!! So now people can get spam on their printers just like fax machines.

taea00 said:

I don't think Google is hoping this makes them the last stop for docs. They're just adding as much functionality to Google Docs to make them more competitive.

I like the idea, because the more the add, the more the competition has to add, the more stuff we get for free.

frodough said:

cloud = new age computing

Guest said:

If only Google could figure out how to do Contact sharing then their cloud offering might actually be promising. As it stands, the lack of ability to share Contacts is a terrible sore spot in the Google Apps suite rendering it rather useless for organizations as a complete package.

I'm rather embarrassed for them for this glaring over-site.

theruck said:

people will need a lot of trust to the clowd computing service providers. i would never rely on it. too paranoic

sMILEY4ever said:

frodough said:

cloud = new age computing

I disagree.

Puiu Puiu said:

it's still to way early for true cloud computing. what we see now are only experiments which will become the backbone of future products in the 2020-29 era. We first need to change everything about the internet (starting with the already too old and very inefficient protocols)

Razerblade said:

This does sound very cool. Hopefully they will be able to integrated this in with android so you can print from your phone.

ruzveh said:

Its a good initiative guys

uttaradhaka said:

Ha ha ha, this is so funny.. You wake up and find pages and pages of porn being printed from you printer from India or something!!

This is like one of those 'future gone bad' scenes from the Simpsons.. Hilarious.

64lincoln said:

I don't know... 'cloud aware' printers sound like another way for hackers and such to find a way into your systems... other than that this whole concept is pretty cool.

hitech0101 said:

They just want to compete with Microsoft on everything hope they don't mess it up.They need to have a deeper view with cloud computing & just not bring it out in a hurry for competition then start admitting bugs in it.

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