Google Cloud Print gets official Windows support, new sharing options

By on July 23, 2013, 12:00 PM

Google has announced a number of enhancements to its Cloud Print service, including long awaited Windows support and other features that make sharing printers much easier.

Cloud Print is a technology that connects your printers to the web, essentially allowing you to print your files from anywhere and share your cloud supported printers with anyone you choose. The service has been available on phones, tablets, desktops and laptops, including Google's Chromebook. Though Windows and OS X support has long been offered through Chrome and third-party software, for the first time, Google is releasing official drivers to enable the functionality across apps running on Microsoft's operating system.

The announcement comprises two new tools, the first of which is Google Cloud Printer for Windows. Basically acting like your average printer driver, Google Cloud Printer will bring access to any connected printer through any Windows application like Adobe Reader.

The second is Google Cloud Print Service, which allows network administrators on Windows a significantly more streamlined access to the service than ever before. It runs unnoticed in the background as a native Windows service that makes maintaining the network, including connecting new and existing printers, much easier. It is now officially in beta for Windows 7, Vista and XP, and requires the installation of Chrome.

Aside from official Windows support Google also announced an official Android app, available on Google Play, as well as a nice sharing feature that allows users nearby to access cloud printers through a simple linking system. Of course, access can be moderated in terms of how often and how many pages a particular user can print.

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