Google has developed a near omnipresence that has come from having some of the brightest minds, best ideas, and deep pockets.
The company’s production of hundreds of different services and tools means that it is probably offering a lot of things that people don’t know a great deal about.
Google Cloud Print is one of those services.
This service was created to allow any Cloud-Print aware application across web, desktop, and mobile, on any device in the network cloud to print to any printer. The clever part is that Google doesn’t have to create and maintain printing subsystems for all the hardware combinations of devices and printers.
The benefit for users is that they don’t have to install device drivers.
Google Cloud Print was initially released six years ago and it integrates with the mobile versions of Gmail and Google Docs, it is also listed as a printer option in the print preview page of Google Chrome.
In version 2.0 of Cloud Print the company added support for local mode which uses a discovery protocol called Privet for transmitting print jobs to the printer. Clients that support this mode only are capable of listing printers that are discoverable on the same subnet that the device is connected to.
Documents that are printed using this service are sent to Google’s servers so that they can then be sent on to the printer, this has raised some privacy concerns. However, the company says that it only keeps a copy of the document for as long as the printing job is active and not complete.
Once the job is complete it deletes the document from its servers.
Simply speaking, the service is designed to make it extremely easy for people to print things out from virtually anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection.