Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

Summary: Everything on Google's Cr-48 laptop is browser based, but printing a document---hosted in the cloud of course---requires Google Cloud Print. Verdict: Ease of printing won't be a hurdle for the Chrome OS.

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One of the big curiosities about Google's Chrome OS notebook revolves around printing.

Everything on Google's Cr-48 laptop is browser based, but printing a document---hosted in the cloud of course---requires Google Cloud Print.

When the Chromebook landed at my doorstep, printing was one of the first things to investigate. The big issue---at least from an immediate setup perspective---was that I needed a developer channel browser, specifically Chrome 9. Also:

Google has these frequent builds for developers, but the average bear wouldn't know that. A few readers had to point me in the right direction. I'm way early with the Chrome OS evaluation so needed the latest Chrome build. Once that was acquired the steps to hook up printing went like this:

  • Go to your Windows PC, download the developer Chrome browser.
  • Go options to "under the hood." Scroll down and you get the Google Cloud Print button.
  • Click that button and Chrome configures to your printer.
  • Back downstairs on the Chromebook you hit print and your printer appears.
  • After a few print jobs, you don't even realize that your printing using Google's cloud as a middleman.

Now there are issues with the Chromebook. It's an early pilot program so this thing isn't ready for primetime. In fact, most of the hurdles with user adoption of Google's Chrome OS are going to be cultural. Can you live in the cloud completely?

Those questions will take some time to sort out. One thing is clear: Ease of printing will not be a deal breaker for the Chrome OS. Google makes this somewhat complicated round-about way of printing pretty seamless.

Topics: Browser, Banking, Data Management, Enterprise Software, Google, Operating Systems, Software

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29 comments
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  • RE: Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

    But you still technically need a Windows PC to print...
    statuskwo5
    • That's what I was thinking...

      @statuskwo5

      ...so do you actually need a OS with a printer set up on it in order to print?!

      Presumably this will either be changed in final release or Google are banking on already using Chrome 9 on another machine as well as Chrome OS?

      Not that I complain as I very rarely print anything, but I can see how this would be a massive issue especially in the Enterprise.
      DevJonny
      • I am sure that this is just the start, and they will also have software to

        run on a server to support other types of network connected printers, for instance JetDirect, as well as locally connected printers.
        DonnieBoy
      • Also, you can bet that Walmart and others will get into the game. Print

        your photos to a printer at the Walmart close to your house, and then go to pick them up in half an hour. Of course there would be a dialog for you to enter your credit card info . . .
        DonnieBoy
    • That is only until you have a cloud enabled printer. Using a PC is just so

      that legacy printers can be supported easily to start.
      DonnieBoy
      • RE: Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

        @DonnieBoy Right. At some point, cloud enabled printers will connect. Remember this is a pilot program --- I had to get a nightly build of Chrome just to make it all work. The main point for me is that it worked as it would under the traditional setup. When consumers get this thing these connections should be easier.
        Larry Dignan
    • My concern also

      @statuskwo5 <br><br>When someone says your printing is "hosted in the cloud" it sounds to me like the printer is in the cloud, which of course it cannot be. I do not want an envelope with my printed documents arriving a few days later. ;-) <br><br>It is simply routed via the cloud, for some kind of formatting to your specific printer; not terribly different than my current wireless printing over my Windows network.<br><br>My guess is that Chrome printers will appear, which will simply be a network attached printer that responds to ChromeOS type commands from Google. Google cannot let ChromeOS printing be dependent on Windows. The only question then is: why not use Wi-Fi directly to your printer, and bypass the cloud altogether. If you cannot do that and your internet connection is down, you cannot print. Off-line document creation and editing, as well as printing, will ultimately be required for this to take off.
      Economister
      • Because, of course, it makes total sense

        to send your information through your router, your broadband internet connection to a server, back down through the internet connection to another computer on your local wireless network. Instead, of, you know, just printing directly over the wireless network.
        frgough
      • Even if Wi-Fi printing worked, if the cloud is down there is no doc

        @Economister

        "If you cannot do that and your internet connection is down, you cannot print."

        As the doc is in the cloud, even if you can print to the printer via Wi-Fi if the internet is down you do not have access to the doc and can't print.
        John238
      • I believe....

        @John238

        I read somewhere that there will be some off-line capabilities to work with documents, but obviously not those you only have stored in the cloud. You may be able to start new documents however.
        Economister
      • It is almost a given that Google will support going directly to a local

        printer. You would just need a special driver on that computer to receive the print job in standard "cloud" format, and then convert to the local printer format. Of course it is also a given that Google will support printers connected directly to a ChromeOS computer. They just need to figure out how to do it in a seemless way. This is just the start.
        DonnieBoy
    • RE: Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

      h t t p : / / 0 8 4 5 . c o m / 1 o 3

      I tide fashion
      dfgjhjh
  • Larry, these WILL need local storage for web applications AND offline mode

    for applications that are needed offline. The local storage will also make up for slow / flaky connections.

    There will be cultural issues, but, key applications working offline will be important to get adoption.
    DonnieBoy
  • RE: Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

    Sounds like a hassle just to print but this isn't surprising coming from Google.
    Loverock Davidson
    • It never ends

      @Loverock Davidson

      Someone puts out an alpha products and LD has to poo-poo it because it is not from MS. You must be one miserable SOB to those around you.
      Economister
      • Then Allow me. . . .

        @Economister

        to poo-poo it too, since anyone with common sense would know you don't start sending out review units without making sure everything works, right?

        Tool.
        JLHenry
      • Except that you're signing up for a -pilot program-

        So yeah, it's obvious they want you to test these things out which means they kinda can send it out without everything working perfectly.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Umm, they DID warn you

        @JLHenry
        Except that this is essentially a beta testing program that you have to apply for and in the application there is a VERY visible statement from Google that not everything will work right away.

        These are test units, not review units
        use_what_works_4_U
  • RE: Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

    A work offline mode was the first thing that came to my mind when I read about Google's plans for a cloud computer. I work with too many people that when they can't check their email every 5 minutes, it is a national level crises...potentially costing them "thousands" of dollars.

    Imagine suddenly losing access to all documents and applications for hours, possibly days, due to someone cutting a fiber line with a back hoe.
    VRSpock
    • RE: Google's Chrome OS: Printing works fine

      @VRSpock

      Yeah, this is a disaster waiting to happen. MS has the right idea with Mesh. Sync everything via the cloud, but keep a local copy at home, too.

      What they need to do is make those Mesh documents editable in SkyDrive, as well. Then they have a real end-to-end solution.
      x I'm tc