Chrome browser gets full Cloud Print integration

Google has released Chrome 16, including for the first time the ability to print any web page to a 'Cloud Ready' printer without the need for a special extension or web app
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Google has fully integrated Cloud Print capabilities into the latest version of Chrome, allowing people to print from the browser to cloud-connected printers.

The company included Cloud Print functionality in its Chrome 16 update, which arrived on Tuesday. Previously, those wishing to use the service in Chrome had to do so through a special extension or web app, or had to be using a Chromebook.

In a blog post on Wednesday, product manager Akshay Kannan said the move would extend the usefulness of the service.

"People with Chromebooks have always had access to the latest and greatest Google Cloud Print features, but today, we've reached a new milestone: starting with the latest release of Chrome, anyone using the browser on Windows, Mac and Linux will be able to print any web page to Google Cloud Print," Kannan wrote.

Google first unveiled Cloud Print in April 2010 as a way of getting manufacturers to make their internet-connected printers 'cloud-aware'. The hardware makers do so by tweaking the printers' firmware.

The scheme was intended to overcome the situation where the necessity of installing printer drivers on client devices made it difficult, if not impossible, to print from smartphones and cloud-centric devices such as Chromebooks.

According to Kannan, the programme has been a success. Epson, HP and Kodak all now make 'Cloud Ready' printers, and "the developer community has released a flurry of apps and extensions to enable cloud printing from both Android and iOS".

Kannan added that "more than six million printers" have already been hooked up to Cloud Print using the Chrome browser, even before the service's full integration into the browser.

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