An earlier article here on Ghacks talked in some details about Google’s gradual beta launch of their Cloud services. Heralded as the bridge between Microsoft Office and the web, Google Cloud Connect was supposed to provide a way to host Office documents on the web, much as Google Documents had done for their own productivity software.
Unfortunately, those dreams never really came through, or at least they haven’t yet. Microsoft is attempting to pull their Office 365 product out of beta. When stable, the product will offer cloud productivity through online versions of Word, Excel, and other Office programs that allow multiple workers on a job access to edit the files.
While a paid service, Office 365 will likely limit use of Google Cloud Connect simply because it will be offered directly through Microsoft, leading many users to think it will present less compatibility issues than transfers through Google might bring about.
While Office 365 may put a damper on much of what Google hoped to accomplish with its Cloud Connect, many of the features being tested by Google will still prove very useful for those looking for a little added cloud capability.
One such service is Google Cloud Print beta, which is still being tested for widespread use. The project aims to allow users to connect to their printers from any computer in the world, printing files at work from home or even on a client’s computer in Germany from the office in San Francisco.
While Google is still ironing out a few stubborn wrinkles, you can get online right now and connect your printers to try it out. First, you have to have a copy of Google Chrome – you can download it here if you don’t already have it. Next, open a Chrome browser window and load chrome://settings/ in the active or a new tab. Scroll all the way down until you find the advanced settings link and click on it.
At the very bottom of the page is a section titled Google Cloud Print. To enable your computer to access cloud-connected printers you must login using a Google account. After you do so, a window should appear verifying that you have connected your computer and any printers connected to it to the cloud.
If that does not work out for you right away, the Cloud Print support page may be of use to you as it covers setup as well as troubleshooting tips.
Once you have connected a computer and its printers to Google’s cloud, you should be able to print to those machines any time you use Chrome and are signed in with a Google Account.
One of the greatest features of Google Cloud Print is that it is not limited to printing between desktops. You can access the printers from your mobile device, printing documents or webpages just as you would on a full-size machine.
Keep two things in mind as you begin experimenting with the service. First, Google Cloud Print is still progressing through its beta stage, and while rumor has it that it is nearly fully functional, you may run into a few kinks with some machines. Second, in order to send files to a printer, the computer that printer is connected to must be on and connected to the internet. Otherwise, how could it receive the signal?
Have fun printing from miles away, and be careful what you print if you don’t know who will pull the document off the printer.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.