Google Is Winding Down Cloud Print. Now What?
The end is upon us, but most users won’t miss it
|After a decade, Google Cloud Print will reach the end of the road at the close
It’s been about a year since Google warned users that it would be winding down its Google Cloud Print (GCP) service, and the end (December 31, 2020) is now upon us. Introduced more than a decade ago, GCP filled the need users had to more easily print from any web-connected device―typically Android smartphones/tablets and Chrome OS Chromebooks―to any compatible printer associated with a Google account. The service has also been a staple for individuals and organizations—notable K-12 schools—invested in Chromebooks and the G-suite online productivity apps (Docs, Sheets). The service was less popular in the enterprise space since all print jobs had to go through (or originate in) the Google cloud. Sure, Google claimed the utmost security and yada yada yada, but most corporate CISOs were not stoked about users sending print jobs through Google’s mandibles.
So why did Google kill it? Quite simply, GCP’s time had come and gone. Google folded native local printing support into Chrome OS a couple years back, and the function works with most recent printers thanks to the efforts of the Mopria Alliance, a consortium of print technology companies that has developed industry standards for mobile printing and scanning. In addition, there is no shortage of native Android apps to enable printing from smartphones and tablets—every print manufacturer offers one. And at the corporate level, every major print management platform offers mobile print support as part of its feature set. There are literally too many to mention here, but names that spring to mind include Canon uniFLOW, EveryonePrint, Kofax Equitrac, PaperCut MF/NG, Pharos Beacon, PrinterLogic Cloud, Ringdale FollowMe, Xerox Workplace Cloud, and YSoft SAFEQ.
That said, for die-hard GCP users, there are several alternatives that claim to be true replacements:
- ezeep Enterprise Cloud Printing: ezeep has been providing cloud print services for enterprises for 15 years. The company is offering a free whitepaper and webinar to show how its various offerings can replace GCP in an enterprise setting.
- PaperCut MobilityPrint: PaperCut notes that its MobilityPrint offering is the only free solution recommended by Google on its website. It lets users print from Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Windows, and Android devices (with Mac support coming soon) by sending print jobs over the Internet. The company claims simple setup and compatibility with every printer brand, too.
- ThinPrint Cloud Printer: ThinPrint Cloud Printer is a print app and cloud service that lets users print wirelessly from anywhere to any printer. The app automatically shows available Wi-Fi printers and once a printer is selected, the print job is sent directly without going through a PC.
Our bliQ Solutions Center subscription service has coverage of all the leading print management/mobile print platforms, and watch for our mobile print Market Insight analysis coming to the InfoCenter's Office CompleteView advisory service in 2021!