Google Quietly Kills Cloud Print

Posted on November 22, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Chrome OS, Chromebook, Cloud, Google with 27 Comments

Google quietly revealed this week that it will kill Cloud Print, a cloud-based printing solution that never exited beta over almost 10 years.

“Cloud Print, Google’s cloud-based printing solution that has been in beta since 2010, will no longer be supported as of December 31, 2020,” a Google support document explains. “Beginning January 1, 2021, devices across all operating systems will no longer be able to print using Google Cloud Print. We recommend that over the next year, you identify an alternative solution and execute a migration strategy.”

Cloud Print integrated with other Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, and Chrome, and it was originally positioned as a printing solution for Chrome OS. But with Chrome OS offering native print services now, Cloud Print became superfluous. Certainly, the Chrome OS print experience is on par with that of, say, Windows 10 in S mode.

Regardless, Google is getting savaged by bloggers for killing yet another service, one that most of them never even tried, let alone used regularly. But the biggest impact here, I bet, will be in education, since Chromebooks are sold in large part on their lack of management expertise. And figuring out whether they can still print will be a task many educators are not ready for.

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Comments (27)

27 responses to “Google Quietly Kills Cloud Print”

  1. minke

    Cloud Print always worked like a beta product and won't be missed by a lot of us. I pretty much gave up on using it, and instead printed by sending files to a PC connected to a printer. I've had similar luck with mainstream consumer-grade wifi connected printers--give me a good ol' USB connection between a PC and the printer and it just works, most of the time.

  2. garymoore

    Why on earth would you title the article 'Google Quietly.......' They announced it publicly and there has been plethora of articles about it the last 24 hours....

    whats quiet about that....

  3. jamJAR

    Cloud Print always dropped the connection to the printer if it wasn't used for a month. Did they ever fix this? Who knows? We changed to PaperCut's Mobility Print long ago, Chromebooks print through that and we can track all printing. A bit fiddly to set up the multi DNS but you only do that once.

  4. Bats

    Google only kills free products of which their analytical data shows, no one uses.

    I have loved the concept of Cloud Printing, ever since I first tried Google Cloud Print. It's a nice idea, but it's ? not necessary. Why? Two reasons:

    1. The reasons and needs to print on paper is lessening (alot) each day/month/year. We email now. Electronic signatures or "/s/ Your name" is getting to be more common. Not just that, but we also use Apps with barcodes. For example, when you buy movie tickets online, there is no need to print anymore. Just show the app with the barcode or reservation number. Generally speaking, legal/non-legal documentation is more and more being accepted electronically than paper.
    2. Wifi printing is much faster than cloud printing. Maybe someday that will happen and perhaps Microsoft can lead that charge (but doubt it), but in this fast pace world we live in, direct wifi is better.

    Again, no biggie. Google shouldn't care about what bloggers say. They are not exactly "real" people with real jobs to know or understand how normal people behave. They are just (what....?) one percent of the cloud printing population? That's not enough to keep a rarely used service around. Ask one uses Cortana at all....AT ALL....and yet, they kept it around for so long. least Google Cloud Print was around for a decade.

    Believe me, I am all for cloud services. But if Google Cloud Print or any type of "FREE SERVICE" isn't project!

  5. Stooks

    ONLY Google product I use at all is YouTube. I doubt they will kill it. Screw it doubt.

    Their latest high res thumbnail change was a bad move IMHO. Less thumbnails on the screen and it loads slightly slower. Yes the thumbnails are better quality but they were just fine before...because they are thumbnails.

  6. lightbody

    I just Google cloud print all the time at home on my Epson printer, from my android phone, works brilliantly.

    We also use it at work with chrome devices and the team there aren't sure what to do.

  7. red.radar

    A new headstone for the google graveyard.

  8. codymesh

    "Certainly, the Chrome OS print experience is on par with that of, say, Windows 10 in S mode."

    what on earth is this site coming to

  9. hrlngrv

    figuring out whether they can still print

    Depends on how easy the cups GUI front-end for Chrome OS happens to be. I haven't used it, so don't know, since my Chromebook aged out of further updates months ago. FWLIW, I won't be buying another.

    Back to GUI cups configuration, it shouldn't be that hard. I figure Google just wanted to avoid cups in order to avoid Chrome OS becoming too Linux-like. However, now that Chrome OS can handle Flatpak, the lines are decidedly blurred.

  10. snissen

    A print management application common in education, PaperCut, has just announced that its Mobility Print feature has now become a separate product and is free.

    And they did this as a Google Cloud Partner, with instructions on how to migrate to Mobility Print from Google Cloud Print.

    Here is what Google's Chrome Enterprise Help has to say about PaperCut Mobility Print.

    Disclaimer: I have no association with PaperCut except that I love their products.

  11. ebraiter

    Umm add this to the heap of Google products and features that died slow and painfully. Hilariously in beta for 10 years.

  12. mikes_infl

    I was surprised to hear that it was actually working. I tried several times but eventually just gave up on it. The "help" I'd get on putting into use always pointed fingers in too many directions.

    It was much easier just to remotely access a PC that could use the network printer without trouble.

    I've got to agree with garymoore, though. That title is a little less than accurate.

  13. dcdevito

    I used this at work (to and from home) and always drove my IT admins crazy :)

  14. rm

    Could Google define "Beta", because they just don't seem to care how long they have people using a product in beta. After awhile it is safe to say the people using the product become reliant on it regardless of the beta status. I believe it was years before gmail came out of beta as well.

  15. simont

    I was reading that Cloud Print uses the same servers as the about to die Google Hangouts and this is one of the reasons why it will be taken out back and shot.

    • darkgrayknight

      In reply to simont:

      I was wondering how they actually killed things at Google. Makes a lot of sense, they like shooting things out back. [Convo at Google: Do we have something not doing so well, I feel like shooting? Uh, we have some cloud print thingy. That'll do.]

  16. JacobTheDev

    I used and enjoyed Cloud Print all the time, sad to see it go. It's great for things like printing something from your phone while you're out, so you don't forget to when you get home.

  17. phuor

    What about Android?

    Will i no longer be able to print from my phone?

    At least we get rid of the annoying "Google cloud print wants access to your (other Google account)"

  18. bob_shutts

    Just curious. How do Chromebook users print a file? Do you have to have a PC handy as a gateway to the printer?


  19. wright_is

    The Reg story indicated that Google will be working with the CUPS team to provide a Cloud Print proxy for CUPS servers.

    Google also indicated that part of the reason for this is that ChromeOS no longer needs it.

  20. markdj

    Google have not been forthcoming in giving facts and figures with regards use. The cloud print app has over 1 billion installations in the Google play store and it is not a default app.

    This has got to be one of the worst decisions Google has made. Printing remotely is the only way I've printed for 8 years. Rarely do I use any other method of printing, and using most other printing apps is not a seamless experience the way cloud printing just worked reliably for years. I've only ever had problems setting up brother printers, they've never kept the connection for more then a week.

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