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Like everything Google, Google Cloud Print could not last forever, and today Google published a support document announcing the Google Cloud Print End of Life date.
The feature will be remembered by most as the annoying extra dialogue box which would pop up when you wanted to print from Chrome, but the idea was somewhat more innovative.
The technology basically allowed Google to work around its lack of printer drivers for ChromeOS by turning any PC running Chrome into a print server for your Google account, routing print jobs via their cloud to a printer of your choosing. Google Cloud Printer servers were later added directly to some printers.
Now Google has announced that the technology, which never exited beta, will hit end of life on the 31st December 2020.
Google will however no longer be able to piggyback of Windows printer support, and will, therefore, be needing to upgrade ChromeOS printer support. They are planning to add the following printing features to ChromeOS by the end of this year:
- Admin console interface to manage thousands of CUPS-based printers for users, devices, and managed guests (the legacy 20-printer cap has been removed) by organizational unit
- Admin console policy to manage user printing defaults for 2-sided (duplex) and colour
- Support for advanced printing attributes (stapling, paper trays, pin printing)
- Admin console policy to include user account and filename in IPP header of print job over a secure IPPS connection, which enables third-party printing features such as secure printing and print-usage tracking
- Admin console policy to manage PIN code printing, allowing users to enter pin code when sending the print job, and release the print job for printing when they enter the pin code into the printer keypad
The following print management features are being developed for Chrome OS and will be available before the end of next year, prior to Google Cloud Print End of Life.
- Support for external CUPS print servers, including authentication
- Policy to configure connections to external CUPS print servers
- APIs for third-parties to access print job metadata, submit print jobs and printer management capabilities
I am not sure that many will mourn the passing of the technology, but I suspect for the few they may find it difficult to replace the cloud-based printing solution, especially on mobile.