Useful Tips

Using Google Cloud Print without Google Chrome


If you are still sending e-mail to your computer in order to print from Android devices - the time has come for a change. Using Google Cloud Print, you can print from your Android phone or tablet to any printer, even a very outdated model.

The “cloud” printer, which is technically in beta testing, like many other Google brainchildren, does the job of the printer offline. If you want, you can send any files for printing even to your home printer.

Further is better. Google Cloud Print works not only with Android, but also with any device that has Chrome installed, including iOS and any computer or laptop. So, let's see how it works!

Step 1. Is your printer ready for a cloud service?

If your Wi-Fi printer is compatible, it may already be connected to a Google virtual printer. This means that you can print to your printer even if the computer itself is turned off. Since the printer has Wi-Fi, it can connect directly to your Android device without using a computer.

Check if it is possible to connect your printer to the “cloud” service by going to the Cloud Print website and finding the model of your printer. By clicking on the active link in the description, you can get installation instructions. The step-by-step installation may differ for each individual printer, so we will not dwell on it. When the process is complete, go back and go to the next step.

The printer is not ready to work with Cloud Print? No problem.

  1. Turn on your computer and install Chrome. There is no other way out - the virtual printer will not work without Chrome.
  2. Open the Chrome menu and make sure that you are registered with Google and have your account. The latter should be identical to the one you use on Android.
  3. In the Chrome menu, open “Settings.” Scroll down and click on “Advanced Settings”, then click on “Manage” over the Google virtual printer. This way you connect the printer to your Google account.
  4. Click "Add printers" and check the boxes next to the selected printers on which you would like to print from your Android device. Confirm adding printers.

Step 2. Configure your Android device

Setting up an Android device is ridiculously simple. Go to the Google Play Store and download the Google Cloud Print. This is the main plugin that allows you to print from a large number of Google applications (for example, Gallery) and directly control the operation of the printer.
For an Android version older than KitKat, this will be a separate application. On KitKat, it works in the background, and after starting to work with the printer, it appears in the notification panel.

Step 3. Start typing.

At this point, you can finally start typing from Chrome or Gallery. Just click “Menu” in another application and select “Print”. Following the drop-down menu, you will also be able to select your printer from the proposed options, as well as specify various settings (sheet size, color, etc.). Click "Print" and the necessary data will be transferred to your printer.
But printing with Android is not limited to photos and web pages. Using third-party applications, such as Cloud Print Plus, your capabilities apply to SMS (text messages), contacts, e-mail applications and files stored on your device. You can use a virtual printer even for printing from Firefox, if this is the main browser on your Android.
Google has a special page that lists all the applications compatible with the virtual printer.

[message type = ”info” title = ”Remember”] Virtual printer works not only for Android. When you are finished with the installation, you can go to any computer on which Chrome is installed, log in to your Google account and print directly on your home printer, even if you are not close. Just select your device from the dialog using Chrome.
It also works with iOS. It is enough to install PrintCentral Pro in order to print text messages from your iPhone or iPad from e-mail, applications and contacts. [/ Message]

1. Setting up the print server

Suppose we have a machine with Ubuntu Server installed (the example uses version 12.04) and a correctly configured printer. We will use the manual.

Install Git in order to clone the CloudPrint project repository. The project is written in python and use the module python-cups, install them. To build the project, we also need a module python-setuptools.

We clone the repository, go to the project folder and make the build script executable.

We assemble and install the project.

Let's run the first launch of the application.

Enter the username and password of the Google account to which you want to bind the printer. It is worth noting that if two-step authentication is enabled, you must specify the application password generated on the account settings page as a password. If everything is configured correctly, the screen will display something like: "Updated Printer HP_LaserJet_1018". You can terminate the application (Ctrl + C).

Now add the script to run automatically using upstart. To do this, create a cloudprint.conf file.

Below is the contents of this file. $ RUN_AS_USER must be replaced with the username under which the program will be launched.

Our printer should appear on the printer management page.

2. Setting up a "cloud" printer in Windows

To work with the printer in Windows, we use the Paperless Printer program, which is free for home use.

After installing the program in the list of printers appears Paperless printerone of the possibilities of which is Find a Cloud Printer - Printing an arbitrary document on a Google cloud printer.

3. Setting up a cloud printer in Mac OS X

For printing on Mac OS X, use the Cloud Printer program. Setting up the program is not simple, but it is described in detail in the manual, as well as presented in the video.

Unfortunately, Cloud printer does not provide the same opportunities for users as Paperless printer, however, this program allows you to print some documents without using Google Chrome.

4. Setting up a "cloud" printer in Ubuntu

To print in Ubuntu, install the driver for CUPS according to the instructions.

In the process of setting up a question Add all Google Cloud Print printers to local CUPS install? need to answer "yes".

Using a cloud-based printer in Ubuntu should not be a problem.

5. Instead of a conclusion

The goal of the article can be considered achieved: we have a server with a configured printer, as well as clients with the ability to print to it not from Google Chrome. However, do not understand this article as a call to abandon this browser. We always have the opportunity to print an open page or Gmail directly from the browser to a home printer, wherever we are.