After 10 years, Google Cloud Print will finally be out of beta... straight into ad giant's graveyard
Not so much 'going gold' as 'growing cold'
Google has announced plans to close down its Cloud Print service over the coming year.
The Mountain View goliath today told punters that, effective January 1, 2021, they will no longer be able to use the service to remotely print documents. Netizens are advised to spend the next 12 months finding and setting up a different way to print.
"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," Google said in an official page on the matter. Thanks to the readers who tipped us off to the looming shutdown.
"Beginning January 1, 2021, devices across all operating systems will no longer be able to print using Google Cloud Print," the biz added. "We recommend that over the next year, you identify an alternative solution and execute a migration strategy."
As its name would indicate, Google Cloud Print lets folks connect to their printers over the internet or network, and set up print jobs from their browsers. Users link their wireless printers to their Google account, and are then able to connect to the printer using desktop and mobile devices via Google's apps wherever they are.
The service was particularly useful for offices, small businesses, and schools, as it provided an easy way to print without faffing around too much with configurations and setup.
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Google, however, seems to be over the whole idea of managing printing via a cloud service. The Chocolate Factory is telling users they should either find an outside service to manage their printing, or just suck it up and use whatever print management tools come with their device.
"Google has improved the native printing experience for Chrome OS, and will continue adding features to native printing," the notice reads.
"For environments besides Chrome OS, or in multi-OS scenarios, we encourage you to use the respective platform’s native printing infrastructure and/or partner with a print solutions provider."
But just because Google is killing the service next year it doesn't mean work has stopped altogether. Before it's shut down, Google will roll out support for external CUPS print servers, including an authentication policy to configure connections to external CUPS print servers, as well as APIs for third parties to access print job metadata, submit print jobs, and add printer management capabilities.
You can chalk up Cloud Print as just one more unloved service Google has decided to shrug off. Earlier this month, word surfaced that another side project, infosec outfit Chronicle, had hit the buffers in Mountain View.
You can find a handy archive of Chocolate Factory casualties at Killed By Google. ®