Using Google Cloud Print from Android, iPhone or iPad

Sometimes mobile phone or tablet users want to print documents, photos or PDF files from their devices. Google created Google Cloud Print, which simplifies the process as long as the user is working in Chrome or an application that supports Google Cloud Print.

Google Cloud Print routes the print command from Chrome or a supported mobile app on a smartphone or tablet to the printer over the Internet.

Setting Up Printers for Google Cloud Print

Before printing, the user must set up their printer for Google Cloud Print. Google maintains a list of printers It comes with built-in Google Cloud Print. This may affect users in choosing a printer in the future if they plan to do a lot of Cloud printing. For example, I bought an inexpensive color laserjet printer. I made sure Google listed the new Brother HL-3170CDW in their listing. Cloud Ready Printers page before you buy.

menu button in chrome browser

Most printers did not make the list, so Google continues to offer a way to use older printers that do not support the feature. Connecting what they call a “classic printer” is as simple as logging into a Google account from Chrome. Then open Chrome’s settings by clicking the menu button (see image on the right) in the upper right corner. It looks like three dark horizontal lines.

Select from the pop-up window and then click .

Scroll down and then click the button. It doesn’t show if someone is already signed in to Google Cloud Print. Click the button instead and all printers connected to the computer and other preset printers for the account will appear. This only happens if the user has already gone through the process.

Select the printers that need to be connected to Google Cloud Print from the Printers list on the left side of the window that opens at the end of the previous set of instructions. Click on them to add them. What was used in the previous steps will now work for those who haven’t set this up before. Click on it to change printer settings, names or delete printers.

google cloud printers

Note that the list includes more than just printers. For example, my listing above shows an HTC One, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7, as well as two printers, Print to Fedex Office and Save to Google Drive. The last two allow users to send documents to their local Fedex office, which prints them for a fee. Saving the file to Drive will make the file available later. Sending it to one of the phones or tablets will make it possible to open the file on the device.

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Print from Chrome Browser to Google Cloud Print

We are now ready to print from the Chrome browser. Open the Chrome browser and go to a web page to print. Tap the menu button (it looks the same as the red arrow in the image above) and tap . This will open the Chrome dialog and may prompt the user to sign in to a Google account. Make sure you are signed in to the account you used to set up the service on the computer. It can take the user to a page that asks to add a printer. This is a Google bug. Cancel from this page and it will show a list of previously installed printers and devices (see below).

google cloud print printers list

Select the desired printer and a box will open with print options to choose from, such as paper quality, duplex printing (if supported), and more (see below). After setting the correct customizations for the print job, tap and Google Cloud Print will send the document or image to the printer.

google cloud print printer dialog

Printing from Other Applications

Users can print from any app with Google Cloud Print included, including Android or iOS app. Google includes this feature in the Google Drive app. Google has listed some developers who have included the feature on their site.

google cloud printing from google drive

Open Google Drive and find a document to print. Tap the document’s information icon in the lower right corner of the document thumbnail (see these in the image above). A section appears on the right side of the screen. Find the icon and tap it. The Print dialog will appear. Tap it and the list of already installed printers will appear. Select the printer and it will show the settings box again. Set things up as you prefer, and then tap .

For more detailed information about Google Cloud Print, see Google Cloud Print. Google’s help page covering Google Cloud Print. We hope that Google will add this feature to Android so all apps can include it without the need for developer support.