Google offers print from Android, iPhone

The new feature requires a Windows PC running Chrome OS attached to the printer

Google on Monday started rolling out a new feature in the U.S. that lets people send documents to be printed on remote printers from their Android devices and iPhones.

"Let's say you need to print an important email attachment on your way to work so that it's waiting for you when you walk in the door," Tyler Odean, who works with Google's Cloud Print team, wrote in a blog post. "With Gmail for mobile and Google Cloud Print ... you can."

There are a few requirements to enable the service.

First, users must connect their printers to the Google Cloud Print service. To do so, they must download Google's Chrome OS and enable the Google Print Cloud connector. For now, the Cloud Print feature is only available on Windows computers.

Once the printer is connected to the Google Print Cloud, the computer attached to the printer must be on in order to print a document.

Also, printing documents is done from within Gmail on an Android device or iPhone. Users can print Gmail messages as well as some e-mail attachments, including .pdf files and Word documents.

Odean said Google is rolling out the feature in the U.S. over the next few days.

There are other options for printing from phones including the iPhone and many of them also have requirements or limitations. Some apps allow printing from mobile phones only to printers that have Wi-Fi, for instance.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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Nancy Gohring

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