HP pushes cloud printing with Google

HP uses Google's Cloud Print service to enable remote printing.

Hewlett-Packard on Thursday enhanced its mobile printing service by adding support for Google's Cloud Print, which will enable smartphones and tablet users to print documents from applications such as Gmail and Google Docs.

Users will be able to remotely print documents from applications on select HP printers with the EPrint capability, in which an email with print instructions is sent directly to the printer. The mobile application needs to have Google's Cloud Print extensions.

Google has already integrated Cloud Print in its Gmail and Google Docs applications, and will add extensions to more software in the future. The Cloud Print service also works with laptops based on the Chrome OS, which is not yet available on commercial laptops.

Users have to add the email address of an HP EPrint-enabled Photosmart, Envy, Officejet or LaserJet printer to a unique Google account tied to a smartphone or tablet. Multiple printers can be tied to one Google account, and on pushing the print command, users will be able to select the printer of choice. If a printer is powered down, the command will be added to a print queue.

Google announced Cloud Print in December, but did not announce hardware support for the service at the time. A list of HP printers that support Cloud Print is available on HP's website.

HP has already enabled remote printing for mobile devices like Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones. Users of iPhone and iPad can also wirelessly print documents directly on HP printers.

HP is also adding Internet connectivity to more printers. Last year in September, the company announced the PhotoSmart eStation all-in-one printer, which included an Android-based tablet that served as a control panel, web browser and e-reader.

HP is also putting a larger focus on cloud computing. HP's CEO Leo Apotheker earlier this month said an application store would be launched as part of its cloud offerings, and that the company would closely tie together applications and multiple types of devices including smartphones, tablets and PCs. HP last month announced the TouchPad tablet which will run the WebOS operating system, which will also be used in laptops starting early next year.

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