Google Cloud Print will be shut down on December 31, 2020

Google Cloud Print
Google Cloud Print (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is shutting down its web-based Cloud Print service on December 31, 2020.
  • Chrome OS devices will rely on native printing and app drivers instead of Cloud Print.
  • Support for external print servers and more administrative printing controls will come to Chrome OS.

After offering printing from any device, from any location, to any web-connected printer with Cloud Print, Google is shutting down the service that has technically been a beta product since 2010. Cloud Print will be gone by the end of next year and users will need to find an alternative before December 31, 2020. Chrome OS, which originally relied on Cloud Print entirely for printing needs, eschewing the need to develop native printing controls, is now going full native.

Chrome OS already handles some administrative tasks for printers that use the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS). Google promises to expand administrative options through the end of the year, and add more robust support for external print servers and other security policy administration in 2020. Since Chrome OS and its apps relied entirely on Cloud Print, Google will also be developing APIs for third-party developers to handle printing tasks.

It is unclear why Google would move away from a multi-platform, cloud-based printing solution and leave the task to local, native hardware. Perhaps the company sees third-party printer makers developing their own cloud solutions, with most office environments handling printing through their own IT methods. It is still disappointing to see Google abandon a useful app or service, and hopefully this won't become more of a trend than it already is.

Philip Berne