Another Google product will be biting the device right at the turn of the year. Granted, there are indeed some products and services that are long overdue their retirement, it’s still somewhat notable when Google adds another body to its notorious graveyard. This time, it will be Google Cloud Print that will be signing off after the last day of the year, forcing its remaining users, if they do still exist, to connect directly to printers in their network.
Google Cloud Print was one of those things that were created to address a specific need during a specific period in history that may no longer be relevant today. Specifically, it was designed to address the fact that Chrome OS, at least back in 2010, didn’t have its own native printing framework. Being a cloud-based platform, it almost made sense that it would rely on a cloud-based printing solution as well.
It wasn’t exactly as convenient as Google made it be but, during that time, it was really the only solution available. It required printers to be Cloud Ready, which meant they could connect directly to the Internet without a computer. It also meant users had to go the roundabout way of sending files to a remote server in order to send it to a printer sitting right next to them.
By 2017, however, Chrome OS already got its own printing system that could let it connect to printers on a local network, just like regular operating systems. That meant Google Cloud Print was practically obsolete and the remaining use cases for it practically nonexistent. By last year, Google announced the service’s complete shutdown on January 1, 2021.
Few people will probably mourn the loss of the service, except perhaps those who have sporadically used it from time to time and never printed again. They might still see Cloud Print as their default printer option but switching to an actual printer won’t take too much work.