Android smartphones have everything from high quality cameras to word editors that allow you to go along with your daily computing requirements without actually having to use the bulky desktop computer. One thing that usually makes you revert back to the desktop PC again and over again, is the need to print documents and pictures. If you have a Wi-Fi enabled printer, then you can use it directly from the Android device. But if you have an old style printer with no network access, then you have to use the Google Cloud Print service so that you can print from Android on this printer.
The Google Cloud Print service is available for you if you have Google Chrome browser installed in Windows. It acts as a middle link between the computer network and the connected printers. But before you can access a local printer through Google Cloud Print service, the local printer must be added to the Google Cloud Print. In order to do this, you can type chrome://devices in your Chrome web browser and click on the Add printers button.
This will show you a list of all the installed printers on your computer. You can choose which of these printers you want to add to Google Cloud Print. Generally, you should add only actual physical printers and ignore the virtual XPS or PDF printers. Google Cloud Print would need you to login with your Google account – you should use the same Google account as you use in your Android phone. Once printers are added, you can manage your added printers from http://www.google.com/cloudprint/.
Now you are ready to print from your Android smartphone. But before you begin, make sure that your smartphone has Google Cloud Print app installed in it. Even if it installed, it is a wise idea to update it through the Google Play Store. Once this is done, you can open any app that allows you to print and give it the print command. For example, in the following screenshot, I am trying to print a document in Google Quick Office app.
At this stage you should see the print dialog. It will show a list of Cloud Print connected printers in your Google account. You can choose one of these printers, select the options (like orientation, page size, number of copies etc.) and then tap on Print to start the printing. If the target computer is not turned on or the desktop PC to which it is connected is not turned on, then the printing will be paused in your Google account and will be resumed in future whenever the printer is available.
Google Cloud Print allows you to print documents to any Cloud Print connected printer, even if the printer is located in a different continent. You can also use it to wirelessly print documents and pictures in Android to any printers in your home or office without having to first transfer files to the desktop PC.