With the announcement by Google that Google Cloud Print will be discontinued on December 31, 2020, users won’t be able to print from a Chromebook or any device for that matter using the universal Google Cloud Print service.
This is a huge problem for users who rely on this universal print service, and in particular for Chromebook environments. This issue will be most felt by K-12 schools in the United States, which over the years have adopted Chromebooks as their device of choice. This was due to their simplicity and ability to allow for IT to manage their school district’s fleet with ease. That’s because the hardware might look like any other laptop, but the Web-browser-based Chrome OS is different than Windows and Mac providing a low-cost alternative to full-functioned laptops.
Today, more than 60% of educational laptops and tablets purchased in the US are Chromebooks, however, these devices don’t offer standard features for managing user printing, tracking activity, and secure printing capabilities. And now with the retirement of Google Cloud Print, many devices will not be able to print at all.
But there are several alternatives that can help users to seamlessly continue printing, despite the discontinuation of Google Cloud Print. In fact, discontinuation is actually a good thing since these alternatives can bring, tracking, and security which has been lacking all these years.
Native Printing from Chrome OS
You have several printing options from a Chromebook or any Chrome OS device. The first option for many users will be printing to local and network printers directly, which can be administered from the Google Admin console. This provides administrators with the ability to install printers for their users. This method requires no additional software, but only offers basic printing and has no advanced features.
How to Get More Functions for Chromebook Printing
While Direct Printing works, it doesn’t offer any print management or security. That’s where Docutrend can provide a boost to your printing environment.
Docutrend offers some highly robust software solutions which can be deployed easily and remotely within your school or office environment which include solutions like, PaperCut Mobility Server or Uniflow On-premise.
For more advanced features, administrator resources, and print security, a full-feature print management tool is a great way to manage a Chromebook fleet. Take into consideration, that uniFLOW now provides native printing for Chrome OS Chromebook users, which means users can experience secure printing and administrators will have access to usage statistics, routing, and color printing controls. The native integration of uniFLOW and Chrome OS minimizes the IT effort required to manage the print infrastructure while increasing document security and making printing effortless for users. To find out more, speak to one of our uniflow experts.
The uniFLOW Online Chrome extension allows users to print from their Chromebook while also tracking and accounting for all print activity. In environments where Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is used, the extension can be easily deployed to all connected Chromebooks. This makes it possible to track usage and to include controls like secure print release. This means you can plan your budgets and even printing costs to departments or user groups.
When printing via the extension, users will choose the uniFLOW Online printer and then select finishing options. The extension works with a Chrome browser provided the user has a uniFLOW Online account.
The PaperCut print management software offers similar functionality, check out the video below:
The bottom line is that the most advanced and secure way to print from a Chromebook has always been utilizing a print management solution but now after January 1, 2021, will be vital to include it in your printing workflow.