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Google has announced that Cloud Print, its cloud-based printing solution, is being retired at the end of next year. It’s an early heads up, yes, but it’s a necessary one — Cloud Print is pretty widely used. Google recommends that users of Cloud Print “identify an alternative solution.” Which, of course they do.

The announcement comes in the form of a support document for Cloud Print that popped up recently, which is kind enough to remind us that Cloud Print has technically been in beta since it launched a decade ago…

Cloud Print, Google’s cloud-based printing solution that has been in beta since 2010, will no longer be supported as of December 31, 2020. Beginning January 1, 2021, devices across all operating systems will no longer be able to print using Google Cloud Print. We recommend that over the next year, you identify an alternative solution and execute a migration strategy.

Google notes that Chrome OS’ native printing solutions have been vastly improved since Cloud Print launched in 2010, and also promises that native printing in Chrome OS will continue to get more features over time.

Google has improved the native printing experience for Chrome OS, and will continue adding features to native printing. For environments besides Chrome OS, or in multi-OS scenarios, we encourage you to use the respective platform’s native printing infrastructure and/or partner with a print solutions provider.

Google highlights many equivalent Chrome OS features that are already live or will be added to the operating system’s native printing functionality by the end of the year. There are also a few features in the works to come before Google Cloud Print is officially deprecated at the end of next year (emphasis ours).

The following native print management features are currently or will be supported by Chrome OS by the end of 2019.

  • Admin console interface to manage thousands of CUPS-based printers for users, devices, and managed guests (the legacy 20-printer cap has been removed) by organizational unit
  • Admin console policy to manage user printing defaults for 2-sided (duplex) and color
  • Support for advanced printing attributes (stapling, paper trays, pin printing)
  • Admin console policy to include user account and filename in IPP header of print job over a secure IPPS connection, which enables third-party printing features such as secure printing and print-usage tracking
  • Admin console policy to manage PIN code printing, allowing users to enter pin code when sending the print job, and release the print job for printing when they enter the pin code into the printer keypad

The following print management features are being developed for Chrome OS and will be available prior to Cloud Print deprecation.

  • Support for external CUPS print servers, including authentication
  • Policy to configure connections to external CUPS print servers
  • APIs for third-parties to access print job metadata, submit print jobs and printer management capabilities

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