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Android 11 to bring ‘Share-to-Print’ feature to simplify printing images and PDFs

With 2020 well underway, the first Android 11 beta is undoubtedly around the corner, but we’re still somewhat in the dark as to what Google’s next iteration will bring. Our latest insight into Android 11 shows that it’ll soon be easier than ever to print your pictures and PDFs thanks to “Share-to-Print.”

It used to be on Android that you would need to install a “print service” app from your printer manufacturer. For example, if you had an HP printer, you needed the HP Print Service Plugin app installed, which would add a “Print” option in some apps like Chrome and Docs.

With Android Oreo, our devices became able to automatically print to many network-enabled printers, thanks to a built-in universal print service app, which connected through the Internet Printing Protocol. But if an app you’re using doesn’t offer its own printing option, you may still struggle with the task that’s usually otherwise simple on desktop platforms.

As spotted by XDA-Developers, Android 11 is gaining a new feature called “Share-to-Print” which will add a universal “Print” option to the Android share sheet. According to the documentation, the “Print” option, only shown when sharing an image or PDF file, will bring you right to the Android printing menu where you can select your desired printer. This means that while may still need a specialized printer service app installed, you’ll be able to simply look for “Print” in the Android share sheet.

Make it easier for apps to print to any supported printer via a normal share intent. Provides appropriate content resolution to PrintManager for printing to any installed and enabled Print Service. Image content is downscaled to a good DPI for preview (screen DPI) or delivery (300 DPI). Fit vs Fill options are activated by the user’s landscape vs portrait print attribute selection. Finally, Photos default to a locale-specific default photo media size.

Share-to-Print will also automatically convert and/or resize your file as needed for the printers available from your phone. This should mean that photo printers will receive a full quality photo in an appropriate size while traditional printers may receive an image converted to PDF, as needed.

Like many other printing-related Android features, Share-to-Print was developed by the Mopria Alliance, a collaboration of most of the world’s largest printer companies including Canon, HP, Samsung, Xerox, Epson, and Brother.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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