Go back

Google Cloud Print Alternatives - Replace Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print Alternatives - Replace Google Cloud Print
By Simon Williams
February 25, 2020

It’s not every day that you hear tech giants with the Midas touch, such as Google, closing down products. However, Google Cloud Print will be shut down on December 31st 2020 and people are wondering how to replace this service.

In this article, we explore a list of Google Cloud Print alternatives and how you can migrate Google Cloud Print to a future proof platform. If you would like to learn more about cloud-based printing solutions or how to choose the right printer, hit us up in the comments below.

What is Google Cloud Print?

Google Print is a cloud-based printing service that allows users to print from Gmail, Google Chrome and all compatible Google products. First released in April 2010, Google Cloud Print closed the gaps in multiple Google products, provided an all-Google experience for users. 

The service could be used with no internet connection and offered truly accessible and innovative capabilities with mobile printing enabled. Whilst the service was embraced by its users, Google Print will now be a footnote in a dominant history.

So, why is Google Cloud Print shutting down?

Replace Google Cloud Print

Why is Google Cloud Print shutting down?

The writing was on the wall when Google first made an announcement that users should begin to explore a printing alternative separate to Google Print. Months later, a further announcement revealed the end of life for Google Cloud Print.

As to why Google Cloud Print is shutting down, there is no further information. Surprisingly, Google has failed to release an official announcement, however, we expect this to come in due course. Given that the service was introduced a decade ago, well ahead of its time, there are some big shoes to fill. The Twittersphere communicated their grief in the decision with many complaining that there was not currently a printing option as good as what Google Print offered.

Is that true, or are there other options available that do not sit under the prominent Google flag but are just as good? Take a look at how to replace Google Cloud Print and the official list of Google Cloud Print alternatives.

Replacing Google Cloud Print with Chrome.

If you are a Google Chrome user, Google Cloud Print migration will be somewhat less tearful. On the official Google Chrome Enterprise Support website, Google has released some steps that you can take alongside alternative printing solutions. For Chrome users, you can use your admin console to set up CUPS for printing to local and network-connected printers. This will allow you to manage native printers for your users. Whilst nowhere near as advanced in functionality as the full Google Cloud Print suite, this option will allow you to achieve the following:

  • User-printing defaults for 2-sided and colour printing
  • User account and file names in the IPP header of a print job.
  • Printing securely over a secure IPPs connection.
  • Third-party printing features such as secure printing.
  • Advanced printing capabilities such as (stapling, papers trays etc).
  • PIN-code printing management.
  • Extension APIs for third parties to access print job metadata.

Before Google Cloud Print is deprecated on December 31st 2020, Google also promises to release additional native printing features such as:

  • Support for external CUPS print servers, including authentication.
  • Policy to configure connections to external CUPs print servers.
  • APIs to provide printer-management capabilities.

Whilst all of the above is a promising start, as we mentioned, there are still huge gaps and big shoes to fill. Should you be completely done with Google and it's printing solutions, take a look at the recommend Google Cloud Print alternatives below.


Google Cloud Print Alternatives.

No one is discounting that Google Print is a tough opponent, however, there are other cloud-based print options that will be able to meet the needs of those who have used Google Print for the last decade. Let’s get familiar with some of the recommended Google Cloud Print alternatives.

1. directprint.io - Best Alternative

Seizing an opportunity, directprint.io has emerged as one of the most likely permanent replacements to Google Print. This is due to 'directprint' being fully integrated with G Suite. Working effectively across Google Chrome and Microsoft operating systems, directprint.io is a secure and sleek option that can be connected easily to your network. Many have also commented that even the interface is a lot like Google Print. If you are adverse to change - this might be the place to start.

Visit DirectPrint.io Website

2. PaperCut Mobility Print - Free Alternative

Another very likely permanent replacement for Google Cloud Print is PaperCut Mobility Print. As a business solely dedicated to becoming a Google Cloud Print replacement, PaperCut Mobilit Print offers a completely free service that is fully compatible for easy printing from Chromebooks, iPad, iPhones, Macs, Windows and Android Devices. Claiming that it's software is even easier to setup than Google Cloud Print, it remains to be seen just how far this company can go. 

Visit PaperCut Mobility Print Website

3. Xerox ConnectKey - Xerox Alternative

Given the success of Xerox Printers, it's no surprise that Xerox's ConnectKey already has a healthy following. Beyond printing from the cloud, ConnectKey also allows you to manage tasks through the interface whilst creating electronic documents. The multifunctional printing device is also a touchscreen.

Visit Xerox ConnectKey Website

4. AirPrint - Apple Alternative

Not quite as accessible as Google Print, AirPrint is an Apple compatible cloud printing service, allowing users to print from their Mac, laptop, iPad and even iPhone. It isn’t an ideal solution for workplaces with mixed operating systems, but popular among freelancers and small operations all using Apple products. There are some who have achieved prints using a non-Apple operating system, but you have to download Apps and take several steps to use the functions. Nonetheless, it's a sound Google Cloud Print replacement for those who do love a good Apple product.

Visit Apple AirPrint Website

5. Pharos - Communications Alternative

Pharos incorporates a few key elements that we are seeing become more prominent in printing tech - security, usage and storage. Simply have your office connect to your Pharos network, and receive regular updates around how much is being printed, by who and whether that meets or exceeds your metrics. Pharos is also known for its error communications being infrequent and simple to diagnose if they arise - which will give IT a break. As a Google Cloud Print alternative, this one is definitely for the comms and security focussed organisation.

Visit Pharos Website

6. Printix - Enterprise Alternative

Printix is a mixed bag cloud-based print management platform, easily connecting to Office 365, G Suite and Azure AD. Printix is widely used across a number of industries which has allowed the platform to advance quicker, and users can select the right infrastructure that makes sense for their unique business.

Visit Printix Website

Google Cloud Print Alternatives Summary.

These are just five cloud-based options that can replace (and in a few cases exceed) the service that Google Print provided. Many of these options come with no upfront cost, although some do require a monthly expense. Therefore, we recommend you take your time in trialling each provider to see what meshes well with your workforce. Don't forget, you have until December 31 2020 to use Google Print.

Just be sure to return to work in 2021 with a new printing solution ready to go! 

Don't forget to hit us up in the comments should you have any questions regarding Google Cloud Print alternative solutions. Our team are more than happy to assist.