Google yesterday announced that it has launched Google Cloud Print Beta for mobile documents and Gmail. Cloud Print is a service which was announced back in April 2010 and allows printing from any app on any device, OS or browser without the need to install any software. Following last month's announcement that Google Cloud Print will be supported in the Chrome notebook pilot program, yesterday's launch is something more publically available which Google will be rolling out to end-users throughout the next few days. It allows to print E-Mails as well as certain documents and E-Mail attachments like Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF files.
Just open a document in Google Docs or an E-Mail in Gmail in your mobile browser and choose "Print" from the dropdown menu in the top right corner.
Google Cloud Printing for Mobile will be rolling out today and tomorrow for English speaking users in the U.S. and requires a smartphones that support HTML5, such as devices running Android 2.1+ and iOS 3+. However, to get started, you'll need to connect your printer to Google Cloud Print first. At the moment, this step requires a Windows PC, but Linux and Mac support are coming soon.
That's definitely an interesting and useful service but hitting HP and Palm at one of its core competences - printing! As far as it's known, HP is working on similar services to beef-up its webOS system, integrating Palm's mobile devices tighter into HP's printer dominance.
UPDATE: While Google Cloud Printing is yet released in the U.S. only, foreigners can also use it by accessing the U.S. Gmail site instead of the local one.
Cheers ~ Arne