cloud_print Whenever you want to print out a document, you rely on your local operating system, which must have drivers installed for each printer you intend to use. Most of the time, it’s not an issue: at home, you probably have one printer, and all your PCs have the required drivers.

Things get a bit more complicated when you want to print something from a mobile device, like an iPad. Or a laptop based on Google’s Chrome OS, which relies entirely on web apps and services. This is why Google is working on Google Cloud Print, a service that enables “any application (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer.”

It’s an amazing idea. If print jobs are handled in the cloud, you don’t need drivers, and most of the problems users have with printing from all these new types of devices such as smartphones and tablets will be solved.

Google Cloud Print is still in early days of development, but Google made the code and documentation public as part of the Chromium and Chromium OS projects.