Chrome OS and printing have had a long, tumultuous relationship and that’s a shame because Chromebooks have solidified their place in education and have now set their sights on the enterprise and consumer markets. That’s not to say Chrome OS hasn’t made advances in the printing department. With Google Cloud Print on the way out, Chromebooks have gained some welcome functionalities thanks to Android app integration and CUPS printing. If you’re like us, you’re keen on the fact that HP printers now generally work out of the box with Chrome OS over your network or via USB. They will even scan if you have the right model.
While printing is getting a lot easier on Chromebooks, one thing that is still missing is a proper print management interface but that may change very soon. 9to5 Google’s resident code diver Kyle Bradshaw has uncovered work being done on this exact feature. It looks like this new addition will be very similar to what users of other operating systems are accustomed to except for the fact that, like many things in Chrome OS, the print management will be served as a PWA. More specifically, it will be an SWA or system web app that is a stock part of Chrome OS.
Contains all the information in regards to a print job. Information isPrint Management Commit
provided by the printer. Printer details, i.e. name and uri, can be edited
via print settings.
As you would expect, the UI will report print job information such as job name, number of pages, printer destination and so on. This will be a great addition to Chrome OS because, in its current state, there’s no way to view the status of active print jobs. It will be extremely helpful in offices with multiple printers and as Kyle points out, it will hopefully assist users in diagnosing issues when a print job fails. Since the information is being pulled from the printer itself, we should see error messages just like on any other operating system.
Equally exciting is the discovery that developers are also adding an interface to access connected scanners. Printers from HP already have this capability and you can scan from an HP all-in-one with a Chromebook by pointing your browser to the printers IP address. This update to Chrome OS will add a native scanning UI to Chromebooks that are connected to a compatible scanner. It isn’t clear whether this will work over USB or if it will be network only but it’s still a huge step forward for Chrome OS.
I’ll be keeping an eye on the Canary channel for when this feature makes its debut. I know there will be a lot of users excited to see this one make its way to Stable and rightfully so. It’s about time our favorite OS gained proper printing and scanning tools.