If you do any sort of document editing from your phone, there's a good chance you've needed to print something at some point. Or maybe you need a quick copy of an image and don't want to go through all the trouble of transferring it to your computer and then printing. Or maybe there's some other scenario that I can't think of right now when you've needed to print something from mobile. No matter the situation, printing in Android has always been sort of a pain in the ass.


In KitKat, however, Google has added native printing capabilities as part of the package. The printing framework will be able to communicate with local printers over Wi-Fi or with any printer in a Google Cloud Print account, making printing a breeze from basically anywhere. Users will be able to modify most of the basic parameters, including paper size, pages to print, and which printer to send the document, image, or file to.

Printer manufacturers will also be able to use newly introduced APIs to develop their own print services, which will allow for printer-specific options to be to handled directly from Android. Developers will also be able to use new APIs to add printing capabilities to their apps "with minimal code changes."

From the look of it, printing will be accessed via the action bar, but it isn't entirely clear how it will work past that. However, according the Android Developers site, the printed object will first be converted to PDF as that's the primary file format Android will use for the service.

So, yeah. Printing from your mobile, quickly and painlessly. Sounds convenient.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • HebeGuess

    FYI, this feature is brought to you by Dianne Hackborn and team. https://plus.google.com/105051985738280261832/posts/G5Gx3KmU1ee

    • http://shwetank-shukla.blogspot.com/ Shwetank Shukla

      *brought :)

  • Simon Belmont

    This is sweet. I have a wireless printer and it would be great to be able to print from my phone and tablet directly without having to use Cloudprint (which admittedly does work pretty well, too).

    Another cool feature, Google. Well done.

    • sangtan

      Many print app out here. StarPrint is a good to try.

  • hkpuipui99

    Finally. This was one of my biggest regret when I first switched to Android.

  • Dan Garcia

    Sooo does this mean we'll get to print directly from the Gmail app soon?

  • A_Noyd

    I bought a Brother printer, and they have Android printing apps, so it was not a problem for me.

  • unhappybirthday

    If you don't want to wait for your device to get KitKat, PrinterShare Mobile Print works well. I have a supported printer and can print directly over my Wi-Fi network.

  • Kostas

    This feature already exists, its Google Cloud Print on Play Store from Google herself! In 4.4 seems to be integrated though!

  • http://www.gameosaur.com/ neoKushan

    That looks very much like they're using the "Share" button to send it to the printer. Makes sense, that means apps will be able to support it without needing much (any?) updating.

  • Primalxconvoy

    I just use an hp printer with their app and have never looked back.

  • wlmeng11

    So how about ChromeOS...

  • P1h3r1e3d13

    Perfect for printing boarding passes while traveling without a computer!

  • Random!

    Anyone aware how long a printer cartridge can last under intense heat? I have an inverter in my car and am considering to leave a leftover HP WiFi printer on its trunk.

  • Amit

    I have a question, I have file types which are different than an image file or a pdf file. Eg, a doc or ppt file. There are printers which takes the native file and prints. How can I just send the file like a pass through to the printer using KitKat printing service ?

  • crazyblogwalker

    This is one of the great features of the latest Kitkat Android operating system. Quite easy to print web pages, docs etc. right away from the smartphone.


  • johnson dell

    For Brother Printer Tech Support Contact Us: 1-800-935-0537