Amazon Alexa Print debuts shortly before Google Cloud Print meets its demise

These days it can often feel like a waste to print something out. A situation that is only strained further by tech companies that consistently try to rid us of the need for a pen and paper. While in most cases this is arguably a good thing, there are times when having a printout may be the best approach. This is where Alexa Print steps into frame. It makes it a cinch to request a printed copy of your shopping list, a coloring page, recipe, and the list goes on. These examples merely scratch the surface of all that Alexa Print is capable of. Continue reading to learn more.

Alexa Print goes where Apple and Google have not

It’s hard to believe that AirPrint has been in circulation for about 10 years. From my perspective, it is one of the most underrated Apple technologies. It makes printing from mobile devices a breeze and as it matured, its simplicity made its way into macOS. Google tried to compete in its own way with Cloud Print, but it will unfortunately meet its demise in a few months.

Despite the fact that Google is backpedaling, Amazon is choosing to forge ahead with what it calls Alexa Print. Instead of using a smartphone or computer as the middleman, Amazon’s solution lets users request specific printouts with voice using one of its Echo devices.

So what can Alexa Print do?

At launch, a simple Alexa Print voice query can produce a physical shopping or to-do list, crossword or Sudoku puzzle, educational worksheets, coloring pages, recipes, and more. Amazon has a full list of what users can say right here.

Alexa Print doesn’t stop there. You can also set up Smart Reorders, a feature that aims to make ink and toner maintenance a breeze. As you might expect, this ability lets Amazon automatically detect and order print supplies once it notices you are running low. Anyone that enables Smart Reorders will save 10% on each automated purchase.

Is my printer compatible with Alexa Print?

Amazon tries to provide a simple answer to this by claiming that Alexa works with “most IPP-enabled network connected printers manufactured by HP, Brother, Canon, and Epson.” In order to confirm one way or the other, the company recommends you ask an Echo device by saying, “Alexa, discover my printer.” Amazon has crafted a handy list of compatible printers for anyone looking to buy a supported unit.

9to5Toys’ Take

While my household’s use of paper is rare at best, I do see quite a bit of value in Alexa Print. Not only can it simplify printer maintenance with automatic orders, it delivers a simple way to keep kids occupied once screen time limits have been reached. Support from Alexa Skills like Allrecipes should also make it a cinch to share a printed copy of great meals with friends and family.

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