Google to bring a new 'share-to-print' feature with Android 11
The first beta of Android-11'>Android 11 - Google's next big OS for smartphones - is not here but we are already learning about interesting new features it will bring. Just a few days ago, Google confirmed the new batch of emojis Android 11 will get, and now, XDA-Developers has flagged another interesting capability, a feature known as 'share-to-print'. Here are more details.
What is share-to-print?
According to the Android Open Source Project documentation spotted by XDA, Android 11 will get support for 'share-to-print'. The feature will add a native 'print' option into the share sheet of Android, one that would show up when you hit the share button on any photo/PDF opened in any app. From there, you will be able to print the content in question seamlessly.
You will still need printer app to see supported printers
The print option will open Android's native print manager, which will let you select any supported printer and then use it for printing the photo or PDF directly. However, you would still need the default service app of the printer - like HP Print Service Plugin - to see the printer (network-enabled or connected via USB OTG) in the printing menu.
Currently, print app plugins work with select apps
At present, installing the printer service plugin shows the option to print only on select apps like Google Chrome and Docs. However, Android 11 will make it work directly via share sheet for all apps supporting photos and PDFs.
Content will be adjusted accordingly
In addition to providing a native printing option, the print manager accessed via share sheet will also adjust the resolution of the content according to the printer in use. For instance, if the printer in use is a photo printer, it will print the image in the highest quality. However, if it is a regular printer, it will downscale the content for it.
What Google said about print manager's photo adjusting capabilities
"Image content is downscaled to a good DPI for preview or delivery (300 DPI)," Google wrote in the documentation, adding that "Fit vs Fill options are activated by the user's landscape vs portrait print attribute selection" and "photos default to locale-specific default photo media size."
When will share-to-print become available?
Ultimately, Android 11 will host the share-to-print feature, but you may get an opportunity to try it in the first few beta versions of the platform itself. The first beta of the latest version, going by Google's timeline in the past, is expected to debut by the end of February or in the first half of March.