Open desktop apps from Google Drive in Chrome coming soon

The latest add-on for Google's browser Chrome, allows its users to, directly through Google Drive, use different applications, which is yet another in a long line of attempts to interconnect locally installed programs and different cloud services. Different documents can now be opened and used through the Cloud, which will prove useful for files that require specialised programs.

This browser extension enables users to, by simply clicking an icon in Google Drive, get a list of apps that can possibly run the file, and then start them directly.

"When it comes to browsers and installed applications working well together, they aren't quite on the same page," said Rachel Barton, a Google Drive Product Manager, in a blog post.

Different documents, created over Microsoft Office or Google Docs apps, can be opened and then used through the Cloud, without the need to preinstall any software, which can be extremely useful for files that require specialised programs, such as financing files, video animations, 3D animation, design tools, etc.

"So, no matter what you keep in Drive, using the web to access and manage files doesn't mean you're limited to using applications that only work in your browser," wrote Barton.

In order for the app to be usable, all users must install the latest version of the Drive app (version 1.18) for Windows and Mac OS, and synchronise their files.

After that, everything users need to do is right-click on the desired file and select the "Open With" option, to see a drop-down menu of all the compatible, locally installed apps that can run the file.

This extension will be rolling out over the next several days, Barton added.