Making the Most of Google Drive With Integrated Apps

Chris Hoffman 18-01-2013

google drive integrated appsGoogle Drive A Look At Google Drive, Google's Long-Awaited Cloud Storage Service After more than 6 years of rumors and a long-ago cancellation because "files are so 1990", Google Drive is finally here. Coming with 5 GB of free storage space, a Dropbox-like desktop sync client, and... Read More can be used to sync files between your computers Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. OneDrive: Which Cloud Storage Is Best for You? Have you changed the way you think about cloud storage? The popular options of Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive have been joined by others. We help you answer which cloud storage service should you use. Read More , but that’s just one of its many features. Google wants Google Drive to be your new cloud hard drive, accessible from any device. To help make this happen, Google allows third-party apps to integrate with Drive.


A Google Drive app works like a regular web app, except that it doesn’t store its files on its own web servers – it stores them in your Google Drive account. To use the app – for example, to edit an image, you can open the file from the Google Drive website. It will open in its associated app, just as file extensions work on Windows. The app can then save the file right back to your Google Drive.

Using Google Drive Apps

To use an app, install it from the Chrome Web Store. You’ll find a full list of Google Drive Apps on the store.

From the Google Drive website, you can open individual files in an installed app. You can also launch the app directly from the list of web apps on Chrome’s new tab page.

google drive integrated apps

To uninstall an app, go to your Google Drive website, click the gear icon at the top-right corner of the screen, and select Manage Apps. You can view your installed apps, set an app as the default, or uninstall an app from here.


integrate google apps

These apps fill a hole in Chrome OS 5 Reasons To Give Chrome OS A Second Chance Google’s launch of Chrome OS was one of 2011’s most disappointing moments. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of Chrome OS was its performance. Since then, Google has been gradually updating Chrome OS. The user experience has... Read More , allowing you to store files in a central location and open them in apps, just as you can on a normal computer. However, they can also be used on any computer with the Chrome browser installed. Best of all, Google Drive makes it easy to work with files between the web and your PC – put a file in your Google Drive folder and you’ll be able to open it in a web app from the Google Drive website. After editing the file, it will be saved to your Google Drive and the changes will sync back to your computer, giving you seamless access to the same file everywhere, whether you’re using a desktop app or web app.

Pixlr Editor

Pixlr is an advanced web-based image editor Don't Install An Image Editor: Try These Cloud-Based Photo Editors Instead If you want to get really good results, you need to download some kind of graphics software or other editing app, and put it through its paces. But now, you can do most of your... Read More that feels a bit like Photoshop or Paint.NET Paint.NET: The Best Image Editor Available That You Should Download We all edit images to some degree. Whether it’s a simple crop or resize, or maybe just adding some text, it’s nice to have an image editor that is reliable, fast, easy to navigate and... Read More . It has layers and a variety of other tools for editing images. It can be used to edit images on a Chromebook What Is a Chromebook? What is a Chromebook? What's a Chromebook good for? How does a Chromebook compare to a laptop? We answer these and more. Read More or as a quick image editor on any computer – no long download or installation process required.

integrate google apps



If you’re looking for something a bit less advanced for lighter photo touch-ups and editing, give PicMonkey a try. After Google acquired the popular Picnik image editor, several former Picnik engineers created PicMonkey PicMonkey: The Spiritual Successor To Picnik As you probably already know, Picnik’s days are numbered. The popular photo editing website, which was purchased by Google, is going under on April 19th, 2012. Some of the features found in Picnik have made... Read More . It provides a selection of basic tools for quickly editing images.

integrate google apps

Drive Notepad

Google Drive contains Google Docs, but Docs is more of a word-processing program than a text editor. If you want a text editor with the features you’d expect from a desktop text editor like Notepad++ 3 Handy Built-In Notepad++ Features For Beginners [Windows] This summer, I’ve used Notepad++ for my internship quite a bit, so I can see why almost all developers and programmers I know actually prefer it, not to mention, the thousand of Notepad++ fans that... Read More , including syntax highlighting, try Drive Notepad. It edits a variety of text and source code files right in your browser, saving them to and loading them from your Google Drive account. Changes you make will be synced between all your  computers, so you could use this app to do some coding on your Chromebook and have the changes automatically sync to your other computers.

integrate google apps



DriveTunes is a music player that displays all the music files in your Google Drive and presents them as a music library. You can use your Google Drive as a streaming music player, accessing your music from anywhere. This is particularly useful if you’re in one of the many countries without access to Google Music – although there are ways to get Google Music wherever you are. All you need to do is activate it once from a US IP address Access US-Only Websites Internationally For Free With TunnelBear If you’re living outside of the United States, here’s a familiar scenario for you. You’re reading your favorite tech blog, and suddenly see a post about the latest and greatest in web services. Maybe it’s... Read More .

integrate google apps


WeVideo is an easy-to-use online video editor 4 Free Tools For Online Video Editing Video editing online has helped to turn everyone into armchair filmmakers. Here are the best five editors on the web. Read More that allows you to edit videos stored in your Google Drive and save the changes right back to your drive. WeVideo’s interface looks slick and easy-to-use, unlike some more powerful video editors that can be intimidating to new users.

integrate google apps



HelloFax is a free online tool that makes it easy to send and receive faxes, save your signature and sign documents right from the browser, and fill out forms. It’s integrated with Google Drive, so your documents will be stored in a single place. It could help you create that elusive paperless office The Future Is Here - Your Guide to Having a Paperless Life Today Paperless – a term that is used quite often now days. But what does it mean? And to what extent does it apply? Certainly we all still use paper to some degree despite the advancements... Read More we were once promised. (While it’s free, you’ll have to pay if you want to fax more than five pages a month or if you want your own dedicated fax number.)

If you’re interested in this sort of app, you may also want to check out the DocuSign app for Google Drive, although it isn’t free.



Google Drive has a built-in PDF viewer, but it doesn’t have any editing features. If you want to edit tools, you’ll need another PDF app – like PDFzen, which allows you to edit PDF files stored in your Google Drive.

google drive integrated apps

If you’re a Chrome user, be sure to check out our list of the best Google Chrome extensions The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers. Read More .

Do you use any of these apps – or any other Google Drive apps? Which are your favorites? Leave a comment and share them!

Related topics: Cloud Computing, Google Drive.

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  1. Lilou
    May 24, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Concerning integration with a PDF app, please also look into

    PDF Studio, an alternative to Adobe Acrobat on Windows, Mac and Linux:

    qPDF Notes, a PDF reader / annotator / form filler / signer for Android:

    Both these apps have a file browser that is integrated with Google Drive, which means that you can see and open files directly from Drive, edit them in the application and then save them straight back to Drive.

    The apps are not running in the broswer but for this reason they are actually more user friendly and powerful. Only the storage has to be in the cloud :-)

  2. Daniel Huss
    January 23, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    There's some very cool apps that integrate w/ Google drive.

  3. Marianne Martin
    January 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I like the chrome extension that allows one to click on the gmail from any website. Also the Facebook ext is good.

  4. Nevzat Akkaya
    January 21, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Chrome consumes much more memory and tabs freezes/crashes lot more than Firefox, so I have to stay away of it, however such good extensions makes me want to use it.

    • Amanda Chicoine
      January 21, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      I have never had that problem with Google Chrome. In fact that is why I started using it for everything-I am familiar with and use lots of Google's products but thanks to the article I now can use even more!

  5. Graham Richardson
    January 19, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    the pdf editor is a new one to me which I can see being very useful indeed. I am slowly making more use of GDrive and these apps can only help in that respect

  6. Patrick Jackson
    January 19, 2013 at 7:24 am

    Nice one!

  7. Steven Groves
    January 19, 2013 at 4:29 am

    These look like some great and amazing plugins

  8. Mark Alsisto
    January 19, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Does installing the apps takes up your hard disk space?

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      April 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

      Certainly, but not so much.

  9. Mark Alsisto
    January 19, 2013 at 4:03 am

    I didn't there is a google drive apps until now....

  10. Josh Gauthier
    January 19, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Nice to know this exists! Can definitely clamor for using Chromebooks in school without worrying about not having the right software to do what we need.

  11. Marian Cimbru
    January 19, 2013 at 3:37 am

    Thanks! I've just looking up for a fax solution...

  12. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    January 19, 2013 at 3:07 am

    No matter how good Google Drive is, never put all eggs in one basket without backup. It's never a good idea since the whole service might just shut down (besides, Google seems to love shutting down thriving services)

    • Rubis Song
      January 24, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Wise advice, Lisa. thank you.

    • Mike Mitchell
      April 24, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Um... Actually Google Drive is an online copy and data replication/syncronizer. It's not a single point of failure if they discontinue it. All data stored in it is replicated on every device you run Google Drive attached to the same gmail account. The data is still available even if Google Drive cannot communicate to the Google servers (such as your Internet being out) Know what you're talking about before chiming in.

      • Lisa Santika Onggrid
        April 24, 2013 at 10:17 am

        Yeah, I was being unfair. I thought it was something like Box. Thank you for clearing this up.

  13. Keith Swartz
    January 19, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Nice, very nice!

  14. Todd Wiley
    January 19, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Those are some great suggestions I can't wait to try them out for myself.

  15. Charles Babb
    January 18, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Oh yeah, Google Drive is becoming more useful!

  16. Extra Extra
    January 18, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Wow, some great suggestions. Thank you!