A free tool for opening Drive files
Application Launcher for Drive is a free browser extension that allows you to open files from Google Drive on any compatible program on your computer. Developed by Google, this add-on does away with the default action of a Drive file opening with a Google app. It’s a great tool to use if you prefer using your own software than Google’s own GSuite series of applications.
Can be a hassle
Google has a lot of free apps that anyone can use, with or without a Google account. From Translate and Maps to Docs and Sheets, avid users of the popular browser will have opened up one of these free programs at one point. For those with accounts, the Google Drive cloud storage is a lifesaver as it collects all files you’ve created with the browser’s apps and even allows you to upload your own files for safekeeping. However, doing so means that they will open via Google’s software.
The problem is that these online apps don’t usually have all of the same functions as other similar programs. Some users will try to circumvent this by getting add-ons for these specific programs but opening a file in Google will usually change its formatting once they save. Inversely, retrieving a file made with a Google application will have that file in a different format, too, and editing with your program may also change the formatting.
Ends up being another hassle
Fortunately, you can just use Application Launcher for Drive. This extension basically links Drive with your installed software, letting the cloud storage boot up a program you want for the file you chose. However, you need to install the Google Drive software for PC first. Then, sync your Google account’s files so that the connection between the drives is a two-way street. This will also install Docs, Sheets, and Slides alongside it in order to give you more options for opening files.
Afterward, install this extension and refresh your Google Drive on your browser. The main problem this tool frequently has is that it doesn’t work most of the time and so doesn’t display any new options for opening your files. The logo on your taskbar will be grayed out and the only actions you can do redirects you to its download page. The way the files are stored also makes it so much easier to just manually download and open a file on your File Explorer.
For a much better experience, it’s recommended that you use the Save to Google Drive extension instead. This add-on offers many other main features, such as easily saving web content to your drive—whether web pages, videos, audio files, or screenshots. However, this tool doesn’t really give you an option to choose what format it’ll be saving and you have to manually open up its options to configure it.
There are better options
All in all, Application Launcher for Drive is supposed to offer a more convenient Drive experience but it ultimately falls flat and even ends up being unusable to a great extent. It feels much easier to just do things yourself, even though formatting changes may be applied between software. You’re better off trying other apps with better functionality and features, as well.