App Inception: Extensions and Apps for Google Drive
By Colin Ryan
About Ratings and Reviews
In the past, apps were self-contained tools you used on your mobile device. Today, apps are invading all corners of the computing ecosystem, occupying your desktop computer’s browser as well as your smartphone. More importantly, developers are creating apps that integrate deeply with each other and add new functionality to existing tools. A prime example of this new app-within-an-app ecosystem: Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage solution.
Whether you’re a longtime user of Google Drive for your real estate business, or a novice looking for a cloud solution, these apps and extensions will show you just how much Drive has to offer real estate agents — with a little help from some friends, of course.
These are third-party web applications that connect with Google Drive, allowing you to create, edit, and share all kinds of files.
Help your real estate clients better visualize your property listings before they visit. With Floorplanner, you can easily build interactive floor plans directly from your Chrome browser. Once you’ve finished, you can render them as 3D models, save the images back to Google Drive, and share them with your customers.
Take your real estate transactions paperless. With DocuSign (free to start) and HelloSign (free always), you can create fillable forms in your Google Documents, then send them to your clients to sign via their mobile devices. Signatures that are legally binding, and signed copies are automatically saved to your Drive.
Easily edit your interior and exterior property photos from Chrome. Pixlr Editor offers the same advanced color and saturation correction and touch up tools you’ve come to expect from desktop editors like Photoshop, while PicMonkey adds fun elements like filters, borders, and collages. Of course, both save automatically to your Drive.
Collaborating with other agents in your real estate office? Cacoo is a great tool for brainstorming and diagramming. Whether you’re planning out your next website redesign, or developing procedures for office tasks, Cacoo lets you and several others work together in real time on wireframes and flowcharts, then save and share via Drive.
These are smaller, simpler add-ons for Chrome that fold extra features into Google Drive’s existing functionality.
Normally, when you receive an email attachment, you’d have to save it to your hard drive, then upload it to Drive from there. With Attachments.me, you can upload files directly to Drive from your Gmail inbox with one click. You can also create rules and conditions to upload and sort files based on sender, subject line, and file type or title.
Pretty self-explanatory, this extension turns your smartphone into a remote you can use to control your Google Drive presentations. Simply connect your phone to the same wireless network as your computer, and you’re good to go.
One cloud app not enough? With Cloud HQ, you can sync and control your Dropbox, Evernote, or Basecamp account directly from the Google Drive interface. You can also sync files and collections from your Drive to these other apps as well as other Drive accounts.
The simplest extension on this list, QuickCreate makes it easier to create new Google Drive documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. QuickCreate also supports multiple sign-in and can create shortcuts to custom file templates.
Love a Google Drive app or extension we forgot to mention? Tell us about it in the comments!
Published on December 15, 2012
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