Today, the team behind Google Drive announced that you can now open files from within your Google Drive account with your own desktop applications. Although once you download apps to your desktop, your default programs for those files should already recognize them -- all you have to do is click on them to open in that program -- but Google seems unhappy with this process and wants to make it a little quicker.
Google previously allowed users to open Drive files with web applications, but it's now releasing a new Chrome extension that lets you open Drive files in desktop applications for advanced image and video editing software, accounting and tax programs, or 3D animation and design tools. Now you shouldn't be limited to Web apps that may offer lesser capabilities as a more advanced desktop application, such as Adobe's Photoshop or Autodesk's AutoCAD.
To make this work, first you need to install the Drive app for Windows or Mac OS and sync your files. After that is finished, go to the Drive web app in Chrome, right-click on the file you need opened, click "Open With" to see a list of compatible applications available from your PC, and then choose the one you want.
After you open your files and edit them, you can save the changes back to Google Drive, and the file will be synced with all of your devices and collaborators.
Apparently, the extension isn't available to everyone just yet, but it should be rolling out to everyone over the next few days.