How to Integrate Google Apps into Windows 8

Google and Microsoft often go at each other’s throats when it comes to the latest and greatest in online technologies. It should come as no surprise then to see that Google products are not integrated into the Windows 8 release. There are a few ways to integrate Google apps into Windows 8. While they may not give the functionality you would like, it can be a quick fix.

Google has become part of our lives now online. For many of us, we would be lost without access to Google Search, Gmail, Maps and more. By integrating these apps into Windows 8, we can have instant access to everything we do with our Google accounts without having to open the browser. While it may cut down on only a few steps, it will make our lives in Windows 8 more efficient.

1. Open the Windows Store and initiate a search for “Google Search.”

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8 - search app store

2. Click “Install.”

3. Once installed, open Google Search.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8 - google search

Now, you can search Google from the comfort of your Start screen in Windows 8 as opposed to opening it in a browser.

The next Google app we will add is Google Chrome. Chrome actually has a hidden Windows 8 mode if you download the desktop version from Google.

1. Open Google Chrome.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8 - desktop-chrome

2. Click the settings button in the browser.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-open-settings

3. Click “Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode.”

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-chrome-win-8-mode

Chrome will then relaunch itself and when it does, you will be using a full screen app-like version of it. While it may not be a true Windows 8 app version of Chrome, its appearance will blend in with the feel of your operating system.

Windows 8 comes with a pre-installed version of its mail app. You can add a variety of accounts to it, including your Gmail account.

1. Open “Mail” from the Start screen.

2. Click the “Windows Key + I” to open Mail’s settings.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-mail-settings

3. Then, click “Accounts.”

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-add-mail-account

4. Select “Google.”

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-add-google-mail-account

5. Add your Gmail login details, then click “Connect.”

Now, your Gmail account with be added to Mail. You will get real time alerts in Windows 8 when you receive your mail. You can add multiple Gmail accounts as well to stay caught up on your e-mail.

If you use any other Google app frequently, you can create a live tile shortcut on your Start screen to access it instantly.

1. Open Google Chrome and head to the Google app of your choice. For this guide, we will be using Google Drive.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-chrome-create-shortcut

2. Click the settings button in the browser, followed by “Tools.”

3. Click “Create application shortcuts….”

4. A pop-up will ask you where you want to create the shortcut. Choose “Desktop,” then click “Create.”

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-google-app-shortcut

5. On the desktop, right-click the shortcut to the Google app. Click “Pin to Start.”

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-pin-to-start

5. Now, head back to your Start screen and you will see the newly created Google app shortcut. Click on it.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-app-on-start-screen

You now have access to that Google app in Windows 8 in its own compact window.

Integrate Google Apps to Windows8-google-app-opened-from-shortcut

Microsoft will probably not integrate Google apps into Windows 8 in the near future, but with these handy tricks, you can get the most from Google in Windows 8.

Do you use Google Apps in Windows 8? Please let us know your experiences in the comments below.