Automatic File Association for Apps – Open Files Using Chrome Apps on Windows

Google Chrome has been slowly invading Windows’ territory, pushing a Chrome OS like full-screen mode, and Chrome apps, etc. Now, here is one more step deep into those woods of Windows.

Here is a commit that showed up in the code a few minutes ago:

Issue 181493011: Windows: Automatically associate file types with Chrome apps.

Windows: Automatically associate file types with Chrome apps. Currently only works if –enable-apps-file-associations is on. The Chrome app appears on the “Open with” menu and “Choose default program” dialog for files of any type mentioned in the app’s manifest. If there is no existing app associated with the file type, the Chrome app becomes the default handler.

Upon app installation, creates a copy of the win_app_shim executable to serve as a portable and uniquely named way to run the app. Any file types mentioned in the file_handlers section of the app manifest are associated with the shim.

In simple words, Chrome apps will automatically be added to the list of available to open files with.  For example, imagine you installed an app that opens .jpg files. Next time you right-click a .jpg file and select “Open With”, this Chrome app will be available in the list along with your traditional software.

If a Chrome app is the only supported app available on your computer to handle a particular type of file, it will become the default app for that.

File association is not new for Chrome apps. We have already seen this on Mac.

Now, let’s wait for this to show up on our Windows computers. I am hoping that it will, pretty soon. Are you guys excited?

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