Google Workspace introduces eSignature open beta for Google Docs and Google Drive
Google Workspace has launched the open beta version of its eSignature feature that will allow users to electronically sign a document natively in the app. The feature will be extended to Google Docs and Google Drive.
It is not a groundbreaking feature, and many third-party apps already offer it, but an eSignature for Google Docs and Google Drive is still big news. Today, Google's G Suite, which includes Gmail, Google Docs, Meet, etc., has more than 2 billion monthly active users, according to former vice president and general manager of Google Workspace, Javier Soltero. Yet, whenever this large number of users want to sign a document prepared on Google Docs, they have to either print it, email it, scan it, add a digital photo, or use a third-party app. However, this is going to change as Google Workspace has finally launched the open beta of its eSignature feature.
The feature spent a long time in the alpha release stage, where only a very limited number of people had access to it, but now, it will be available to a larger number of users. But there is a caveat. According to Google Workspace's blog post, “eSignature will be available in beta for select Google Workspace customers”. Both group accounts and individual accounts will be part of this list.
Announcing the feature, Google said, “For solopreneurs and small businesses, keeping track of contracts, customer agreements, and other binding documents can be challenging. To help streamline this workflow, we're natively integrating eSignature in Google Docs, allowing you to request and add Signatures to official contracts, directly in Google Docs”. It also added that no additional sign-up will be required to access this feature.
Google Docs, Google Drive to get eSignature
The feature is straightforward. You get a box where you can electronically add a signature directly. Other features include requesting a signature, checking the status of pending signatures, signing official contracts, and creating a new copy of the contract for each request.
But that's not all. Google Workspace is also working on adding more capabilities in the future. The blog post mentions that audit trail, a feature that will add an audit trail report of all signatories, will be added. Alongside, multi-signing a document, requesting eSignature from non-Gmail users, and initiating a signature on PDF files can be added later this year.
Google mentions that the feature will be rolled out within the next 15 days, but there is no information on where the global release of the feature will take place.