Google has introduced a new feature to enhance user convenience by integrating native eSignature support into Docs and Drive. This move aims to simplify the process of requesting and applying digital signatures directly within Google’s platform. After undergoing over a year of alpha testing, the feature is now being rolled out in beta, making it easier to request and apply eSignatures.
While various software solutions, including cloud-based platforms like Dropbox and local applications such as Adobe Acrobat, already offer eSignature capabilities, Google’s incorporation of this functionality seems geared toward achieving parity with competitors rather than trailblazing. This addition reduces the need for users to switch between different apps for obtaining a signature.
Google has shared screenshots showcasing how Docs and Drive will prompt recipients to provide complete signatures or initials. Furthermore, an “auto-populated date signed” field is available. Users can initiate multiple signature requests using a single template contract, and Google emphasizes the inclusion of a feature for monitoring pending signatures.
During the initial phase, it appears that signature requests are limited to Gmail users. According to Google’s official blog post, the expansion to encompass non-Gmail users is expected later this year.
In the upcoming weeks, an open beta for the feature will be accessible to Google Workspace subscribers. However, access for other tiers like Workspace Business or Enterprise subscribers will necessitate administrators to make specific requests through a provided form.
As of now, there’s no indication regarding the potential introduction of this feature to Google’s free personal accounts.