Google is adding native support for electronic signatures to Docs and Drive in an attempt to make it easier for users to request signatures and sign documents from within its cloud-based productivity software, the the company has announced. Google is now rolling out the ability to request and leave electronic signatures in beta, after more than a year of testing the function in alpha.
Screenshots posted by Google show how Docs and Drive users will be able to request a full signature or initials from recipients, and there’s also a “date signed” box that can be set to auto-complete. Multiple signature requests can be generated from the same contract template, and Google says it also includes the ability to track the status of pending signatures. It seems that you will only be able to request signatures from Gmail users at the moment; Google’s blog post notes that “the ability to request an electronic signature from non-Gmail users” won’t arrive until later this year.
Although the feature is moving out of alpha and into beta, Google’s eSignature feature will not yet be widely available to all Workspace users. Individual Workspace subscribers will gain access to an open beta of the feature in the next two weeks, but other Workspace Business or Enterprise subscribers will only have access if specifically requested by their admins. through this form. There’s no mention if or when the feature might come to free personal Google accounts.