Google Announces Open Beta for eSignature Feature in Google Docs and Drive

Google Announces Open Beta for eSignature Feature in Google Docs and Drive

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Google Announces Open Beta for eSignature Feature in Google Docs and Drive
Photo: Unsplash

Users will now be able to request for and place an eSignature on contracts within Google Docs and Google Drive.

Google has unveiled an open beta of its eSignature feature for the Google Workspace. The feature is available for Google Docs and Google Drive users.

According to an official blog post, Google has been alpha testing eSignatures in Google Docs since June last year. The testing involved dragging and dropping signatures and dates, as well as requesting signatures after resolving all comments and suggestions. Google was also experimenting with monitoring contract progress and also tracking the status of pending signatures and contracts. All of these features are now available to users.

The blog post also announces a few more features that would be available a little later this year. Users would see an automatic audit trail report for all completed contracts, and a multi-signer feature that allows people to request signatures from multiple users. Furthermore, requesting an eSignature from a non-Gmail user will also be possible, in addition to initiating an eSignature on a PDF file in Google Drive. According to the blog post, some Google Workspace editions will be able to test the eSignature sometime in the next few weeks.

The new Google eSignature feature comes long after other platforms have introduced similar options for users. For instance, Dropbox acquired workflow and eSignature company HelloSign for $230 million in 2019 and integrated the feature. Now called Dropbox Sign, the feature allows users to exchange and sign documents within Dropbox. Adobe Acrobat also has a similar feature.

There’s also DocuSign, the California-based eSignature company that offers basic integrations with several platforms, including Google Drive, Evernote, Microsoft 365, and Dropbox. On specific plans, integrating Microsoft Dynamics, NetSuite, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, and Microsoft SharePoint is also possible. In June, DocuSign announced strong earnings of $661 million for fiscal Q1 2024, beating the expected $642 million.

Google eSignature Follows Other Product Announcements

Last week, Coinspeaker reported that Google plans to upgrade its Google Assistant feature using artificial intelligence. According to reports, the company is working on a “supercharged” assistant powered by large language model (LLM) technology.

The new Google Assistant would support enhanced conversations and make user interactions a lot more engaging. By using LLM similar to generative AI chatbots like Bard and ChatGPT, users will experience a more advanced assistant with more solutions and tools to solve problems and perform the assistant’s role.

Google is also developing an AI-powered tool for journalists. Also using LLM technology, Google is creating a tool to help journalists and media personnel write news articles. Reportedly, Google has already pitched the tool to a few news organizations, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and News Corp.

Called Genesis, the new tool can create a news copy using details provided by the journalists. The tool is also expected to create these articles by relying on current affairs. However, reactions to Genesis have been broadly polar. While some believe it should be applauded, others say that Google is treating news writing with levity. Some journalists also believe employers will begin to cut journalist roles in favor of Genesis.

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