Google has a new beta feature that will allow people without a Google account to work on G Suite documents. This will make sharing and collaboration easier and hopefully entice more people into giving G Suite a
Working on a project with different people is already a challenge, but things can become more complicated when some members use different platforms. Google wants to alleviate this dilemma by giving non-G Suite users a PIN number that will allow them access to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets. Privacy settings will be determined by the account holder.
— PCMag (@PCMag) December 18, 2018
Google announced in an official blog post that they are “introducing a beta for an easy pincode identity verification process that will enable G Suite users to invite non-G Suite users to collaborate on files.”
Users will send their Google guests a pin code through their email. When the “visitor” clicks on the access link provided, they will see a login screen that will send a verification code to their inbox. Once the code has been activated, the visitor can view, comment, and edit Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
File owners will have total control on the access and sharing permissions. They can also track any changes made to the file and they have the ability to revoke access. Admins will have control of every external sharing made and audit usage.
According to the instructions on the tech giant’s Support page, administrators can set permissions by domain or department. There are also options for limiting what can be shared outside of whitelisted groups and domains.
The PIN feature is only available to select companies. Businesses that want to try out this new feature would have to sign up to become beta testers. They would also select the non-G Suite using organization they are working with. However, there is no guarantee that every company that signs up will be able to access the feature. Google will have to check every site to ensure that they’re legal. The company would then have to add a non-G Suite domain to a whitelist before the feature can work.
This new feature could open more doors to Google. Companies might be more amenable to signing up for G Suite since it allows users more freedom to work together with non-Google users. But whether Google’s new offering will make a dent on Microsoft’s hold on professional suites remains to be seen.