Google had long resisted using third-party vocabulary tools in Google Docs, adding support for Grammarly only recently. But it doesn’t seem to fancy the idea of users being stuck with Grammarly’s solutions, which is why it has now announced a native grammar checker for Google Docs.
Earlier, Google Docs only had a rudimentary spell checker but with web-friendly writing flouting grammar rules liberally, a grammar checker has become essential. The grammar checker in Google Docs will rely on machine learning, like a lot of Google’s recent announcements and features for Google Translate and Google Assistant.
If you’ve used Grammarly, you’d be familiar with how a grammar checker works. It identifies not only incorrect spellings but also alerts you to incorrect usage of verbs, articles, differentiates between homonyms (similar sounding words with different meanings) and even gives quick fixes to smaller issues that can change your writing for the good, including the correct use of commas. This is pretty much what Google’s ML algorithm will do as well.
Grammar check will first be available to G Suite users and later implemented for regular Google Docs users. If you’re a G Suite user who wants to try the grammar checker, you can express your interest by filling this form.
While we can’t yet verify how well it works, Google has boasted a little about the machine learning, even though Grammarly also claims to have “a sophisticated artificial intelligence system” to counter your grammar deficits. Having earned itself so many fans (including yours truly) so far, it would be interesting to see how Google’s solution matches up.
Google has also announced that Gmail’s Smart Compose feature will move out of beta soon and will be available to all G Suite users.