Google Docs and similar work-related products have revolutionized both school and workplace, and has drawn people away from the more serious Microsoft Office. But these features have been limited to those who use G Suite or Gmail IDs, especially cutting out enterprise users depending on their company’s web domains.
Now, Google is opening its doors for such users and allowing non-Google users to access Google Docs, Sheets, Slides stored on a Google Drive account. Currently, this feature is limited to G Suite users and to begin using the feature, admins will have to sign up for the beta here.
The feature, BTW, is officially called Pincode Sharing because when you share a link with a non-Google, a numeric pin (or pincode, if you please) will be sent to their e-mail ID as part of a 2-step authentication process. After signing in with the pin, non-Google users will be able to view the document, and here’s an example shown by Google using Yahoo:
Non-Google users invited to collaborate will also be able to edit the document and add comments to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. The owner of the file will have absolute control over the file but G Suite admins will be able to manage external sharing and as well as audit usage to track any suspicious activity.
The feature might launch to free Gmail users sometime in next year but currently, there is no information from the company. Google has been actively pushing Google One for paid Google Drive subscriptions and we expect these paid users to get an advantage over the free ones.
By activating this option, Google believes it is mitigating “a significant barrier for collaboration“, and perhaps giving non-Google users a chance to try the service for free and maybe adopt G Suite. That, for sure, is a great way of inviting new users into its ecosystem.