- Google Apps users able to share files more easily with non-Google Apps users
- Files viewable but sign-in still required to make edits or leave comments
- Sharing link accessible for anyone until invitation accepted
Google no longer required people to have a Google account to view shared Docs, Slides (presentations) and Drawings. When a Google Apps user shared these types of files to email addresses not linked to an existing Google Account, the recipient could view the files without needing to first create a Google account.
However, if the sharer sent the file with the ability to make edits or add comments, the recipient still needed to sign in to a Google account to edit or comment.
The change made it easier for Google Apps users to share documents with non-Google Apps users. Previously, the sign-up requirement for viewing Google Apps files had made it less attractive to share the files in a business context. Google Apps users could also export the files as attachments, however it wasn’t possible to edit and add comments to attached documents with multiple users at the same time.
The link for the shared document was publicly accessible until the invitation with the intended recipient had been accepted by creating a Google account.
“Once the person creates a Google Account two things happen: (1) the sharing link will no longer work for new users to access the file and the sharing dialog will indicate that the invitation has been used; (2) any user who accessed the file using the sharing link while it was open and signed in using their Google Account will be added to the sharing access list for that file and will continue to have access. Users with permissions to change sharing settings can revoke this access if desired,” a company blog post said.
The change affected all Google Apps users and would be rolled out to “rapid release” users first.