Google has now announced the roll-out an update to the sharing dialog used across G Suite, including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms. The new dialog is intended to improve precision and control, particularly as it pertains to individualized sharing.
Google says that the underlying goal is to make it easy to share with individuals, in addition to allowing key in-app actions, without over-sharing. That’s a change that’s critical amid the shift of the current work environment, with more users working from home.
The update accomplishes that by replacing the old dialog with a new card-like interface. Prior features appear to be mostly intact but there are three big advantages that go well beyond the aesthetic.
First, Google says that the new interface highlights essential user tasks such as sharing and changing permissions or viewing who has access. But it also visually separates sharing with people and groups from the previous “link-sharing” interface.
Options associated with link-based sharing have been moved to a click on a “Get link” card below the primary sharing UI. Google says that provides a more task-focused approach to sharing.
The search giant has also included a new “copy link” button that makes it easier to pick up the link. That’s without requiring any changes to the link’s permissions.
Finally, it’s easier than ever to see who has access and what kind of access they have in the top card. A drop-down menu next to each user allows that access to be changed as needed as well.
The new dialog appears only in the web variant of G Suite apps
The new interface is already rolling out but it will, for the time being, only work with desktop platforms. That’s because it applies exclusively to the web-based sharing dialog. So it will apply mostly to Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook users. Google hasn’t provided any details about whether or not it plans to bring a similar UI over to Android or iOS variants of G Suite apps.
Specifically, the change applies to dialog found under the blue-colored “Share” button at the top-right hand side of the page for those services. A click on that brings up the new UI
How long will this rollout take and who will see the changes?
Now, Google does indicate that the overall rollout will take some time to finalize. As of April 28, Rapid Release domains will see a gradual rollout over the course of 15-days. For Scheduled Release domains, that rollout won’t start until May 26. However, it’s not going to be quite so limited as might be expected based on previous G Suite changes. Particularly in terms of which end-users can take advantage of the new dialog.
In fact, Google says that users with both G Suite and Drive Enterprise accounts. That’s in addition to users with personal Google Accounts. Effectively everybody will be able to use the newly enhanced dialog surrounding the services’ sharing features.
The update is arriving on the server-side so users won’t need to take any action such as updating apps. It’ll also be turned on by default.