Gmail Downgrades, Launches SMS Version for African Countries
While we’re used to seeing upgrades from our favorite tech products, Gmail has made an important step in the opposite direction.
Google launched Gmail SMS Wednesday, offering a mobile-based email solution for people in Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana. Gmail SMS is a tech downgrade, but it’s a lifestyle upgrade for email users without consistent Internet access.
“There’s so much you do with it: apply for a job, make an inquiry, get notifications from your social network, receive photos or an invitation that makes you smile, and just communicate back and forth with your friends,” said a post on Google’s Africa blog.
“However, sometimes barriers arise between you and your email. What if you’re not by a computer? Or your phone is not connected to the internet? Or the internet is down or too slow, so that emails just won’t load?”
Gmail SMS, a free product, allows mobile phone users to send and receive emails without a Wi-Fi or 3G connection. The new product is designed for the most basic of phones, supporting only voice and SMS.
The Google Africa blog post outlined setting up Gmail SMS in five steps:
1. Select “Account” at the top right hand corner of your Gmail web browser.
2. Select “Open SMS settings” in the phone and SMS section.
3. Enter the phone number where you’d like to receive emails.
4. Enter a verification code sent to your phone as an SMS.
5. Select to have emails forwarded to your phone.
How do you think Gmail SMS will help the developing world? What other products would you like to see adapted for feature phones? Let us know in the comments.
Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/18/gmail-sms/