Smartphones are revolutionizing the world and not just the developed world, smartphones sell like crazy in places like China and even Nigeria. Still, the vast majority of people on Earth do have a phone, but it's not of the "smart" variety.
Twitter just revamped its feature phone website
, to make sure it reaches as many people as possible, but Google is doing one better and making Gmail available without an internet connection.
"We’re excited to be making this new service available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. You can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using your mobile phone, regardless of whether or not your phone has an internet connection, like Wifi or 3G. Gmail SMS works on any phone, even the most basic ones which only support voice and SMS," Google announced on its Africa blog.
"The Gmail team at Google puts in a lot of effort to make sure messages are delivered as soon as you hit "send". 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?," it explained
the need for the feature.
Users have to set up the service before being able to enjoy it. It's relatively easy though, all they have to do is go to the account settings, in Gmail, load the Phone and SMS section, add their phone number and then verify it. After that, they'll be able to start forwarding their incoming messages to their phones. The feature can be disabled, of course, if you no longer need it.
Users will even be able to reply to messages or even create new ones from their phones, by send SMS messages with the right commands. This is clearly no replacement for a full-blown client and internet connectivity, but it's better than nothing at all.