Google Wednesday announced that customers in emerging markets can now get their Gmail via SMS for use on feature phones. The company made the annoucment in a blog post on its Africa Blog.
The official name of the product is Gmail SMS. The text-based for of email is currently available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya.
Users in those countries can now send and receive emails as SMS messages using their mobile phone, regardless of whether or not that 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.
Gmail SMS automatically forwards emails as SMS text messages to the user's phone, where they can then respond by replying directly to the SMS. According to the blog post, users can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, users can compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient, who will find the message in the right email conversation thread.