Feeds

Google HARVESTS African mobile numbers with Gmail SMS

Welcome to Google+, we hope you... TXT FOR MORE

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Google has created a not-exactly-secure Gmail-over-text-message service for use on old mobiles in parts of Africa.

The advertising colossus said Gmail SMS will be made available to punters in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya for the time being. Users of Google's webmail service in these countries can allow their inbound emails to be automatically forwarded to their phones in the form of SMS messages. They can also reply to those emails via their dated handsets.

"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 Wi-Fi or 3G," explained Google's emerging markets product manager Geva Rechav. He added that Gmail SMS would work on even the most basic of mobile phones that can only do voice and the short message service (SMS).

Identity-farming in action

"You can control the emails received by replying with commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME. Additionally, compose a new email as an SMS and send to any email address recipient - who will find your message in the right email conversation thread!" said Rechav - who's clearly a fan of the exclamation mark.

Receiving Gmail SMS won't cost Kenyans, Ghanians and Nigerians a penny, but there is a charge, at the standard SMS rate, for replying to messages.

The new web app, of course, allows Google to store users' mobile phone numbers in their account profiles and lead the lucky punters to "discover" Google+, the company's empty warehouse of a social network. SMS also has security shortcomings, a point that Rechav failed to mention in his blog post. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
New EU digi-commish struggles with concepts of net neutrality
Oettinger all about the infrastructure – but not big on substance
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.