Google apparently considers computer science education and its involvement in developing the condition of computer science as a course in high schools ofAfricaas a major goal for itself in 2012. They have even recently given grants to no less than 17 universities across Africa to boost their computer education courses.
As a part of this effort, Google has recently started the Gmail SMS service in three African nations: Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. The Gmail SMS service will be targeted to those phones which have no smart features and have no Internet connections, pretty much cutting them off from any possible opportunities from accessing Gmail via their phones.
The Gmail SMS system works with most phones, even the basic ones which have no Internet and or other smart features. Gmail SMS automatically converts the incoming new mails to a SMS and sends to the basic phone registered with the system. A simple set of commands such as MORE, PAUSE and RESUME allows the user to ask for more details and manipulate with the system. For sending replies one can hit the reply button and send an SMS which will then get converted to SMS and will sent to the recipient. As Gmail correspondences are shown as threads, they are then directly added to the thread. There is one thing though, while incoming SMS’s will not be charged, standard carrier charges are applicable for sending SMS back to Gmail when sending replies or forwards.
Africa has seen a major revolution in mobile phone adoption. Although the penetration of smartphones is negligible, there is a sizeable number of users of the so called standard phones. To give an estimate, there are more than 15 million users acrossAfricaof the micro-financing tool M-Pesa indicative of the huge market penetration standard phones have.