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Gmail SMS lets users in Africa send and receive emails as text messages

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Google is launching a new tool in three African countries that lets users send and receive email as SMS text messages.

Gmail SMS
Gmail SMS

Smartphones make checking email on the go quick and easy for many people, but for those who have older devices Google is launching a new tool — Gmail SMS. The new extension works on any phone and doesn't require an internet connection — so it'll work even on devices that only support voice and SMS. Emails will be automatically forwarded to your phone as a text message, and you can also use it to both reply to emails and compose new ones. Right now the service is only available in Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya and there's no word on whether it will be reaching other countries as well, though given Google's track record we can likely expect to see it expand elsewhere in the future. The news comes not long after Google rolled out walking directions in Africa, a service that's now available in 44 countries on the continent.