Not having access to a computer or a smartphones should not be an impediment to people who want to take advantage of Google’s growing suite of Internet services. In an announcement written by engineer Mohamed Fouad on Google+, users are encouraged to take advantage of Google’s low barrier to entry by signing up for Gmail from any Tier 2 or Tier 3 cell phones; the kind of handheld communication devices colloquially known as “dumb phones.”
Gmail and other Google cloud-based services were once upon a time only available to desktop and notebook computer users. When smartphones and tablet computers became popular, Google developed the requisite Gmail mobile apps for popular platforms such as Android, BlackBerry and iOS. In the process, Google forgot about hundreds of millions of users in developing nations and emerging economies who don’t have regular access to computers or smartphones.
In many regions of the world, particularly in many African, Asian and Latin American nations, smartphones aren’t as commonly used as they are in Europe and North America. Most feature phones these days, however, include wireless Internet connectivity and basic mobile browsers. Google realizes the importance of trying to reach every customer across the world, and to that extent they have redesigned their Gmail and Google+ signup process. Accessing plus.google.com from just about any mobile phone will allow users to obtain a Gmail account and Google+ profile in just a couple of minutes.
The entire signup process takes just 5 steps to complete, and it includes verification of identity via SMS. Google expects its number of users to swell in the future thanks to this retrograde.