Unfortunately, there are some areas of the world where many don’t have access to fast speed internet, iPhones, 3G or a data connection at all. One of the most prominent continents to suffer is Africa, and Google are taking steps to remedy that.
Africa has reportedly the world’s highest mobile growth rate and mobile phone penetration is six times internet penetration. This being so, Google today announces a number of SMS services aimed specifically at mobile phone users in Africa, called Google SMS.
Google SMS will allow users access to information via SMS that others will normally search for within a browser. The suite of applications will include health and agriculture tips, news, local weather, sports, and more.
Google are also taking things a step further by incorporating a buying and selling tool called Google Trader. The SMS based Ebay like market-place application will let people buy and sell any type of product, from clothes to crops and lifestock.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, Google are providing an SMS-based query-and-answer service called SMS Tips that will allow people to have a “web search-like experience” by entering a text query, leaving Google to do the hard work and return relevant answers via text message.
The project is part of Google’s overall ambition to make the worlds information available to all. If you’re interested in finding out more, be sure to check out and subscribe to the Google Africa Blog.