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Friday, 2 October 2009

Google Docs Has Let Me Down :(

As you can probably tell, I am a huge Google Docs fan....HUGE!! This semester I decided to get my students to submit lab reports using Google Docs, which would avoid the whole attachment nightmare. So during the first lab of the week, I introduced Docs and got the students to signup for accounts. All was going well until a few hands popped up and students starting asking, 


"Why is Google is asking us for our cellphone number to verify our accounts?" 


I was speechless. Approximately 25% of the students could not setup an account without providing a mobile number, the others could do it via email. The students were against providing their number and so was I. I posted a question regarding this on the Google Docs Help Forum and as of this blog posting, no one has responded. I did manage to find information from Google regarding SMS verification, here is a quote:
"If you'd like to sign up for a Gmail address, you need to have a mobile phone that has text-messaging capabilities. If you don't have a phone, you may want to ask a friend if you can use his or her number to receive a code." 
Apparently this applies to certain regions of the world. So if you don't have a phone or can't get one, then you can't have a Gmail address or a Google Docs account or a Google account. What's even worse about this policy is that only only some mobile carriers are covered, in Canada it's just Rogers.
     This is simply a terrible move by Google and they are really going to miss out on a lot of potential customers. To sum up, goodbye Google...HELLO Zoho!!