After Gmail Task here comes another feature which would allow Gmail users to send SMS text messages through Gmail chat. This new Gmail feature is currently available only for U.S. users, but for those of us who live outside U.S., can still send text messages to our friends’ US phone numbers no matter where we are located in the world.
For Gmail users located in the U.S., they need to activate the feature on their Gmail Settings account by going to the Labs tab and enable “Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat.” After enabling and saving the feature, they can enter their friend’s phone number in the search box in the chat window on the left side of Gmail account. Or they can access their contacts list first then add a particular contact’s phone number before sending an SMS text message.
For those in the receiving end, all SMS text messages coming from Gmail would have the 406 area code. Replying to these messages from the mobile phone is similar to how text messages are replied to. Once the SMS text messages are sent, they will go back to the Gmail servers, after which, the messages will appear on the Gmail chat window.
For those who don’t want to receive SMS text messages from a particular contact, they can always reply to the message with the word BLOCK or STOP if they prefer not to receive any messages from anybody using Gmail.
Incidentally, this Gmail feature was rolled out a couple of weeks ago but Google took it back due to some glitches. This time around, Gmail is more sure that the new feature is more stable.