Gmail gets SMS Chat

New SMS sending capabilities will now let desktop Gmail users swap instant messages with mobile phone users via SMS protocol.

Google will reportedly add SMS sending capabilities to Gmail Chat today which will now let desktop Gmail users swap instant messages with mobile phone users via SMS protocol. Previously Gmail users could communicate to mobile phone users, but were limited to sending e-mail messages. The Official Gmail Blog hasn't announced the new SMS chat feature yet but reports indicate that SMS support in Gmail Chat will be available for all US users some time today.

When the service becomes available it will require you sign up for it through Google Labs. To do this simply go to Gmail, then Settings (upper right-hand corner of Web page) and select Labs. Simply scroll down and "enable" SMS chat.

The new feature joins a plethora of new experimental features launched this month by Google Labs. SMS in Chat, according to reports, is only available in the US.

How SMS in Chat works

To get started using the service just type a phone number in the Chat search box or search a contact by name (if you have their phone number stored) and click the "Send SMS" option.

The person receiving an SMS from Gmail's Chat will see it as coming from a 406 area code number. This pseudo-phone number will be associated with your account once you first use the feature. That 406 number now can be used for others to send you text messages that will pop up right in your Gmail Chat window.

Potentially harmful to your wallet

This feature is not free. The person receiving SMS messages from you via Gmail Chat will be charged by their mobile carrier each time you hit enter in the chat window. The same applies if they reply to that message. While sending the messages from Gmail is free, at the receiving end users will pay standard text messaging rates to their wireless carrier.

SMS in Chat is a feature that differentiates Gmail from other large webmail providers such as Windows Live Mail or Yahoo! Mail, which do not have such functionality. AOL's instant messaging platform AIM does support SMS messaging in chat.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gmail chat

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?