Internet Search engine giant Google has rolled out its free SMS chat service through its free email service Gmail and also via paid email service Google Apps to users in India. With the introduction of new sevice, users can send text messages to mobile phones using Gmail Chat and the responses to these will appear as replies in Gmail Chat
The service is available to Indian users along with 51 other countries Asia, Africa and North America. Google had made this feature available to its users some African countries in 2011.
A look at steps involved in sending SMS messages to your contacts' mobile phones using Gmail Chat. To do so from Gmail:
1. Enter your contact's name in the 'Search or invite friends' box in Chat, and select Send SMS from the box of options that appears to the right of your contact's name. Or, if you already have a Chat window open for this contact, just click Options, and select Send SMS.
2. In the dialog box, enter a phone number in the 'Send SMS messages to this number' field. This feature is only launched in selected countries. Click here for the list of supported countries and operators. If you are not located in one of these countries you can still use it, but you won't see the SMS option in Chat until you enable it manually in the Chat settings page.
4. A Chat window appears. Just type your message as you would normally. When you hit Enter, the message will be sent to the phone number you entered.
If your contact replies, the text message response will appear as a reply in Chat. These conversations are stored in your Chat history just like regular chats (but keep in mind that you can't go off the record while communicating via SMS).
SMS charges: Google does not charge for using this service. However, mobile providers' standard charges will apply to any SMS messages sent from a mobile device to Google Chat. Please check your mobile provider's price plan for details.