Send free mobile text messages (SMS) from your Gmail account

by David Spark on December 14, 2008

Google keeps adding new features and it’s hard to keep up. My new favorite free Google service is free mobile text messages (SMS), right from within your Google Chat/Gmail account. Free chat on the Internet is not new, but since so many people are Gmail users, Google’s free SMS should be a widely used service, and it’s really easy to use.

To enable free chat, you’ll need to first go to the Google Labs settings page and scroll down to the option “Select text messaging (SMS) in chat.” Click the radio button to enable. Once enabled, all you need to do is type a phone number in the chat window. Google asks you to associate it with a person, saving the number for you. Then just type the message. The person receiving only needs to hit reply to send you a message back which will appear in the chat window as if you’re having a normal live Web chat, but it’s going on through SMS. Currently, it only works on U.S. phones.

Google has got tons of other great features you can enable like a task manager/to do list and also a forget attachment reminder. We’ve all forgotten attachments and had to send up a follow up email with the attachment. Google stops these silly mistakes by watching your email to see if you intended to attach a file. For example, if you wrote, “I’ve included an attachment,” but you didn’t actually attach anything, Google alerts you.

This tip is for the Spark Minute week of 12/15/08 which can be heard daily on Green 960 and 910 KNEW in San Francisco, CA.

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