I’ve written many times about how awesome a tool Google Apps Gmail is. Check out these links.
Four and I’m sure there are more just look.
And I’ve also written about how to send and SMS text to a phone via email.
But that does require you know the service provider of your recipient.
BUT you can also send SMS messages directly to any telephone number from Gmail/Google Chat. A super useful tool if you are in front of a computer and the party you need to contact is not.
To do so from Gmail:
- 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.
- In the dialog box, enter a phone number in the ‘Send SMS messages to this number’ field. For now, this feature works only on United States phone numbers. If you’re outside the US, 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.
- Click Save.
- 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).
Note regarding mobile phone subscribers in North America: depending on which mobile plans your contacts in North America have, they may be charged by their mobile providers for receiving text messages.
Read about more about it here:
Note that as you ‘use’ SMS quota you can increase the number you are allowed to send very easily.
A quota is an allocation of SMS (text messages) that you’re able to send to a mobile phone:
- Initially, you’re granted a quota of fifty messages.
- Every time you send a message, your quota decreases by one.
- Every time you receive an SMS message in Chat (for example when a phone user replies to one of your messages) your quota increases by five, up to a maximum of 50.
If your quota goes down to zero at any point, it will increase back up to one 24 hours later. So, you won’t ever be locked out of the system
SMS in Chat Commands:
Here are some commands that might come in handy for you down the road when using SMS with Chat:
- HELP: Text this command to any Gmail SMS number and you’ll get a response reminding you of some of the basics of SMS and a refresher of some of the other useful commands
- STOP: This command will block all SMS messages from Gmail
- START: Re-enables you to receive SMS messages from Gmail if you’re currently blocking them
- BLOCK: Send to the code number for a particular contact to block messages from that specific person
- UNBLOCK: Allows a blocked contact to send you SMS messages in the future