In “Send SMS Text Messages from your GMail Account”, tech blogger Amit Argarwal shows us how to use a feature from Gmail Labs to send SMS text messages through the Gmail interface.
Go to your Gmail Labs settings and enable the “Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat” feature. The facility is currently available only for US phone numbers.
Gmail Labs is where Google rolls out expermintal new features first, so you will have to enable SMS through Labs before you can use this feature.
As I write this post I am not seeing the “Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat” feature in my own Gmail settings, so Google may not be rolling out this new feature to all users at once. It is still early, since this PC World article on Gmail SMS says the feature is just going live today. The Google Labs settings page shows the following disclaimer:
None of these features are really ready for prime time yet, so they may change, break or disappear at any time.
Finally, remember that SMS messages are not always free and the person whom you are contact may be charged for each message you send.