Now, send free SMS through Gmail chat

It is finally here. The free SMS service right from your Gmail chat window.  Almost a year after the service was introduced in the United States and many other countries, the service has now been made available to Indian users.

You could now send a text message to most mobile operators across the country from the comfort of your computer, although there is a prominent exception, at least for users in Bangalore.

The Gmail Free SMS service is available for connection to mobile phones with SIMs of many operators, including BSNL, Aircel, Idea, Loop Mobile, MTS, Reliance, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Indicom and Vodafone. However, repeated test messages to Airtel mobiles failed to get the SMSes delivered.

Once you send an SMS from the chat window to a mobile phone other than Airtel’s, you wait for a response.

The replies will appear as regular chat replies  and conversations will also be stored in your chat history. The new feature was rolled out to Indian Gmail users on October 10. Gmail users of 51 other countries from Asia, Africa and North America can now avail of the service.

SMS simplified

Here’s the simple way of Gmail SMS: Type the mobile phone number in the search box just above the chat window on the left side of your Gmail interface.

Click on “Send SMS” and there goes the message. You could assign a name to the number, so that next time you don’t need to type the number again. To respond to these SMSes sent from a computer, recipients need to just hit the “reply” button on their mobile phones to send a return SMS. It lands straight into the Gmail chat window.

You are given an initial credit of 50 free SMS.

Every time you send a message, the credit reduces by one, but goes up by five credits when you get a reply. The maximum credit allowed is 50 SMS.

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