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Text messaging comes to Gmail

The world of instant text style messaging is slowly converging into one homogenous lump of chit-chat, and guess who the culprits are? Yes, Google, who are very close to launching SMS messaging through Gmail. But how?

It works like this: once you’ve added their phone number, you can select ‘SMS’ as the form of messaging and ping them a text as if you were starting an instant chat session. From there Google sends the message to their mobile and routes any replies through their servers back to your Gmail account. Amazingly this appears to be free for whoever is on the computer (not the poor chump on the phone however, unless you have a handy free texts deal), but unfortunately this only works for mobile phones in the States for the moment. However we’re sure a company as determined to take over the globe as Google will figure out a way to bring it to us.

‘How often do you try to chat with somebody and they don't respond because they just walked away from their computer?’ asks Google, in slightly twee blog post. ‘Or maybe you're in the middle of chatting with them just as they need to leave. But you still need to tell them something - something really important like you've moved where you're meeting... or ice cream! We need ice cream! This is why we built a way to chat with your friends even when they're away from their computers.’

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