New Gmail SMS feature delayed for two weeks

New Gmail SMS feature delayed for two weeks

Summary: An exciting feature for Gmail was announced today, but it turned out to be a false alarm for now. Google announced they will be adding SMS capability to Gmail so you can text people from right from there.

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An exciting feature for Gmail was announced today, but it turned out to be a false alarm for now. Google announced they will be adding SMS capability to Gmail so you can text people from right from there. Additionally, getting a response from the person is just as simple.

When a someone receives a text message from you (that you sent from Gmail), replies are simply delivered to your Gmail account -- this makes it very easy to communicate with people that are offline, but through a familiar interface.

How does this work? Well, when you send a message to someone, it will be sent from one of 1000 phone numbers Google has reserved for this purpose. Gmail will then reserve that phone number for you to communicate with that single person. Each person you contact will be assigned a different phone number from the pool. This works because any one person will probably never need to contact 1000 different people like this.

Once it's officially launched, the SMS feature will be available in Gmail labs -- just like most of the new features they have added recently -- including adding your Google calendar to your Gmail account. Just click on the labs icon beside the "settings" link, and go from there.

Topics: Cloud, Browser, Collaboration, Google

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5 comments
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  • Remember ICQ SMS free service?

    Back in late 90s and early 2000s it was possible to send SMS for free from an ICQ account to pretty much any GSM mobile phone in Europe and a cell phone owner could reply easily back - the message was delivered to ICQ user's account. Also, a cell user could send an SMS to an ICQ user that was offline. I remember having endless SMS-ICQ chats while being on a train in Slovakia SMSing to my friend sitting at her computer in Paris/France.

    This was the first real-time mobile instant messaging that really worked and was reliable.

    That, of course, was long before the US were introduced en masse to SMS, a service that was enjoyed by the civilized word for years before America woke up.
    kitko
    • yes, I remember....

      But do you also know what happened after that?
      A lot of free SMS sites started to spring up all over the place... and phone providers didn't like missing the revenue (as half the people sending sms messages didn't need to use their services anymore) and simply started blocking those telephone numbers.

      I wonder if that will happen with the google numbers as well.

      I also wonder if google will only offer this in the US or if it will be a worldwide service. Cos to be honest, it sounds nice. I don't fancy having to send messages to a foreign mobile number though... the charges are huge for that.
      Day24
  • Message has been deleted.

    shujayat
  • RE: New Gmail SMS feature delayed for two weeks

    OMG You can text anyone from any e-mail service already.

    T-Mobile is phonenumber@tmomail.net
    at&t is phonenumber@txt.att.net or @mms.att.net
    Sprint is @messaging.sprintpcs.net

    Not sure what Verizon's is but it's simple I know that.

    DUH.

    Nothing new here. Google is so dumb lately I swear.
    Arphenion
    • Well Actually

      They have something going on here that I am afraid you may not realize. The novel thing is not that you can send a message by SMS to a cellphone; for like you pointed out "you can txt anyone from any email service already".

      The novel thing in this setup is that the owner of the cellphone can respond back via the number the SMS was sent from. This message will appear in the same window you sent your SMS from. Furthermore it appears if this cell phone owner ever sends another message to this "reserved" number you will get it in your chat window in Gmail.
      mdworkman