Google Labs are on a roll these days. After adding canned responses feature (which can be used as Auto Responder), they have added a facility to send text messages / SMS to mobile phones directly from GMail ! To turn it on, go to the Labs tab within Gmail’s settings. Or, if you have already enabled google labs before, just click on the little green flask icon next to your e-mail address at the top of the page in Gmail.
As Webmonkey reports, this feature will surely be a hit once its rolled out to All GMail users. Quoting Webmonkey’s experience with the text messaging feature -
The first time you send a text message, it will appear on the person’s phone as coming from a number in the 406 area code. Google has made several thousands of these numbers available for Gmail users, and once a number is associated with your account, all of the text messages you send through Gmail will come from that number.
The 406 number works both ways, so your friend can reply to you via text message. Also, your friend can save that number in their phone as belonging to you, and they can even use it to initiate new chats with you.
Currently the feature will support mobile phones in US, later it will roll out in other countries as well. Keep checking Technically Personal for the updates as it when it happens!
Update: Gmail blog reports that SMS through gmail feature is being pulled back for a couple of weeks due to a glitch. More wait, some more wait!