Google’s Gmail service now uses the webapp’s built-in Chat feature in order to make it possible for users to take part in text message chats. It’s still experimental, but there are high chances that it will catch on eventually, especially because of the portable feature.
Google uses Gmail Labs in order to make the chatting magic work. Users have to click on the green Erlenmeyer flask icon next to their e-mail address at the top of the page in Gmail. After that, they should type their number in the Chat’s search box and the option to send an SMS will appear.
The first time a text message is sent, the receiving person will see it as coming from a number in the 406 area code. Google has created several thousands of these numbers available for Gmail users. Once a number is associated with an account, all of the text messages the user sends through Gmail will be displayed as coming from that number.