Google has decided that chatting in Gmail is too finite, as it allows the person on the other end to leave the conversation. So now you can continue the chat via the wonder of text!

This whole theory actually debuted two months ago, but it was taken down quickly after Google realised that enabling the feature didn't actually make it work. Whoops.

According to the official Gmail blog, Google has built a way to chat with friends even when they're away from their PCs, stating: "you chat from the comfort of your computer, and your friends can peck out replies on their little keyboards."

Snags

"A few weeks back, we ran into a few snags when we first started rolling this out, but starting today you can turn on text messaging for chat," said Leo Dirac, Google product manager.

You get your own unique Google chat phone number, so the person receiving the texts will be able to know who you are by saving the digits under your name in their phone book.

You can also block the service simply by sending the word BLOCK in response to a chat message, so you won't be stung by pesky messages all day either.

Google is rolling out this service in the US at the moment, although it appears to be only a matter of time before it will be available in other key areas, which obviously includes the UK.