Gmail unveils texting in chat: take two

GMail chat moves to SMS
GMail chat moves to SMS

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."


"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.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.