I’m an avid fan of Gmail and other Google services. It’s no brainer how smartly Google integrated all their service with one Google account and instead of dealing with multiple logins, you can get access to all Google products like Google Webmaster tool, Google analytics, Google Reader, Google Plus and many more with one account. Gmail is their free Email service and according to me, it’s far better than Yahoo Mail and Hotmail Email service. Today, I noticed a new feature in Gmail call Gmail Free SMS which will let you send SMS for free to your Gmail contacts. In this article, I will be sharing about all details regarding how you can send SMS using Gmail and other limitations and details about their latest addition.
How to use Gmail International Free SMS service
In this world of smartphones, where mobile apps and services like Whatsapp, Wechat, BBM are making text messages almost free, there is still a huge user-base, who are still using the traditional way to send SMS. Which obviously comes with a cost decided by your mobile operator. Earlier, I talked about 160by2, which is another great service but limited to India. Gmail free SMS service is an international free SMS service and supports a wide range of countries and operators.
Gmail has integrated this service into chat box on the sidebar and you can easily search any user or select a user from chat list, select the option to send SMS and it will ask for user mobile number and you can send SMS. Here are screenshots to understand the whole process of sending SMS via Gmail:
As soon as you will hit the SMS button, a pop-up windows will open where you can select the user country and add his mobile number. Once you fill all the details, you will get a standard Gmail chat window and you can start sending SMS to that user. (Note: User mobile operator should be in Gmail supported mobile Network operator, Details below).
Once you have added a user mobile number, from next time all your need to hit the Send SMS button from the user name in your chat list and you can start sending SMS. Simple and easy!
SMS credits and Supported International mobile network by Gmail:
Now free international SMS sounds like a great idea and before you start flooding your GF or a long distance friend inbox with free SMS, here are few things to know. To prevent spamming and misusing of Gmail free SMS service, they have imposed a Gmail credit limit of 50/day. Sending every SMS will cost 1 credits and when a user will reply to your SMS message you will earn 5 Gmail credits, which is again limited to max 50 credits a day. Seems like a fair deal. Also, if you hit your free SMS credits to 0, Gmail will reset it to 50 after every 24 hours.
Also, Gmail team added if a user is sending excessive Gmail SMS message to a user without getting any reply, they will block the sending SMS to that number to prevent spam. Though, I’m not sure about the number of SMS they allow before blocking sending SMS.
They support a wide range of international mobile operators and countries for sending SMS and here is a complete list. Ah, I miss my mobile operator Airtel service from the list. Airtel team or any other mobile operator who are still not in the list, they can Email Gmail SMS team at [email protected] to get into the list. Note: They accept the request from mobile operators only.
How to increase Gmail SMS credits?
Here is a simple way to increase SMS credits but it’s going to cost you depending upon your mobile operator. You can send free SMS via Gmail to your own number and reply to it, which will increase the SMS credits by 5 with every reply. Over all, this is a nice addition and useful when you have lots of international contacts and you need to send International SMS for free. You can also check out their help resource to learn more about Free Gmail SMS service here.
Do let me know if you have tried their free international SMS service before and how was the experience so far?