How to send SMS messages from your computer (using Google)

My sister called me to earlier today to ask me a random question: is there a way for me to send SMS messages from my computer?  Of course!, I told her.  Here’s the reply I sent her, in case it’s useful to anyone else:

Approach 1: Sending SMS using Google Voice

  • Go to http://voice.google.com/
  • Create yourself an account
  • Now from http://voice.google.com/ you can send and receive SMS messages.
  • The “from” phone number on these messages will be your Google Voice number.

Approach 2: Using Gmail’s chat feature to send SMS

  • Google chat in Gmail has an SMS feature
  • On any contact in your chat list, you can choose “send SMS” (it’s there in the options)
  • It’ll ask you to enter a number for that person.
  • Now, from now on, if that’s person’s offline or online, you can send them SMS through google chat.
  • If they reply, it’ll show up in your google chat, archived in gmail.
  • Note: there are limits to how many SMS messages you can send before you get a reply… a safeguard against the service being abused by spammers