Looks like Google has rolled out free text messaging in Chat. On Wednesday, Google pointed users to this
You punch in the number, and a chat window pops up. Key in the text message and its supposed to get sent. You start with 50 sms credits. For every message you send, you lose one credit. For every message you receive, you get 5 credits. Only, it seems that there are some glitches. Sometimes, the messages don’t get sent. That could be because operators like Airtel aren’t on the list of networks supported by Google.
This was a product Google had in its labs. Earlier, you had to sign into the Google labs edition of Gmail and “enable text messaging.” Until now, this was available only in the US. But now, its available a whole lot of countries including India.
Update: We have been trying to send messages to many different mobile numbers and none of it worked. Also, as readers have pointed out, Google has updated the supported mobile networks list to include “all mobile operators.” Apparently, this little known service has been around for sometime now, but Google has been drawing attention of users to this only now.