SMS is back in Gmail/Google Talk?

For a while, SMS heaven seemed to rest lightly on all users of gmail and it’s in-browser gtalk client. keeping up with people who were not “online” but mobile was as easy as pie.  Changing between SMS and gTalk chat was clear and simple. All was well in the universe, until the SMS gods at google removed their goodwill in March of this year.

But, what is this?  Could it be possible that we have been found worthy of their blessings once again?  It appears so.  Check the screen clips.  Do you see this in your gmail, too?

Below, see that your contacts in Gmail’s chat sidebar, who have a mobile number, show up with a mobile phone icon when they are not online.

shows sms users

Clicking “Send SMS” in the window above, pops open the chat box where you can send and receive SMS messages from the user:

chat window

If the user comes “online” (signs into gTalk) then you have the option of switching to Instant Messaging, and no-longer sending your messages via SMS.

*It would be nice if I could redirect SMS that goes to my phone’s number to gTalk… and if I am not online, then it just goes straight through. Interesting possible app there…

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