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Google's Gmail is one of the more fully featured webmail accounts available, and the price of free usually fits well into everybody's budget. One of the most incredible functions of Gmail is how easily it integrates with mobile devices, and not just the usual suspects like the iPhone or Google's own Android phone software.

The latest addition is the ability to send free SMS ("text") messages to other phones via the Google Chat window. Here's how to use it:

  1. Log into your Google account.

  2. Click on the Labs icon in the top-right corner of the page (it looks like a laboratory flask).

  3. Scroll down to the Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat option and click Enable.

  4. Return to your main Gmail page and put your cursor on a contact from your Chat list.

  5. Mouse over to the Video and More menu, click it, and select Send SMS.

  6. Enter your contact's phone number and click Save.

  7. Enter your message and press Enter.

Keep in mind that this isn't free chat — your recipient may be charged for the text messages. But the integration with a popular mail account service makes Gmail even more attractive.

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