Google has created a way for it’s users to continue chatting with friends via Gmail, even when they’re away from their computers. In the past few weeks Google have added functionality to Gmail that allows users worldwide to chat over SMS with phone subscribers in Uganda (using MTN, Uganda Telecom and Orange), Tanzania (Vodacom), and Malawi (Airtel, TNM).
These countries join other African countries for which this feature has been added in the past year – Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Zambia.
As a Gmail user, you can send SMSes to your friends for free, and when your friends reply, they will be charged the same as a regular SMS.
(Technical note: if you do not see the SMS interface in your Gmail, go to Settings->Labs and enableboth labs that contain the word “SMS”)