Google to Disconnect GOOG-411 Service

Google is to shut down 1-800-GOOG-411, a directory-assistance service that uses voice recognition to connect callers to businesses in the U.S. and Canada, on November 12.

GOOG-411 paved the way for today’s relatively refined speech-recognition tools for Android phones, including voice search, which lets you search Google by speaking rather than typing. In addition, voice input lets you fill a text field by speaking. And you can call a business simply by saying its name (into the phone). Because these features now significantly better the 411 service, and (so reports claim) because of it falling into disuse, Google has decided to kill off the 411 service, an automated version of the old 411 directory assistance of days past.

Considering that many people these days own a Smartphone and thus can take advantage of much better, more advanced services like the ones mentioned above; and considering the service was only available to Americans anyway, the loss of GOOG-411 is not likely to draw many tears. However, not everybody uses a smartphone, of course. If you’re stuck in the flip/feature phone era, Google offers a somewhat clunky alternative to GOOG-411 and its successors. To call a business, send a text message with the business’s name and location to 466453 (“GOOGLE”). Google will text you the information.

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7 Responses

  1. Just want to point out that I have no personal experience of having ever used GOOG-411, being as I am British and this was a purely American service. So I apologise for any inaccuracies in this article. However, the information used in this article was backed up by numerous other services, so if there IS a problem I’m probably not the only one with it.

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