Do you remember the days when you could call 411 and pay $1.75 to get a business number? Google put an end to that back in 2007 when they launched 1-800-GOOG-411, a free voice-powered directory that allowed you to look up businesses, and instantly be connected to them.
It was an extraordinarily helpful service, especially before smartphones became mainstream and it was nearly just as easy to look up the number yourself, no matter where you were.
But, Google has decided to end this service, effective November 12th. Why the shutdown? Well, apparently, it has served its purpose. Specifically, providing Google with a great foundation for voice search, voice input and voice actions, all of which have helped build new Google tools and Android applications. All while helping you find what you were looking for. It was the classic “we’ll scratch your back if you let us record your conversation” two-way street.
Google has received great insights into speech-enabling technology through these 3 test years, and now they’re off to create the next great thing.
But never fear, the free system isn’t completely gone. If you text the name and location of the business you’re trying to find information on to “466453” (which happens to spell “GOOGLE”), that information will be texted to you instantly.