Google 411 - FREE

Sdashiki

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Aug 11, 2005
3,512
8
Behind the lens
It was hard to search the forums for this, google and 411 are big keywords, so if this is posted already, delete me.

http://www.google.com/goog411/

Google now has a free 411 information service.

You don't need a computer, an Internet connection, or even the keypad on your phone or mobile device. GOOG-411 is voice-activated, so you can access it from any phone (mobile or land line), in any location, at any time. For free.

Dial (1-800) GOOG-411. Say where. Say what you're looking for. GOOG-411 will connect you with the business you choose.

If you are calling from a mobile device, GOOG-411 can even send you a text message with more details and a map. Simply say "Text message" or "Map it."
NEAT!
 

Lyle

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2003
1,874
0
Madison, Alabama
Pretty cool. I was already a big fan of Google's SMS service; I'll have to try this out and see how well the transcription works.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
That's brilliant! I hope they roll it out our way soon. (and I imagine they will, I have faith in the google world domination plans... ooops, sorry, wrong meeting)
 

soberbrain

macrumors 65816
May 9, 2008
1,268
2
Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to try it sometime.

I had previously been using 1-800-FREE-411

You have to listen to a short ad and it can also send you a phone number thru text.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
Works in Canada too! Woohoo!

Edit, after playing with it for a minute and reading the GOOG-411 FAQ:

I'm not sure how comfortable I am with the privacy (or lack of it) associated with this service. Google seems up to its old tricks again.

Notice when you call, they pick up the phone with "(calls recorded)GOOG-411! What city..."

Then you go to the "Privacy" section of the FAQ and it more or less tells you that Google is storing information about your calls and searches, and they are associating them with your phone number. Notice that anonymous calls from pay phones aren't accepted.

Hmm.
 

nbs2

macrumors 68030
Mar 31, 2004
2,713
485
A geographical oddity
I've been using this for a while. It is pretty good and is a simple system to use. Useful features - you can enter the ZIP if you need to zero in on a location or you can just give the city; if there is only one result, it is clear about that - if more than one, it gives nice brief summaries. Even with businesses that don't have easily spoken or traditional names, I have been successful. It does have a bit of a lag at times, which has led to beng connected rather than get the details that I'm looking for (if I don't know an address, I'll use it to find the general location and then get the street address off of details).

I'd give the service an 8/10, based on the few issues, but overall great success that I've enjoyed.

I haven't tried the other services, so I don't know what they offer.
 

Ntombi

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2008
3,333
1,055
Bostonian exiled in SoCal
You can also text ChaCha.com* at 242-242 for any kind of info like that plus more. Unfortunately, it's also only in the U.S. Right now, but actual people search and answer the questions, so you can ask more complex questions than of Google. It's a pretty cool service, and I've switched almost 100% from Google. The other day I asked about the current tennis ranking of a tennis player I haven't seen around for a while, the area code of Austin, TX, and about the origin of a politician's nickname.

*I work for ChaCha, but the recommendation is sincere, and it's free for users.
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Aug 13, 2002
6,971
379
Chicagoland
Notice when you call, they pick up the phone with "(calls recorded)GOOG-411! What city..."

Then you go to the "Privacy" section of the FAQ and it more or less tells you that Google is storing information about your calls and searches, and they are associating them with your phone number. Notice that anonymous calls from pay phones aren't accepted.

Hmm.

Interesting. I have been using 1-800-free-411 for years. Not sure I will switch, don't trust google. :eek: