October 9, 2010

1-800-GOOG-411 shutting down in November

Google has announced, via their official blog, that they are shutting down their automated directory assistance service, 1-800-GOOG-411, on November 12. GOOG-411 was launched in 2007 and was the first service to use speech recognition offered by Google.

Google is making the change because many cell phone users are moving to smartphones with internet access and they no longer need to dial 411 to get contact information. For those that don't have a smart phone they still offer the option to text the business name and location to 466453 ("GOOGLE") and they will text back the contact information.

The technology behind GOOG-411 isn't going away though, it provided the foundation to some of their other offerings such as:

  • Voice Search - search Google by speaking instead of typing.
  • Voice Input - fill in any text field on Android by speaking instead of typing.
  • Voice Actions - control your Android phone with voice commands. For example, you can call any business quickly and easily just by saying its name.

Google is still working to improve their speech recognition offerings, saying they are aiming for more innovation and are putting all of their resources into speech enabling applications across multiple languages for the next generation of Google products and services.

6 comments:

Michael said...

These days toll free services are very important to keep information close to you. I am not happy seeing 1800GOOG411 being shutdown. Although recently I tried another toll free service by Justdial. This is amazing simply because your calls are received by real people unlike GOOG411 where machines answered your calls and service I assure you was world class.

Donald said...

I used 1800GOOG411 service very frequently. Its a good feeling to know that the information is just one phone call away. I was really disheartened when I heard of it shutting down. One of my friends suggested calling 1800-500-0000, a toll free service by Justdial. This service will not cease to amaze you with its human assisted service, one ring pick up and they also connect you to the local vendors. Simply amazing.

Dandy said...

And yet another great service is going to shut down, because of lousy marketing department in Google! The big problem with Google is that they don't know how to market their great technologies and make money out of them. In this case their objection is that since they developed native apps for smartphones they don't see any advantage in Goog-411 and therefore they won’t continue the service. I guess they should look into numbers, even in US the majority of people still use regular phones rather than Smart phones. So this is not a good excuse to abandon this great service.
Whit this attitude, Google is going to lose its customers, especially now that they step into Enterprise with their Google Apps. With this attitude, there is no guaranty for businesses to switch to Google and layout their needs on Google Services, because Google might withdraw those services with or without any reasons. i.e. Just in May, 2010 @Google IO they announced that they are opening Google Waves for Apps' users and couple months later they retired Wave! It's hard to trust on experimental technologies, and that is why Google hasn't been able to make money on most of its products except the search.
Google! Please change this attitude!

Michael said...

Hi, 1800GOOG411 was an innovative idea from Google and it's sad to see that it dint work out. Mostly, I think the reason it did not work out was because too many things were automated. Recently I heard of Justdial, a 24 x 7 operator assisted toll free concierge service. I dialed 1800-500-0000 to try the service and was amazed when a human voice answered my query within 60 seconds. Justdial really delivered what they promised.

Mike said...

You can use google voice call phone in any country:

http://www.allurewebsolutions.com/callphone

James said...

Recently, I heard of a toll-free service by Justdial, that runs on similar lines as the 1800GOOG411 service. When I called up to test the service, I realized it was nothing like the Google service. Where Google is an automated service, at Justdial my call was answered by a human voice, and within 60 seconds my queries were answered. The service is very fast and definitely reliable.