Google announced today that it will be shutting down its Goog 411 service on November 12th this year. The 3 year old service allowed people to call 1-800-goog-411 and reach a voice-activated directory service. With smart phones and wireless access becoming more prevalent, it’s not surprising that Goog 411 is being retired. Some attribute the Goog 411 service as the reason Google has advanced so far in the speech-to-text technology it uses in other products like Google Voice transcriptions or Voice Search.
Google gave credit to some of those technologies in its blog post which announced the retirement today:
GOOG-411 was the first speech recognition service from Google and helped provide a foundation for more ambitious services now available on smartphones, 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.
Our success encouraged us to aim for more innovation. Thus, we’re putting all of our resources into speech-enabling the next generation of Google products and services across a multitude of languages.
If you don’t have a smartphone and still hope to use the directory on the go, you can text “GOOGLE” (466453) your query to receive a response via Google SMS. Another option would be to use the competitor’s product, Bing 411. Just call 1-800-Bing-411 for Microsoft’s free directory service.