Goog411! How Cool!

I got a note from our good buddy Anton, who we’ve talked about on here before, about a free service that I think everybody in Canada and the States should have handy. It is Google 411 for the phone! Yes, Google does it again.

I have always been pissed off at how much cellphone companies charge you if you want to use their directory assistance on your cell. It’s always something like $1.25 per use. Ug. Blinks can get free 411 on the land phone in most places up here, but I don’t know if you can get it on the cell. Well, now I’ve heard about a cool new service from Google, and it’s free. It’s Google 411!

Here’s how it works. You call 1-800-goog411, or 1-800-466-4411 if you’re like my dad and can’t do those number-spelly-outy things. It says “Call is recorded. Google. Say the business and the city and province.” It must do some handy dandy triangulating of the signal and figure out where you are, because it never said to select a state. You say it, and it gives you your directory assistance results like google search results. It starts off local, and then moves out. It’s all voice-driven. Neato! Here’s a little video about it.

I thought I’d give it a try. I can’t sing something’s praises without having tried it. It was pretty cool. My only beef was it didn’t like it when I said Guelph. It kept trying to give me results for Weland, Ontario. I finally broke down and said Guelph like JAWS says it, which is like Ggelf. Then, it said, “Guelph, Ontario.” Ah! Now we’re talkin’!

That’s the only other small boo. It’s all automated. You will never get a human. But hey, it’s free.

As of right now, it seems to only do businesses. I wish it did people, but hey, it’s marketed at Joe cellphone guy who’s out in his car. Usually Joe cellphone guy has Bob and Bill and Sue and Fred already in his speed dial. It’s certainly a way cool start.

I hope the reason Google is recording us is so they can perfect the voice recognition feature. I mean, it’s pretty good, but who the hell would think like me and say “Ggelf” to convince the automated thingamabob that I wanted Guelph? Not many.

So take Goog411 on the road with you and put it to the test!

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