Here's the official word:
Back in 2007 we launched 1-800-GOOG-411, a voice-powered directory assistance service that connects you quickly to businesses across the U.S. and Canada. On November 12, 2010, we will shut down the service.
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:
If you don’t use a smartphone, and you’re trying to call a business, you can send a text message with the name and location of the business to 466453 ("GOOGLE") and we’ll text you the information, or on Gmail you can use the new phone-calling features to call any U.S. business free of charge. Also, if you don’t have the free voice search app pre-installed on your phone, you can download it here.
Don't get me wrong, I think that expanding and changing technology is wonderful and all that, but I really used this service a lot as it allowed me to quickly dial a contact (Goog-411) and simply say who I wanted to connect with, and it just worked. No fumbling with texting, No fussing about with performing searches or getting my voice transcribed wrong through my phone's speech-to-text feature.
Thanks for all the calls, and keep an eye out for all the innovation to come.
The GOOG-411 Team
This was something that I could turn my parents or anyone else of the older persuasion to, and they could use it with little trouble.
Some of us don't have have texting enabled on our phones *gasp!*- why should I, I have email, instant messenger, and a plethora of other services included in my data package to use. I use Google Voice to do all my texting.
But, you can't use the shortened numbers to text to/from Google Voice - - try it. You know the ones - those 5 or 6 digit numbers? You can't text for those free coupons. .*sigh*
I guess Google Voice Actions are going to be my new robot best-friends. :)
As an alternative, Microsoft has their own voice caller assistance program - use it by dialing 1-800-Call-411 (1-800-225-5411 OR 800 BING411) *Special thanks to my readers!