FREE 411

As we become a more mobile world, we need numbers on the go. There’s no reason to pay 411 for service. GPS devices can already find a point of interest near you, and direct you there. If you have a smartphone, the “places” function will find points of interest near your location and provide a phone number and reviews.

If you still want someone to find the number for you, there are numbers you want to program into your phone. They allow FREE 411 calls.

For years, I’ve used Google 411, otherwise known as Goog 411, but there is no use giving you the information because it’s being discontinued November 12, 2010.  I loved this service, and found it easy to use and accurate. I found the business I needed within seconds just by telling Google where to connect me.  The service launched in 2007.

Google will still offer some directory assistance service by text message, but this appears more cumbersome than the traditional voice recognition service offered through Google 411. Just text what you need to 466453. Click here for examples on what to text and the information you’ll receive in return.

Google says it’s turning its attention to voice searches from your smartphone. This includes Google services like voice action, voice search, and voice input services.  The problem is – – you need an advanced phone for this to work.

On my smartphone, you just hit the Voice Search app and you can search for items just by speaking into your phone. This app was already downloaded on my Android phone.

Plus, there is a microphone next to the Google toolbar or browser on the main page of my smartphone. I can get directions or research an item just by speaking.

Here’s a look at voice input.

My Android phone came with the talk button, but I don’t understand that service. I was able to figure out how to type emails just by speaking into the phone. I guess this will be the new way people get around the Ohio texting and driving laws. Now they’ll just yell their message into their phone.

With voice action, you can control your phone by your voice. You need to have Android 2.2 (Froyo) for it to work. I had Google send me a text message with the marketplace address of that app and I can’t get it to work.

All this is great, but I have to say it’s NOT Google 411. I wish that would come back. I need simplicity, and don’t need to be wowed by other fancy technological improvements.

Other FREE 411 services
There are other free 411 services, but they are not Google 411. You have to listen to advertisements. They are quick, but I don’t care for them.

Bing also offers Free 411 service with 1-800-BING-411. You can get movie listings, traffic, weather, and business listings.  I had to listen to a brief advertisement, and it never did understand me when I said I wanted “traffic.” Plus, the weather forecast is based on your cell phone number and not necessarily the city you live in. You can change it, though.

Jingle Networks also offers Free 411 at the number 1-800-FREE411. It’s called Jingle Connect and connects you with the number and also an advertiser. When you search, you are also refered to other businesses in the same category. You can receive the phone number for the business you want by text which is a nice feature if you want to save it for future use so you don’t have to listen to the advertisement.

Both networks had difficulty understanding what I was saying. You really need to speak clearly. Maybe it’s time to go back to my phone book.


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