Google does free 411

Google is doing 411 now. Wait what?

Googlehas a new telephone service in the U.S. called Voice Local Search. It's the equivalent of dialing 411, but free, really fast, and it pulls multiple listings like you'd get from a search in Google local. Mobile phone users can get listings sent to their phone via SMS, including the telephone number and full address. You can also be connected to a business for free, a great feature that got dropped from my previous favorite free 411 service 1-800-Free-411.

The entire service is controlled by computers, and the voice recognition is pretty capable. I tried confusing it with foreign restaurant names, and even a few made up ones, and if it didn't get it, it would at least try and give me reasonable recommendations that sounded similar. This is the perfect service for people who want to pull up an address without needing a smart phone with a data plan, or a friend near a computer or the Yellow Pages.

The one thing still missing is residential listings, and advertisements. The latter of which will most certainly be added, knowing Google. In the meantime, enjoy ad-free 411 goodness by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411).

[via GigaOm]

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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