One of my favourite Google services is 1-800-GOOG-411, its automated free “directory assistance and call completion” service. The telephony geek in me appreciates its elegant design (and the biddy-biddy-boop) and it’s proved extremely useful a number of times, most notably a couple of years ago when I needed find flowers for Mother’s Day for my mother-in-law (it directed me to the florist just around the corner from where I’d pulled my rental car over).
Alas GOOG411 is closing as of November 11, 2010 so that, Google says, it can put “resources into speech-enabling the next generation of Google products and services across a multitude of languages.” I think that’s PR-speak for “we just decided we’re not going to do it any more.”
In any case, it will be missed.
In memory of GOOG411’s passing, I decided to record one last call for posterity. I probably should have told the robot “calls recorded,” but I don’t think it would have understood if I did.