Google has announced, via their official blog, that they are shutting down their automated directory assistance service, 1-800-GOOG-411, on November 12. GOOG-411 was launched in 2007 and was the first service to use speech recognition offered by Google.
Google is making the change because many cell phone users are moving to smartphones with internet access and they no longer need to dial 411 to get contact information. For those that don't have a smart phone they still offer the option to text the business name and location to 466453 ("GOOGLE") and they will text back the contact information.
The technology behind GOOG-411 isn't going away though, it provided the foundation to some of their other offerings such as:
- Voice Search - search Google by speaking instead of typing.
- Voice Input - fill in any text field on Android by speaking instead of typing.
- Voice Actions - control your Android phone with voice commands. For example, you can call any business quickly and easily just by saying its name.
Google is still working to improve their speech recognition offerings, saying they are aiming for more innovation and are putting all of their resources into speech enabling applications across multiple languages for the next generation of Google products and services.