Two little-known Google freebees to make your life better


My latest evidence that life just keeps getting better and better is two little-known free services offered by Google, ones that have saved my bacon on more than one occasion.

The first is Google's text message query feature, which allows me to Google by sending a text message with my question via my cell phone, and receive a return text message from Google with the answer.

For example, if I want to find a pizza shop near my home, I type a text message "Pizza shop 43214" and send the message to 466453 (GOOGLE). A moment later I receive a text message or two with the shops and addresses.

The other service I use frequently is Google's free 411 feature. It uses a computer voice interface which is at first off-putting, but works quite well. If I'm on the road and looking for the nearest Bob Evans Restaurant, for example, I can dial 800-GOOG-411 (466-4411). The computer asks me the where and what, and responds by offering to connect me for free, as well as giving me the address and offering to send it as a text message.

Have you noticed what your cell carrier is charging you for directory service these days? Give Google a try, and save yourself a little cash.

For another free 411 alternative, see my post Free Answers to Anything by Texting ChaCha

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