Google SMS

So I had intended to write about what I did this weekend, complete with pictures, but Blogger seems to be having a day-long stroke and I can’t upload pictures no matter how many ways I try. I’ll save the fun for tomorrow, I guess, because I also wanted to share this fun tidbit with you.

Did you know that you can search Google with your cell phone by sending it a text message? Awesome, huh? It’s called Google SMS and the long explanation is here. Basically, you send a message to the Google SMS number, which is GOOGLE (466453), Google will send you back an answer in the form of a text message in about five seconds. It’s amazing. You can find phone numbers, movie times, addresses, weather, sports, driving directions… it goes on and on. Even if you’re only looking for a phone number, it’s most likely cheaper to ask Google than it is to call information on your cell. With my Sprint plan, it costs $1.25 for me to call information. If I send and receive a text message, it costs me $0.20.

And it really works. I had wanted to try it out when I read about it a while back but hadn’t thought of it until Saturday when we were hopelessly turned around and not entirely lost, but not exactly sure of where we were. We were trying to get to Midtown Kawasaki in Middletown and had received some flawed directions which brought us to Meriden and New Britain and briefly to Middletown but never to the Kawasaki place. We didn’t know their phone number so I sent Google this text: “Midtown Kawasaki phone”. I hit send and waited all of about three seconds before Google sent back: “Local listings: Midtown Kawasaki, 1864 Silas Deane Hwy, Rocky Hill, 06067, 860-721-0193”. Awesome! I was able to call and get directions and we were no longer lost.

I was so impressed I decided to try other messages. “Luke Gaumond 06232″ brought back Luke’s white pages listing at our old address and with our old phone. Close, not too bad. “Happy Feet 06040” resulted in three messages from Google. The first two were the names, addresses and phones of all the movie theaters in the vicinity of Manchester (that’s the 06040 part), and the last message gave me the name, address and phone of the Buckland Showcase Cinemas in Manchester as well as the movie times when Happy Feet was playing that day. How cool!

If you check the info page that Google has about the SMS system, you can see sample searches and how to word your messages to get the info you want. If I had know where I actually was on Saturday, I could have typed in a few different words and gotten not only the phone and address of Midtown Kawasaki, but also the directions to get there. Try it out. It’s cheap and it’s fun. One more reason to love Google.

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