There's no shortage of local search applications for cell phone users to rely on. In addition to Google Maps Mobile, Yahoo OneSearch (which is also bundled into Yahoo Go), and TellMe's BlackBerry app, is newcomer FreeMobile411, a simple, clean-looking WAP app that searches local business and residential listings for people, business names, and business types. While the publisher, V-Enable, works on distributing a more robust client through cell phone carriers starting with Sprint, FreeMobile411.com remains as reliable a lookup for people on low-end Internet phones as it is on high-end phones.
At CTIA 2008 in Las Vegas, Yahoo's executive vice president of Connected Life, Marco Boerries, demonstrated with great enthusiasm the newest feature to grace its mobile search tool: voice input. The technique, which asks users to press and hold a key while speaking their lookup request, is already active in Windows Live Search Mobile. Yahoo, however, hasn't released it beyond a preview. On Tuesday, one ankle-biting competitor jumped into the ring with its version of voice search.
There's no real killer app yet for retrieving listings information on your mobile phone, but there could be soon.
On Aptil 11, FreeMobile411 launches the consumer version of its carrier-offered services. Visting FreeMobile411.com from your mobile browser gets you a decent-looking ad-supported WAP site that simplifies directory search and helps you avoid long waits while listening to ads from dial-in services like 1-800-FREE-411.
Enter the search term--it can be a business name ("Blockbuster"), business type ("video store"), or person ("Bill Blockbuster"). Then select the search type, and fill in either the city … Read more
Mobile users away from their computers have had a handful of options for directory services in the past couple of years. There's TellMe (555-TELL), FREE-411, CALL-411, and GOOG-411 to name some of the free ones. There are also the official ones from each of the carriers that are billed a la carte--and usually at a high price.
This morning FREE-411 (one of the older services of the crowd) has announced a partnership with a useful driving directions service Dial DIR-ECT-IONS to help people find phone numbers and addresses for businesses or residential listings along with step-by-step directions for how … Read more
Like Microsoft's standard practice of cozying up to a startup to learn its tricks, only to then turn on it in the market. Google recently did this with Free-411, an information service:
Free411.com has competitors, of course, and the most daunting just appeared on the market from Google - Goog-411. Goog-411 is actually a bit more sophisticated than free411, offering product and service classifications and suggestions, which, of course, also generate more revenue. But for the most part the two services are comparable.
They should be since Google took a long look at investing in or acquiring free411 under a nondisclosure agreement between the two companies, only to abruptly break off discussions and start its own competing service. Is this beginning to sound familiar?… Read more
FastCall411: Now this is clever. If you're looking for a service provider, you tell FastCall what you're looking for (for example, a plumber), and then it dials up to ten plumbers at once on your behalf. The first provider to respond is the one you're connected to. FastCall also builds profiles of providers based on how responsive they are.
If you've ever dialed around for someone to handle a service need for you, you'll appreciate this for sure.
From DemoFall 2007.
Users of Google's free 411 service (1-800-GOOG-411), can now get maps sent straight to their phone. Once you've found your listing, just say "map it" to get a text message containing the address and a link to its location on Google Maps mobile. Users also get a link to turn-by-turn driving directions.
Since writing about the service in early April, I've become a regular user. Nine times out of 10, it works like a charm, while occasionally the voice recognition can and will fail--and when it does, it's often quite amusing.
If you're … Read more
This service was introduced earlier this year as a way to access Google search results on your mobile phone. It's the equivalent of dialing 411, but it's free and really fast, and it pulls multiple listings like the ones you'd get from a search in Google local. Mobile phone users can get listings sent to their phone via SMS, including telephone numbers and full addresses. You can also be connected to a business for free.
The entire service runs off voice-recognition technology. If that fails, you can dial in the name of the business you'… Read more
Google has 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 … Read more