For Google, the 1-800-GOOG-411 service was the first leap into developing and improving voice recognition technology. Through use of the voice data collected Google was able to develop many of the voice services you find presently on Android. Personally, I never tried GOOG-411, but I might give it a go before they permanently switch off the service on November 12, 2010.
The Google 411 voice-recognition driven service might be shutting down, but Google is keeping their text message directory service alive and kicking. From any phone that can text message, just send a message to 466453 (GOOGLE) and you’ll receive a text reply back with an answer to your inquiry. Google has also enabled voice calls via Gmail for free, you don’t even need a Google Voice account! (though the number shown on the call recipient’s caller id will be random unless you do) Smartphone users can also just use m.google.com/maps to find the place they are looking for.
Have you ever used the free 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-4664-411) to find a place from your phone? If you haven’t this month is your last chance to experience it for yourself!