Here’s some news that will sadden the few hundred tech-savvy people still using feature phones to grab information from the web.
Google has apparently shut down its SMS search service, reports Ghacks.net today. The shutdown actually happened days ago, but not many people noticed, according to a quick scan of Google News search. The service was probably pretty useful in 2006 (and earlier) when people didn’t quite see the need to get a data plan for the quasi-smartphones available. (Mind you, back then neither the iPhone or any Android-powered handsets were available yet.) This is especially true because it was completely free.
Just like you’d expect, Google SMS search service allowed you to send text message queries to “466453″ (GOOGLE), which would send back a handful of results to your phone. There were even a few shortcuts for returning the local weather, sports scores, and news headlines. Sending a message to the service now returns a notification that SMS search is no longer available.
We know SMS search is gone in the U.S. and Canada, but this might not be true in all regions. Google does have initiatives like its Free Zone to get third-world countries (and others without a strong tech infrastructure) using its services, as VentureBeat previously reported.
Photo via Sifter/Flickr
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the eight biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.