Google has yet another service now running on Beta mode. Maybe now youâ€™ve noticed that itâ€™s been Googleâ€™s strategy to release services in Beta even if theyâ€™re fully featured and fully functional. Itâ€™s only when theyâ€™ gathered enough user feedback, and when the service has been tweaked and perfected do they release it as a public or final release.
Google SMS is basically Google’s quick alert and information service, which supports a handful of information that mobile individuals might find useful. From the Google SMS overview, the service lets users send quick queries to Google via short messaging service (or text, as other may prefer to call it), and Google will text you back the response. The SMS access number comes in the easy-to-remember 46645, which is numeric-pad equivalent of GOOGL.
The service looks simple enough. Google went away with complicated text type commands and access numbers, so users wonâ€™t have the need to memorize awkwardly-spelled command acronyms. Users would simply send their request in the simplest terms possible (in a sentence), and Google will determine what the best possible response is.
Hereâ€™s a quick guide summarized from the Google SMS HowTo. A rule of thumb to remember is that when youâ€™re looking for information on an establishment, itâ€™s best to define the locality of your search, using ZIP or postal codes, or the name of the town or city.
- Business listings â€“ Simply key in the establishment name and your location (or ZIP). To be sure to get localized results, key in a period in-between the establishment name and location.
- Residential listings â€“ Simply key in the name, city and state, or ZIP to get the listed contact information. You may also key in just the telephone number, and Google will do a reverse-lookup for you.
- Driving directions â€“ State the origin and destination with From and To keywords. Be sure to include ZIP or city information when applicable.
- Movie showtimes â€“ Simply indicate the movie title and your current ZIP code, and Google will return a list of schedules for that particular movie.
Weather â€“ Simply key in the term weather and then your city and state, or ZIP code.
- Stock quotes â€“ Just key in the stock ticker symbol and Google will provide the latest information on that particular stock.
- Product prices â€“ Simply key in the term â€œpriceâ€ then the product description or name, and Googleâ€™s Froogle will return a list of items listed as for sale.
Definitions â€“ Simply key in define and then the word or phrase youâ€™d like to define.
- Currency conversion â€“ Simply key in the amount in the original currency and then key in â€œin (desired currency).â€
For everything else, just key in a question or a phrase that Google can answer, and the system will respond to you within a couple of minutes or less.
Another cool idea from Google, I think. But I think this one might prove to be too limited for users, given the character limitations of SMS (160 characters per short message, expandable to a few several concatenated messages). But for quick queries while on the road, this is surely a useful tool.