Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Still Not Evil -- Google's SMS Features

While we still have time before Google becomes the next Microsoft, i.e., the next fashionable-to-loathe computer megacorporation that inhales information and exhales intrusiveness, it's still acceptable to revel in its amazing bounty.

Consider, for example, all the free SMS goodies it offers.

Imagine you're confused and angry in downtown Portland and decide that only the flavor of undercooked fish flesh will quell the pain if only by replacing the pain with a different pain. You could send a text message to GOOGLE (466453) saying "sushi 97204" and within seconds, Google would text you back with listings of sushi restaurants in that zip code. Hello food poisoning, goodbye confusion and anger!

Or say you want to know what the weather is like in Houston, Texas, and you're not satisfied with the broadly accurate "hot, muggy, and deeply unpleasant." You could text Google with "weather Houston" and it would reply with a text message giving current conditions and a forecast specifying exactly how unpleasant.

Suppose you can't live another minute without knowing how the Dutch say I look like a tool in these bright red knickers -- you could text Google with "translate I look like a tool in these bright red knickers in Dutch" and in seconds it will spit back, well, whatever sequence of letters the Dutch use to spell out that important statement. Go ahead and text it and find out! I'll wait.

There's more, much more.

All of this exists now. It's free. It requires no registration; Google doesn't care whether you have an account or not; it doesn't care who you are or what wireless carrier you're using or anything like that.

Maybe it's not flying rocket cars, teleportation technology, a mind-reading device, or chocolate orgasm machines, but it's pretty awesome. Did I mention it's completely free? That's a really good price for non-evil these days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you should see the google app they have for the iPhone! Viva La Google or something like that.