The best addition to any phone

Generic Iphone

Generic Iphone

I have an iphone. Most of the time it’s an insufferable piece of junk thanks to AT&T. Dropped phone calls. No signal most of the places I go. Distorted electronic speech on outbound calls. Text messages that only show up 15 minutes after they have been sent to me. The phone not ringing all day and suddenly 3 voicemails appear. Bar none, it’s the worst phone service I have ever had.

Now, having said that, the iphone itself is great.

After suffering with AT&Ts craptacular service for 6 months, I went ahead and modified my 1st generation iphone so it can capture video, remote control my work or home PCs, FTP files as needed, sniff my work networks for unauthorized activity, download youtube videos, take voice memos, and change the icons to suit my mood. It does pretty much everything the new 3gs series does, just without the built in GPS.

But the one thing on my iphone I use the most is something I didn’t have to tweak or install. It’s a phone number that has saved me tons of money on information calls and generally getting around new cities I visit. And it’s free from Google.

Just add…


…to your phone address book and mark it as a favorite.

This is the phone number for Google’s directory assistance.

The next time you want to find a phone number or a list of locations of a business, just call Google’s directory assistance instead of your usual directory assistance number. You will hear an automated voice answer and say…

“Call is recorded. Google! Say the business, and the city and state”

If there are multiple businesses in the area matching your criteria, the service will list off the businesses and ask you which one you want to connect to. After your selection, it will connect you for free after saying “hang on and I’ll connect you”.

You can also say “details” to have the service tell you the business’ physical address, any nearby street intersections, and the business’ main phone number. It will repeat this information twice without prompting, and then connect you.

If you say “text message”, the service will send you a text message with the business’ phone number and information.

It’s awesomely straightforward stuff. And best of all, it’s free.

Google 411 works well with just about everyone’s accent and has always surprised me with how fast it returns the information I ask for.

Now if Google would just buy AT&T, things could really get better. GOO&T anyone?