Google emulates SMS gateway
July 11, 2005 3:35 AM   Subscribe

Google demos their SMS capability. Personally, I have used Google via Wap/GPRS on my mobile for years. Now, quick definitions, telephone numbers, and calculations are available via SMS, too. Great for geeks on the move - but will Joe Q Bloggs catch on?
posted by SharQ (19 comments total)
Is it really such an onerous chore to find somewhere on that screen to stick the words US only?
posted by mleonard at 4:18 AM on July 11, 2005

I should probably point out that I am aware of the UK version. I don't want any arguments about .com indicating a US location.
posted by mleonard at 4:24 AM on July 11, 2005

mleonard - which (of course) it doesn't.

*wanders off grumbling about his pet gripe*
posted by twine42 at 5:00 AM on July 11, 2005

I heard that SMS messaging is quite expensive in the US, and receiving a message can cost money, too. So for Joe Q Bloggs it could be prohibitively expensive. Please confirm, someone.
posted by gsb at 5:19 AM on July 11, 2005

Sprint charges 10 cents a message (i think either way). Although unlimmited text messaging might be 5 or $10/month, maybe included in some plans. 411 charges $1.25. So still a win
posted by nads at 5:35 AM on July 11, 2005

I use this all the time. It's great when you are driving and can't find the place you thought you knew how to get to.
posted by Espoo2 at 5:36 AM on July 11, 2005

Snark time: We need an FPP pointing to a tiny AJAX demo of a 9-month old Google feature? Sure, it's a slick demo, but.. please.

/me warms up a "Google calculator" post
posted by Plutor at 6:51 AM on July 11, 2005

gsb, I believe that SMS messaging is cheaper in the USA than it is in England (for example -- I saw ads over there for like 10-12p per message). Pretty much all of the providers offer text messages for $.10 per message. For example, without subscribing to any special text messaging plan, I can send messages out for $.10. I can receive up to 100 per month free. If I wanted to pay $5 per month, I think I'm allowed to send like 1000 text messages and receive as many as I want. I never heard of anything like that anywhere else.

I see that you're from France. How much is it over there?

As for this Google SMS demo, it rules. I've been using it for months now. You can settle arguments with it, find stores, define words. It's so amazing, well, most of the time. It doesn't always work perfectly.
posted by redteam at 7:26 AM on July 11, 2005

I've been using this service for a while. Its great for everything from movie times to weather and directory assistance, etc. It isn't perfect but it is a very useful tool. I always wonder how they plan on making money with this. I suppose it will eventually start including ads.

BTW, I have Sprint with the unlimited SMS option and it's $10 a month.
posted by Blubble at 9:02 AM on July 11, 2005

>I see that you're from France. How much is it over there?

I *think* I have 50 'free' SMS messages a month with my phone plan, and there's no charge for receiving them.

I was texting a bunch of friends in the US during New Years Eve/Day and they told me all sorts of SMS horror stories, about prices and so forth. That's why I had a bad impression.
posted by gsb at 9:08 AM on July 11, 2005

And now for Ask Slashdot :)

What does one need to do to add such a service to their own Web site? I host assorted Web applications on my own colo server, and would like users to be able to SMS one of my sites but have no idea what I need to run or acquire to allow this.

For example, how does the SMS address 46645 get converted to a Web request and the reply sent back to the phone?
posted by Ayn Marx at 9:42 AM on July 11, 2005

according to ask metafilter, it's a little pricey.
posted by mcsweetie at 10:06 AM on July 11, 2005

gsb, I know that sending text messages to my friends in Europe is expensive. I think they're $.20 each. That can add up rather quickly. Text messaging still hasn't hit big over here yet, so maybe your friends are unfamiliar with it or scared of it all. Maybe they think that sending a text message automatically signs them up for an SMS phone plan, or that there is some kind of monthly surcharge that gets put on when you send a text message. I haven't found that to be the case with any cell phone service that I've seen.

BTW, a good way to send your Stateside friends an SMS is with Yahoo SMS.
posted by redteam at 10:14 AM on July 11, 2005

Ayn Marx: News article about US short codes (aka short phone numbers for text messages). A google search should tell you everything else you want to know.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:14 AM on July 11, 2005

I've used this several times, both with terrible results. Often times I'm looking for a club or bar that's fairly new (meaning Google doesn't have it) or if I happen to know the exact address it usually is more trouble than its worth to type it in using T9. If Google ever gets a voice line where I can use my voice while driving, then we're making progress.
posted by geoff. at 10:27 AM on July 11, 2005

who needs Google SMS when you have a Sidekick? I just use Google proper.
posted by Zampa at 12:31 PM on July 11, 2005

I asked Google SMS for directions last thursday. It told me they were too complex and that I should go to their website.

Thanks, google.
posted by dickasso at 12:53 PM on July 11, 2005

who needs Google SMS when you have a Sidekick? I just use Google proper.

Probably people who've used a sidekick and well, despised me.
posted by justgary at 10:46 AM on July 13, 2005

Blue_beetle, mcsweetie: Thanks!
posted by Ayn Marx at 9:14 PM on July 16, 2005

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