Google has killed off another of its services that many of you may not even know existed. I’ve never heard of the Google SMS Search Service, and I bet more than a few of you haven’t either. This was a search service that was probably very useful in the days before everyone had a smartphone that could go online quickly and easily.
The Google SMS Search service allowed users to search Google’s vast database via text messaging. Users will send a text message to a specific Google number, and Google would respond with search results via SMS at no cost to the user. However, I’m sure there will be a cost associated with text messages with your wireless carrier.
The SMS Search service had a bunch of shortcuts for users looking for specific information such as sports scores, local businesses, stock quotes, and the weather among other things. If you happen to be one of the users around the world that has a feature phone that is unable to get online, the termination of Google’s SMS Search service may bring tears to your eyes.
Google has officially announced that SMS Search has been shut down. If you send a search query to the SMS Search number, the response will be a message that says, “SMS search has been shut down. You can continue to search the web at Google.com on any device.” The shut down reportedly came abruptly on Sunday evening.
Google made no official announcement about shutting it down and the first warning users had was the message I mentioned previously. Strangely, the Google Mobile website reportedly still lists SMS Search, but if you selected it goes to a webpage that no longer exists. Google does offer other SMS applications for calendar, Gmail, and Google voice, which are reportedly still working.