Google 411, also known as GOOG-411 and Google Voice Local Search, was a phone service in the USA and Canada, launched in 2007. The service was a business directory search that worked with voice recognition.
Users could dial one of the several toll-free numbers available, and using the voice recognition tool or their keypad, find a business by its name or location and place a call. It was an alternative to the 4-1-1 service, offered by phone companies for both local and long-distance calls, which could turn quite expensive.
In October 2010, Google announced on their blog that they were planning to shut down the service. They explained that the project was part of their foundation work on voice recognition software such as Voice Actions, Voice Speech, and Voice Input.
Having already developed speech-recognition tools for Android, they decided to focus future efforts there, instead of in the 411-service:
“Our success encouraged us to aim for more innovation. Thus, we’re putting all of our resources into speech-enabling the next generation of Google products and services across a multitude of languages.”
The tool could be used until its final cancellation on November 12, 2010.