It was just back in 2007 when Google launched the GOOG-411 service to consumers. A user would call, ask about the number for a business, and Google's magic computers would spit out the required information. At the time, Google's voice recognition seemed like magic, and it only got better. But today the Google 411 team has announced that, sadly, GOOG-411 will be shut down on November 12.
The 411 number wasn't created as a public service, rather it was a test bed. From all the voice data, Google was able to create excellent voice to text engines that we now enjoy in Android with Voice Actions, Voice Input, and Voice Search. Google isn't abandoning the technology behind GOOG-411, it is just redirecting focus to a new generation of mobile products.
Users without access to Google's smartphone voice features can still get some help. Sending a text to 466453 (GOOGLE) with a location and business, will get you a reply filed with information. We're sorry to see GOOG-411 go, but also excited to see what Google does with voice recognition next.