What happened to Google SMS?

5 February, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’ve been using Google SMS now for a couple years. It allows users of “feature-phones” basic access to some of the luxuries that smart-phone users get.

Google SMS Search is accessible by sending a text message to 466453. It’s free and quick.

For instance, sending a message ncaab michigan state would reply with:

Basketball: NCAA
Michigan State Spartans (13-9)
Last game: Feb 2, Iowa Hawkeyes 72 - Michigan State Spartans 52
Next game: @ Wisconsin Badgers, Feb 6 1:00pm ET
www.ncaa.com

Tip: get phonebook entries: send HELP PHONEBOOK to learn more.

This works great, providing up-to-date sports scores, local listings, and more. Lately I’ve been getting odd results when doing sports searches:

Here’s what I saw today when sending the same message ncaab michigan state:

Did you mean 'NCAAF michigan state'?

Basketball: NCAA
Michigan State Spartans (13-9)
Last game: Feb 2, Iowa Hawkeyes 72 - Michigan State Spartans 52
Next game: @ Wisconsin Badgers, Feb 6 1:00pm ET
www.ncaa.com

Tip: get phonebook entries: send HELP PHONEBOOK to learn more.

No, I didn’t want football scores. In fact, college football is out of season. According to the command HELP SPORTS:

For EU Football and NBA/NHL/NFL/MLB scores and schedules, 
type SCORE and team name (ex: 'SCORE Arsenal', 'SCORE red sox').

For NCAA sports, enter NCAAB (basketball) or NCAAF (football)
and team name (ex: 'NCAAB Duke', 'NCAAF USC'). No results for sports 
not in season.

So yes, I didn’t get results for a sport not in season. But the response that I got is pretty awkward. In the traditional Google search, when you get a “Did you mean…”, it will usually auto-correct your search for you and return those results. In this case, it didn’t auto-correct my search.

So what happens if I do send a message with NCAAF michigan state?

Local listings:
State of Michigan: Branch Offices
400 Albert Avenue
East Lansing
1 (888) 767-6424

Tip: check flight status; send HELP FLIGHT to learn more.

Weird huh? All of this used to work as it prescribed. I wonder what has happened?

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