Saturday, April 12, 2008

What Texts May Come

I have known for a few years that if you send a text message to GOOGL (i.e. 46645) with the name of a business and a ZIP code, Google will send a text message back to you with the locations and phone numbers of that business nearest to the ZIP code you queried. In fact, the king of all gadgets, my brother Andy, told me about this a long time ago and then my cousin Beth reminded me of it last summer. I use this feature every now and then, and it really has come in handy on several occasions when I wanted to find the phone number of a business, but was nowhere near a phone book computer with internet access.

But last Saturday around 1:15am, as I was waiting at the Airport Terminal to pick up my wife, whose plane was supposed to land around 1am, I thought, purely on a whim, that I would see if Google could help me out. I sent the text message United 463 to GOOGL and, sure enough, not thirty seconds later I received this reply:

UA 463

Depart: 9:40 PM
Departed: 12:41 AM

Arrive: 10:59 PM
Delayed: 1:55 AM

Not too shabby! Google told me I would have to wait another 40 minutes, so I slipped into an episode of TwiT while I waited for the plane to land.

But it gets better...

A few days ago I was at Costco buying some milk, cheese, and other refrigerated items. While I munched on a slice of pizza from their deli for dinner I wondered if it would be cold enough outside to keep the food cold if I left it in my car for a few hours in the evening. How can I find out? I thought to myself. And then it hit me: I would try Google! So I sent the text message Weather 55304 to GOOGL, and a few seconds later I was hit back with:

Andover, MN 55304 39F, Cloudy
Wind: E 3mph
Hum: 64%

It was actually a complete three-day forecast, but you get the point. Sure enough, thanks to Google, I was able to leave everything in my car without giving it a second thought. Is there anything the Great Organizer can not do?


chaviva said...

WHOA! If I didn't have the interwebs on my phone, this would be the most handy thing ever to know. Thanks for sharing :D

sj said...


J. Rehnelt said...

This is soooo cool! I'm totally gonna try this sometime! You're so technologically advanced lol!

koo' said...

hi, stumbled across your blog via GB. love it and love this post.