Friday, June 20, 2008 | 7:00 AM
Our mission, to organize the world's information and make it accessible, certainly doesn't stop at the US borders. With that in mind, we've recently expanded our GOOG-411 service to Canada. If you're in Canada, you can now find business listings by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-4664-411) from any phone -- for free.
You can use GOOG-411 to find and connect with businesses you've never called before, such as when you're in an unfamiliar city or when an immediate need arises -- like a plumbing emergency. You can also use GOOG-411 as a "fast dialer" for calls to your dentist, car mechanic, bank, or any other business that you call more than once but isn't in your phone's contact list. For example, instead of memorizing or making a note of the number of your favorite Chinese restaurant, you can call GOOG-411 and connect directly to place your weekly take-out order.
At Google, we work hard to tailor products to specific markets and regions. We believe that accounting for the unique characteristics of each country can make the difference between an OK service and a great one. Although English is spoken in both the US and Canada, there are enough differences between the way it's spoken in the two countries that we engineered GOOG-411 especially for Canadian English. We incorporated some Canadianisms such as "eh," "Traw-na," "Cal-gry," and, of course, "aboot." We also took into account geographical differences. Whereas users in the US are prompted for "city and state," Canadians are asked for your "city and province."
The service is still experimental but offers all the same features available in the US, such as free call, free connection, SMS info, iPhone "Map-It" integration, and more. For now, the service supports only English queries, but we're working hard to make it disponible en Français dans un proche avenir.
Please give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments section below.