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Google SMS (Short Message Service)

Google SMS is a new computer tips and tricks service that enables you to search for information from a cell phone or handheld device (think ‘Blackberry’). Your search results are returned as text messages. With Google’s SMS, you can get phone book listings, movie show times and theater locations, stock prices, sports scores, weather information and forecasts, trivia and related facts, dictionary definitions (as if!), product prices from Froogle, driving directions, and more. Though these computer tricks and tricks are only available in beta (test) version as this is being written, that’s no reason to stay away. Because it’s in beta, it’s a work in progress which means it’s only going to get better over time.

You can use Google’s SMS as long as you have an SMS-enabled phone. If your phone or device can accommodate text messaging, you’re in business. The service only works in the U.S. at this time, and only with major carriers, including Alltel, Cincinnati Bell, Cingular, Nextel, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile, Verizon, Dobson Communications, Virgin Mobile, and U.S. Cellular.

Google’s SMS is easy to use and help is always just a text message away, if needed (though it probably won’t be needed.) To get help, simply send the word “help” as a text message to the U.S. shortcode 46645 and you will receive assistance within a couple of minutes.

How To Get Information via SMS

If you can text-message, you can learn the new computer tricks and tricks Google’s SMS offers. To send a query, use the shortcode 46645 (which, not-coincidentally, spells GOOGL on most phones). Queries are not case-sensitive, so if you want to check the weather in Beverly Hills, you would enter the word “weather” or the shortcut “w” or “wx” followed by the location, ZIP code, or city and state. For example:

weather 90210, or w 90210, or wx Beverly Hills CA

You’ll receive a maximum of three search results for each query, and you can even forward your results to a friend. Your ability to forward, however, depends on the messaging options you have with your phone service.

Use Shortcuts Quicker Queries

You can save time and keystrokes when entering queries by using any of the myriad of shortcuts provided by Google SMS. For example:

Use “D” instead of the word “Define” before a dictionary definition inquiry:
D deciduous

Use “F” before a product, or “price” to find prices using Froogle:
F iPod

Insert a period between a business name and location to receive a business listing:
bowling.toledo oh

Use a stock or ticker symbol to find current quotes:
F HOG for Harley Davidson

For additional computer tips and tricks for Google SMS visit How to Use Google SMS.

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