Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Google Shuts Down SMS Search Without Warning

Google is continuing its ongoing efforts to streamline its portfolio of projects and services—this time it has shut down SMS search. Users are complaining that Google ended service without any kind of announcement or warning.

FierceMobileContent’s Jason Ankeny reported, “Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has quietly terminated SMS Search, a question-and-answer service optimized for feature phone owners without data connections. SMS Search enabled low-end device owners to text queries to a designated shortcode, receiving SMS-based search results incorporating textual information like local event listings, weather updates and currency conversions instead of Web links.”

PCMag’s Stephanie Mlot noted, “Those who attempted to use SMS Search as of May 9 began receiving the following message: ‘SMS search has been shutdown. You can continue to search the web at google.com on any device.'”

Slate’s Will Oremus commented, “For the majority of Americans who own smartphones, this would seem unlikely to come as a major blow. That hasn’t stopped people from griping about the move on Google product forums, though. The annoyance from folks who still have feature phones without data plans is understandable, given that Google apparently gave no advance warning.”

All Things D quoted a Google spokesperson, who said, “Closing products always involves tough choices, but we do think very hard about each decision and its implications for our users. Streamlining our services enables us to focus on creating beautiful technology that will improve people’s lives.”

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