Are you on the go, and need the power of Google? Don't want to deal with a mobile web browser? Try dialing Google's free service 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411). It's a voice-activated version of Google, tailored for finding businesses. Here's how it works:
I have used it a few times when I haven't wanted to tap out a real search on my phone's browser, and it seems shockingly effective. The best part is the little "pitter-patter" noises it makes while searching (call it to hear what I mean). Anyway, so I tried to confuse it with some difficult queries. Here's how it worked out (after the jump):
"Portland, Oregon" ... "Thai Spoon" - it immediately got Thai Spoon and pointed me to it (on SE Hawthorne). I'm pretty impressed that it figured out 'Thai.'
"Portland, Oregon" ... "Kettleman's" - Kettleman's is a newish bagel place. GOOG-411 wanted to connect me to something called "Cattleman's." I tried again and said "Kettleman Bagels" which is the real business name. After a moment, it came back with a hit: "Kettleman's Bagels" on SE 11th, and connected me.
"Portland, Oregon" ... "Nosh" - Nosh is a newish lunch place. GOOG-411 didn't seem to know about it (or didn't like my pronunciation?), and wanted to connect me to "Knowledge" or "Nostrana" but helpfully suggested that it might have the name wrong (you can say "go back" to give it the name again). I tried a few times, but no luck.
"Portland, Oregon" ... "Art Museum" - boom, it hit me with several results -- the first of which is the Portland Art Museum. Nice.
So give it a shot -- 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411) and add it to your phone's address book!