Google strikes again, quietly shuts down SMS Search

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Google has shut down another service, and this time its SMS Search. If you’ve never heard of it before, it might be because you’re used to having a smartphone with a data plan — because if that’s the case, you never needed it, really. The service allows you to make quick Google searches by sending a text message with your query, then receiving the results in a reply message.

Most users today are gravitating towards smartphones, so it kind of makes sense for Google to shut a service like this down. But there are people who rely on this service on a daily basis and judging from the comments on the Google Product Forums, even the more tech-savvy users (who likely own smartphones) use the service for one reason or another.

The company’s forums is also where the news was confirmed, after some users asked why the service suddenly stopped working:

“Hi everyone,

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.

Thanks,
Jess”

At least Google Reader users got a months-long heads up, people that used SMS Search just got their figurative rug pulled from underneath their feet. Many of the comments on the forums sound just like the outcries when Google shut down its popular RSS reader and it also doesn’t help much with Google’s steadily growing reputation of killing services.

Google’s other SMS-based services for Gmail, Calendar, Blogger and Google Voice are still up. But as more and more users flock to the web with their unlimited data plans and WiFi hotspots in tow, they might not be around for much longer.

[via TechCrunch]

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