Google Away from Home Without a Smart Phone

Google Away from Home Without a Smart Phone

Taryn Williford
Nov 1, 2010

If you haven't jumped on the smart phone train for whatever reason, that doesn't mean you have to be left out of the home-away-from home world of mobile computing. The next time you're out and about in your neighborhood, you can look up driving directions, weather, translations and more with just a text message to your buddies at Google.

You don't need a web browser or a data plan on your phone to get real-time Google search results.

Next time you're checking out your neighborhood and need to know where the nearest sushi spot is located or exactly how to get back to your place from Pasadena, try opening up a fresh SMS and sending a query to "GOOGLE" ("466453").

By following this style sheet that comes straight from Google, you can get answers to nearly everything:

  • To get business listings, enter what you want to find and include a city and state, or zip (ex: "pizza 10013," "Blockbuster boston ma").
  • To get weather information, enter "weather" (or "w") followed by a city and state, or zip (ex: "weather 10013," "w New York, NY").
  • For EU Football and NBA/NHL/NFL/MLB scores and schedules, type "score" and team name (ex: "score Arsenal," "score red sox"). For NCAA sports, enter NCAAB (basketball) or NCAAF (football) and team name (ex: "NCAAB Duke," "NCAAF USC").
  • To get movie showtimes, enter the name of a current movie and include a city and state, or zip (ex: "moviename 10013," "moviename Boston, MA").
  • To get driving directions, enter "directions" then your start address then "to" followed by your destination address (ex: "directions 94040 to 94043," "directions pasadena ca to los angeles").
  • To get flight information, enter the flight number to get gate times or the airline to get the phone number (ex: "ua 14," "united airlines").
  • Look up area code information by entering an area code (ex: "510," "415").
  • To get product prices, enter "price" followed by the product name (ex: "price dvd player," "price camera"), or enter "upc" followed by the UPC code or "isbn" followed by the ISBN code.
  • Enter a fact-based question or query to get facts (ex: "india population," "who wrote hamlet").
  • To get translations, enter "translate" (or "t") followed by the expression, "to" and a destination language (ex: "translate dog to french," "t new to german").
  • Use calculator to solve math problems, units of measure or currency conversions (ex: "5+2*2," "half cup in teaspoon," "70F in C," "1 dollar in pound," "3 USD in GBP").
  • To get local time in a city, enter "time" followed by the city name (ex: "time London," "time Boston").

It's a helpful tip for work-at-home types or anyone else who's decided to keep their landline and go minimalist on the cell phone package.

(Top Image: Flickr user Sintex under license from Creative Commons)

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