Short Take: BING 411
Microsoft's search engine, BING, has been around for some time now as has the mobile version for Windows Phones. But did you know there was an audible service from BING?
Quietly launched back in June of 2009, BING 411, is a voice directed information service. It slid under our radar and turns out to be a nifty alternative to BING's mobile app. Simply dial 1-800-BING-411 (1-800-246-4411) and follow the voice prompts.
BING 411 offers driving directions, traffic updates, weather conditions/forecast, sports scores, stock quotes, and local business recommendations. No typing SMS messages, pulling up website pages, or launching programs. With BING 411 all you have to do is dial the number and use your voice.
Navigating around BING 411 with voice commands was easy and basically glitch free. I had to repeat my commands on occasion but never experienced a missed prompt. The only nit I could find with BING 411 is that before you get to the requested information, you have to endure a short advertising spot. BING 411 is a free service so a few well placed ads isn't too much of a price to pay.
BING 411 is a handy resource to have while on the road when your driving and can't safely access your keyboard. I used it on a recent trip to the Gulf Coast to keep tabs on traffic and weather conditions. It was a lot easier to use BING 411 than trying to find a local radio station and wait for "traffic and weather together" segments.
BING 411 is free, only takes a few seconds to add to your contacts and is a good source of information when you're out and about.