Hand me your text-message-enabled cellphone, and I can find you an Indian restaurant in Paris, a public pool in Columbus, or a movie theater in Quebec in about four seconds.
How? With Google’s latest innovation, Google SMS. You don’t even have to pay for a call to use it. (It does require a text message, so check your cellphone plan to find out if you’ll be charged a separate fee for that.)
I use this service all the time to find restaurant addresses when I’ve forgotten to bring them with me or I’m in a place that’s not familiar.
Google SMS also does translations, weather forecasts, sports scores, flight information, word definitions, currency conversions, and all kinds of other useful things.
Just send a text message with the right word combination to 466453 (GOOGLE) and a response will be texted back to you before you can put your phone back in your pocket.
Be careful, though, because you have to get the Google SMS commands right to get the answer you’re looking for. You can find out what they are, practice them (without actually sending text messages), and watch a demo at Google.com/mobile/default/sms.