No more free lunch for Google's Alfred

Hungry mobile device owners won’t have Alfred to tell them where to find a bite to eat anymore. The restaurant recommendation app for iOS and Android shuts down July 19, joining the growing number of apps and service that Google has put out to pasture.

Alfred found restaurants and bars near you, basing its recommendations on your likes and dislikes. It was a pretty clever tool—provided you took the time to train Alfred and continually refined your dining preferences. Myself, I stopped using the app sometime last summer, when I became put off by notable shortcomings such as limited restaurant data and an over-reliance on chain eateries.

You don’t have much time to act if you want to retrieve your restaurant likes from Alfred.

If you’ve put the time into training Alfred, however, and would like to prevent your restaurants likes from disappearing into the vapor, you’ve got to act—as in, now. A message—first spotted by TechCrunch and confirmed by TechHive—now appears when you launch the app, telling you that you have until July 12 to request your data via Alfred’s feedback tool.

As you fill out that request, don’t weep too much for Clever Sense, the company that created Alfred and sold it to Google in 2011. According to Engadget, the team behind Alfred has moved on to other projects within the search giant.

If the outcry over Alfred’s demise doesn’t quite match the lamentations echoing from Google Reader getting the axe, that’s likely because there’s hardly a famine of mobile food finders. A whole host of apps—everything from Yelp to Urbanspoon to LocalEats—promise to help you figure out where your next meal is coming from. At the end of the day, Alfred and its recommendation algorithm weren’t able to find any room at the table.

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