April Fools Day is the one day of the year that makes it hard to discern real news from a completely out-there prank. It’s possible a company will launch something or announce something today – Google did it with Gmail back in 2004 – so hopefully we might get something just as awesome, but most likely we’ll just get some awesome pranks.
We’ll be following the April Fools pranks for the next 24-36 hours as the time-zone reaches around the earth. Google is the king of the April Fools day Pranks so we’ll be keeping a close eye on them, but also on the other manufacturers as well. Keep checking back all day for more updates, or sing out in the comments if you see one we haven’t listed yet.
Google Maps Pacman
Google has kicked off April Fools Day 2015 with a nice prank featuring Google Maps, last year it was catching Pokemon and this year it’s Pacman!. Google has made it possible for you to play Pacman through the streets of a city near you in Google Maps. You can play Pacman on the Web in Google Maps – click the Pacman tile at the bottom left to start – or you can play it on your mobile in the Google Maps app on Android or iOS.
Google has added a support page on how to find the locations where you can play Pacman, as well as a how to play guide.
Bonus: Pacman has invaded Ingress too
Check out this Ingress tie-in video with the Pacman Google Maps prank:
If you load up Ingress, you’ll see a heap of ghosts all over your portals – Blue ghosts for resistance and Green Ghosts for the Enlightened. Grey/White for unclaimed.
Source:Google Lat-Long Blog.
Google Play – Start a prank war with apps
Google has gathered a few apps together in Google Play which will help you prank a few of your friends today. There’s apps like Voice Changer, Freak Sound Effects and Crack My Screen. You can check these and more out over on Google Play.
Chrome Selfie Reactions
Seems Chrome has gotten into April Fools in a big way as well. If you open a webpage in Chrome for Android you may be greeted by a banner at the bottom of the page asking you to share you #ChromeSelfie – essentially share a selfie of your reaction to a webpage.
If you don’t get the banner, you can always access the menu in the top right and select the ‘Share a reaction’ at the top of the menu. From there your front-facing camera will activate and you can take a selfie. Once your Selfie is taken you can share it.
You can hit the share button and the intents button will let you share it anywhere but you can just choose to share it to Google+
Nice one Google.
Google Japan – Google Japanese Input Piro-piro Version
Google Japan has introduced a new product for April Fools Day, introducing the Google Japanese Input Piro-piro Version a device that will let you enter Japanese without having to actually speak it or type it – just blow the novelty pipe.
They’ve created quite a lot of information about their product, including a Q&A :
Q. When is the Release Date and price of announcement?
A. I judge based on the results of market research. Ordinary Google Japanese input, desktop , smartphone version you can use both immediately.
Q. Please tell us about the development period.
A. It has a developed over round one year.
Q. Can you own?
A. including the data of the circuit and 3D printer of the board, Marutto open source and we have to.
Q. Is the input only Hiragana?
A. by switching the software, alphanumeric and pictograph is also possible input. To study the Kanji input current personnel are trained body.
Q. It is a device, such as breathtaking.
A. In order to ensure correct use, you will need to pay a yes breath.
Google Japan – Panda Translator
Google Japan has had a second bite of the April Fools day cherry, announcing Google Panda. Google Panda appears to be an actual Panda who will handle your translations for you. In Google Japans description :
You can watch the video for a look at Google Panda in action.
Google Australia – Equator is slipping south
Well, Google Maps was created in Australia, so it’s only natural that Google Australia should have a maps based April Fools Prank. On the Google Australia blog, the team has posted a blog about how ‘Over the past two months, Google Maps engineers in Sydney have discovered that the Earth’s equator is slipping south at rate of 25km per year — much faster than previously thought.’
There’s a great looking video featuring Dr Derek Muller, which if you watch it throws a lot of long words and pseudo-science at you to make you think Australia is heading north. Check it out and read the blog for a giggle this morning.
Google- Smartbox by Inbox: The mailbox of tomorrow, today
Google has nailed it on this one introducing a physical mailbox called the Smartbox. Google has been accused of muddying the waters a little this year with the release of Inbox in addition to Gmail, and Smartbox by Inbox nails it. Google describes Smartbox as :
we’re excited to introduce Smartbox—a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind.
They’ve created a video to go along with the post on the Google Blog too:
com.google – a little bit backwards
A little while ago, Google purchased a new Top Level Domain (TLD) .google. Owning its own TLD opens up a number of possibilities for the company, but it wasn’t until today (of all days) that we saw them put it to use. If you think “com.google” looks a little backwards, you won’t be alone – especially after you click on the link.
Google – YouTube: What song is this?
Ever had that ear worm you just can’t tell what the song is but despite having no musical ability you try to describe it to someone in the vain hope they can recognise it? The folks at YouTube can, for their April Fools Day post they went with:
Seriously, what song is this? Anyone know song name?
Goes like: “Duuuuuuuuuuuuun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dundun dun dundundun dun dun dun dun dun dun dundun dundun BOOM dundun dundun dundun BEEP dun dun dun dun dun dun dun BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BOOOP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BOOM FADE?”
nm, got it.
lols, nice one YouTube.
Google – Chrome Extension: Self-Browsing Chromebook
Re-rethink how you browse the web with a self-browsing Chromebook
With just one click, you’re off surfing the web—no input needed. Just lean back, and we’ll take you there – quickly, simply, and securely.
Use your self-browsing Chromebook for:
* Staying connected with your relatives
– Automatically writes emails to your mother!
* Maintaining your relationships
– Send roses to your significant other on Valentine’s Day!
* Staying active on social media
– It’ll post 24 hours a day!
* Booking travel is easier than ever
– Plan your summer vacation to Qikiqtarjuaq!
* Managing your finances
– Buys and sells stocks randomly!
* Penning the next best-seller
– Did J.K. Rowling own a self-browsing laptop? We’ll never know!
You’ll never be more productive!
We’ve been testing this new functionality for weeks, browsing the whole web from classifieds to news, music to cat photos — and now, these Chromebooks are responsible for the majority of ALL CAPS comments on the web. In total, our self-browsing Chromebooks have logged more than 5 million pageviews without once being Rickrolled!
Give it a shot—then sit back, relax, and watch the future unfold. This is the last link YOU will ever click.
Google – Actual Cloud Platform
Looks like even Google’s corporate side is getting in on April Fools day launching Google ‘Actual Cloud Platform’. Google has announced that from yesterday their cloud computing will actually be in the clouds. with services and products running in the troposphere. There’s a well produced video for it and a full home page outlining the features.
Starting on April 1, Google Actual Cloud Platform brings with it a number of exciting new features:
New compute zone: We’ve added a new compute zone, troposphere-1a, to make it easier than ever to provide your app with non-earth-bound availability. Now, you no longer have to make a choice between high availability and high altitude. New machine types: Alongside our current machine types, we’ve added a new category of “physical” devices: actual-cloud machine types. Choose from cumulus-16gb, cirrus-32gb and stratocumuliform-64g (created specifically for data intensive workloads). Stormboost: Drawing on charges from electrical fields during thunderstorms, we’re able to supercharge read/write performance on all persistent disks and offer 50% higher IOPS. CloudDrops: A new, game-changing content distribution system. CloudDrops can provide blazingly fast content delivery to all of your users using—you guessed it—rain drops. Weather Dashboards in the Developer’s Console: With new weather-dependent performance features, you need a way to monitor the atmospheric conditions of your servers. Now, you can monitor humidity/request, watch your app’s altitude and see a 7-day forecast right next to the rest of your stats. Bare-metal container support: Applications deployed on Actual Cloud Platform can run in containers too. The lightweight shared kernel model of containers makes them ideal for non-terrestrial deployments.
Source:Google Cloud Platform Blog
Google – Hangouts
Looks like Google has done a bit of tweaking on Hangouts for April Fools Day. Simply saying a phrase in Hangouts often initiates an animation – Hahaha, lol, Happy Birthday – and Google has added one for ‘Happy April Fools’ – there’s three animations as you can see below:
Google – Fiber Dial-up Mode
We may not get Google Fiber here in Australia, but scarily, thanks to the Liberal NBN we’re getting we may get the equivalant speeds that Google Fiber is proposing with ‘Dial-up Mode’. Aimed at giving you time to do all those little things like getting a cup of coffee, calling your mother, dial-up mode slows your internet connection down to a crawl.
Source:Google Fiber Blog
Samsung has played up on their Galaxy Note Edge release for April Fools Day announcing the Galaxy Blade Edge Chef’s Edition. Samsung describes the Galaxy Blade as the ‘world’s first smart knife’ and the ‘ultimate cooking companion’. Samsung has gone to the effort of doing a full press release for the Galaxy Blade Edge Chef’s Edition which includes spec listing and description of colour and material options for the handle.
The full press release is definitely worth a read if you have the time.
Kogan has released their April Fools day joke by announcing they are becoming a Bricks and Mortar Retailer. Not in the traditional sense of opening a physical store, the joke has them selling actual bricks and mortar. For $99 with free shipping (leaves the warehouse in 1-2 days), you get a solid and durable bundle of 10 Bricks and 500grams of mortar – Obviously you’ll need tools as extras.
You’ll also see a slight change to the usual popups showing what someone from X location just purchased. In the bottom left you’ll see an endless stream of celebrities purchasing products today like a certain CEO who just purchased a Motorola Google Nexus 6 – good choice Mr Cook.
Amusing – but as we approach 9am, can’t wait to see what else we’ll see today.
Motorola – Selfie Stick
Motorola has joined in with the fun announcing a new product: The Moto Selfie Stick. Playing on their Moto Maker offerings for the Moto X with Wood and Leather backs, Motorola has created a masterpiece of a commercial for the Moto Selfie Stick. The commercial shows a master wood craftsman as well as a leathermaker talking about the making of the Ultimate Selfie Stick. Check it out:
Source:Moto Selfie Stick
HTC – RE SOK
HTC has released a new accessory in their RE line of devices, announcing the RE SOK a new wearable ‘smart’ sock. The SOK is described s their latest ‘FEET’ (Hah) of engineering and supports SMS notifications, it’s GPS enabled and comes with an Automatic Hole Warning system.
SOK uses a carbon-forced, poly-filament, micro-weave membrane provides a barrier between your feet and the inside of your shoe, it is not unfortunately machine washable. The SOK is available in a variety of colours: Midnight, Stealth and True Black – or as HTC puts it, ‘Your choice of colours, unless you want “not black”.
Source:HTC RE SOK
Samsung – Exo Boost
Asus – Zenfone Zero
Nicely played Asus.
Cyanogen – We stole Android from Google and powered it with Microsoft
Cyanogen may have the lofty goal of ‘stealing Android from Google’, but they still have a sense of humour. They’ve powered their CM12 nightlies overnight with a Windows logo, and when you load up Android, the app drawer icon has been replaced with the Windows logo :
Telstra – Potty Mouth Sensor
Telstra took a crack this year with their Potty Mouth Censor app. The app would apparently clean up your language, or the language of those around you. Not bad at all Telstra, Check out the video they made:
Source:Telstra Potty Mouth Sensor
Vodafone – Emoji Phone
Vodafone Australia has announced and Emoji Phone, what they call an ‘innovation in smartphone technology’. While Vodafone quickly point out in their post announcing the phone that it’s an April Fools prank, you can’t help but wonder how many people would actually lay down some cash for this one.
Because they were so forthright about it, why not go check out their 12 and 24-month Red plans, Vodafone are offering an extra 1GB of data to use in Australia per month for up to 24 months if you sign up online before April 9, 2015.
Virgin Mobile – Data Rollover promo
Virgin Mobile actually did a fair bit of pre-roll (hah) for this one, announcing that The Bachelor Tim Robbards would be rolling a ‘Zorb Ball‘ from Sydney to Melbourne to promote their Data Rollover feature which lets you roll unused data over from one month to the next. The Data Rollover feature is real, but the intent to roll a Zorb Ball from Sydney to Melbourne is definitely a prank.
— Tim Robards Official (@MrTimRobards) March 31, 2015
We’ll be updating throughout the day, sing out if you see any new ones.