Tuesday , October 24 2017

April Fools Pranks – 2016

Google Fool
It’s April 1st, that means your bullsh*t detector should be on high alert for at least the next 36 hours as the world time-zones cycle through this ‘special day’.

Google particularly loves to have a laugh on April Fools Day with several pranks across their websites, properties, blogs and projects. We wrapped up the pranks from various tech companies including Google in 2014 and 2015 and we’ll be doing it again this year. Check back to see new ones added – or if you see one tell us about it.

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Google Around the World

Google Australia – Searchable Socks

Google Australia has today launched their newest innovation: Searchable Socks. Losing socks in the wash is one of the biggest laundry related issues we face today as a society, the new bluetooth-enabled socks are fitted with thin LTE beacons around the calf in a visible stripe and you can then press the beacon on the remaining sock to find the missing one – which will play an alert.

Google Search for your Socks Main

As you can see, the socks will be available in Red, Yellow, Green and Blue, with a pure white option also available which hides the strip, from the Google Store.

Like their Google Japan counterparts Furikku keyboard, Google Australia’s searchable socks will be open sourced to allow retro-fitting to existing socks. You can learn more about searchable socks on the Google Australia blog.

Google Japan

Google Japan kicked off Google’s global April Fools Day pranks with the Furikku a physical version of Google’s Japanese input for Android. The Furikku allows for ‘flick input’ which consists of sliding keys In typical Google fashion both the hardware and software are open source with the keyboard able to be 3D-printed in blue, red, black, and ‘Tea’ with a white option on the way.

Check out the product video:

You can check out more on the Furikku here at g.co/furikku

Google Netherlands – Self-riding Bikes

Google Netherlands is capitalising on their ingrained bike riding culture and introduced self-riding bikes.

According to Google Netherlands, self-riding bikes are safer and also smarter with built-in tracking and navigation. They also offer a number of comfort features as well including self-adjusting pedals which find the perfect resting position.

It’s a good one, check it out:

You can read more about Google’s self-riding bikes on the Google Netherlands blog.

Thanks: Cédian Oosting

Google Products

Android Developers – Google Play Apps and Games go Galactic

Googles Android Developers have gone all out on this one, adding tools and guidelines to help developers get their apps and games to go galactic.

The Android Developers have updated both the Material Design Guidelines with advice on adding Zero-G Principles covering areas of design such as Fixed Point View, Extra dimension and Gravity provides meaning.
Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 7.55.47 PM

The guidelines describe the New Dimension as:

We challenged ourselves to create a design system that synthesizes classic material design principles and feels native to apps and games in space. Whether you’re on a spacewalk or floating in zero gravity, Material Zero-G feels intuitive. This spec will be updated as we continue our research of the final frontier.

And they’ve added a link in the Google Play Developers Console to publish your apps into space.
Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 7.54.24 PM

They even invited the Guardian in to show off how their efforts getting into space achieved results:

You can read more about getting your Apps and Games skybound on the Android Developers Blog.

Android Wear

I don’t even know what this is trying to convey:

Google Analytics – Physical Tag Manager

Google Analytics has introduced real world tags for keeping track of physical objects instead of apps and code. The tag manager will sync up with one of 10,000 physical tags which Google will be shipping to registered users. The tags can be attached to anything, your record collection, or even a shark and you can track it in your Tag Manager.

Tag Manager

You can read more about Physical Tag Manager on the Google Analytics blog.

Google AMP

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages are a way to speed up your web surfing experience on the mobile web, as part of their April Fools day pranks Google’s Developer team have shared
AMP’s Very Large Mobile Page Accelerator (VLMPA)!

The VLMPA isn’t magic, it’s pure physics which consists of two ‘beam pipes’ roughly 24,901 miles in circumference that accelerate mobile web pages to almost the speed of light. This speeds them up….well, it sounds good anyway. You can check out the full joke white paper style post on the AMPHTML WordPress site.

And before you ask, they’re trying their best to avoid creating a blackhole:
03_blackhole

Google Cardboard – Plastic?

Google has released a new update which will put the ‘real’ back in Virutal Reality and it’s called Google Cardboard Plastic. Google Cardboard Plastic is a new viewer that is a step towards making Virtual Reality give you smell and touch in your virtual experience as well as sight and sound, at least as much as you get in the real world.

Cardboard Plastic is the world’s first actual reality headset, complete with 4D integrated perspective, 360° spatially accurate sound, 20/20 resolution, and advanced haptics for realistic touch sensations. Expertly crafted from polymethyl methacrylate, Cardboard Plastic is lightweight, waterproof, and engineered to last a lifetime—no batteries, no wires. And unlike other VR headsets, it integrates seamlessly into your life—so you’ll never miss a thing. Unless you blink.

You can find out more about Google Plastic on the Official Google Blog

Google Chrome – Chrome Chromebook

If you’ve beheld the brushed aluminium body of the Chromebook Pixel, I doubt you’d ever thought ‘This needs to be Chrome’, but the name Chromebook just begs at least one Chrome plated Chromebook be released and that’s where the Google Chrome team have gone this year, introducing the Chrome Crhomebook.

Screenshot 2016-04-02 at 2.56.45 AM

The Chrome Chromebook looks shiny, it’s ultra-high resolution mirror finish delivers over 4,000 lumens of brightness and can be viewed in 360 degrees on the product page.

Unfortunately for anyone who actually believes this is real, simply clicking the ‘Buy Now’ button at the bottom of the page will let you know this isn’t real.

And finally, the legal warnings at the bottom of the page elicited a giggle:

  1. Our lawyers asked us to make clear that Chromebooks aren’t made out of chrome.
  2. Google is not responsible for any associated hypnotic effects.
  3. Flash photography and this Chromebook do not mix.
  4. WARNING: Do not stare directly into the Chromebook and also they’re slippery when wet.
  5. Objects in Chromebook may be closer than they appear.

Google Express – Parachutes

We don’t get Google Express here in Australia, but even the Google service that delivers stuff to people in various cities in the US is getting in on April Fools, this time with a new method of delivery….and it’s not Drones, it’s Parachutes. The Parachute from Google Express was designed by the Controlled Hover Utilisation Team of Engineers Researchers and Scientists (C.H.U.T.E.R.S) is hilarious showing the design and implementation stages of Google Parachutes which lets you receives packages everywhere.

And how do they get the parachutes in the air? Drones.

Google Fibre – Teleporation

With our crippled NBN here in Australia, Google Fibre’s Gigabit speeds are something most Aussies will not see for sometime, but Googel Fibre is looking ahead at providing faster speeds than that.

While they’re not a teleportation company – and don’t want to be, they are looking at one of their partners who are and to transport a person via teleportation requires a lot of bandwidth. How much bandwidth? Well, they need to be a billion times faster – you know, GigaQuad speed, or as one of the engineers put it:

If 1 GigaQuad (GQ) = 109 = 1,000,000,000 Quads, where one quad is 2 GiB or 8 x (2 x 109) x (109 x 109) = 1.6 x 1028 bits, what speeds would we need to send an animal, object, or person 60 miles in under 1.2 seconds?

That’s for a 160lb person, but how long would it take you to travel 60 miles in under 1.2 seconds? Well, there’s a spreadsheet for that.

bsd_teleport_6 (2)

You can check out more about their plans for GigaQuad speed on the Google Fibre blog.

Google for Work – Cloud Vision for Fashion

Google’s Cloud Vision API allows them to do amazing things with recognition on photos recognising places, things and people. Today, Google has announced they’ve extended the API to include a fashion sense.

The Cloud Vision Style Detection can answer the big questions: Does a brown belt go with black shoes? Pleats or no pleats? “To tuck or not to tuck? – now Vision can tell what you’re wearing and more importantly do you need to change. Based on input from Style and Fashion industry experts…including teen fashion bloggers, Cloud Vision Style Detection is here to help you.

You can read more about the Cloud Vision for Fashion on the Google For Work Blog now.

GMail – Emoji Smart Reply

Ok, this one is cool, Smart Reply with Emoji. Whether you want to convey you’ve had a ? day or want to quickly reply with a food order of a ? for lunch with a friend, Inbox will now let you Smart Reply to an email with Emoji.

Smart Reply Emoji_1

Smart Reply Emoji_2

You can read all about the search by Emoji on the Gmail blog.

GMail – Send + Mic Drop

Update: Google has pulled this prank due to issues with people being adversely affected. Google said:

Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. ? Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We’re truly sorry. The feature has been turned off. If you are still seeing it, please reload your Gmail page.

The GMail team has introduced a new product called GMail Mic Drop for April Fools Day – but quite frankly I want this one. If you’ve been in an argument in an email thread before and finally crushed the competition with that final reply, hit the Send + Mic Drop button to finish them off. Once you’ve hit the Send + Mic Drop button, an animated GIF of a Minion dropping the Mic will automatically be added to the message that’s being sent, so the receiver gets a fun animated GIF.

Gmail Mic Drop_Send

Gmail Mic Drop_Receive

The Send+Mic Drop feature launches first on web, but will be coming to mobile next apparently. You can check out more on Send + Mic Drop on the GMail blog.

Google Maps – Funky Town

This one is cool, you can search ‘Explore Funky Town’ in Google Maps to get a fun animation which turns pegman from his boring self into a raging Disco king. I couldn’t get it to work on mobile, but when I searched on desktop it offered to send it to my phone, at which point the animation loaded.

The Google Maps Twitter account has also gone with the theme, renaming themselves to ‘Groovy Maps’ and there’s some fun tweets they’ve done so far:

Google Play Books – Real Books

Heh, this ones amusing. Google is introducing Google Play ‘Real Books’, which strips away all the parts of a phone to offer you a ‘real’ books experience. The software, apps, keyboard, screen, everything has been stripped back to offer you one book per device – it’s the biggest innovation since PDF. Check it out:

Google Photos – Search By Emoji

Ok, Smart Reply with Emoji was cool Google, but this one is extra awesome: Searching by Emoji – and it actually works. If you’re looking for pics of your pooch in a hurry you can search using nothing but ? and get results instantly:
Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 1.10.15 PM

As the Google Photos team says, this new update makes Finding your pics is a ☮️ of ?.

You can check out more on search by Emoji on the +GooglePhotos page.

Nat & Lo – Proof of String Theory

Nat & Lo have been bringing us great videos of what goes on behind the scenes at Google, in this latest video they tackle breaking news of Google’s Quantum AI Lab Discovers Evidence Of String Theory. It’s cool, so just watch:

Thanks: Phillip ‘Molly’ Malone

YouTube – SnoopaVision

YouTube has introduced a new innovation that enhances 360 degree view videos, adding Snoop Dogg. Simply hit the Snoop icon in the control bar and you can watch 360 videos projected on a screen in a 360 degree studio that Snoop is sitting in with you.

It’s a pretty cool way to watch, but is still in Beta. You can check out a range of Snoopavision enabled videos on the Beta page, but here’s a sample:

Here’s Ben Relles, YouTube Director of Innovation talking about the new Snoopavision:

You can check out the announcement on the YouTube Blog here.

Google X – Compression

Here’s an interesting one, Google’s X Labs, has hired HBO’s Pied Piper CEO Richard Hendricks as chief compression officer.

You can check out more on the ‘hire’ at the Solve For X website.

Tech Companies and Websites

Acer

Acer has introduced a new Bamboo laptop (I guess a Chromebook model could be coming too) calling it the first ever Panda friendly laptop:
1 April - acer

Asus

At IFA last year, Asus launched a new line of ZenFone handsets including the ZenFone Max, which included an insanely large 5,000mAh battery which would let you charge other devices. This year, for April Fools, Asus are showing us the ZenFone Max’s ability to charge a Tesla electric car using the Asus Charge Tesla adapter – or ACT – which links your Tesla charger to the microUSB port on your ZenFone Max.

Not a bad one Asus, check out the video:

CyanogenMod

The CyanogenMod team have done a fine job this year, adding a number of pranks for the 1st of April. The Downloads page for CM has been updated with a…well, we can only call it a horrific yellow makeover with 90’s style animated GIFs all over the place.

Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 8.58.16 PM

The settings for those on CyanogenMod have also seen a complete MOD makeover with Mod being added to everything as shown in this screenshot from Google+ User Tareq:
2016 - 1

Finally, the CyanogenMod social feeds – Google+, Twitter and Facebook – have been taken over by the make CidDrumpf again – based on this John Oliver piece(you’ll need a VPN) on Donald Trump.
12472778_10156756204680425_431461697078193690_n

ifixit – Smotherbag

We use ifixit’s teardowns all the time here, they’re interesting to look at and give us a good idea of what’s in our favourite gadgets. Today they’ve launched the ‘Smother bag’ a bag to help you put out the smoking wreck of a Hoverboard you just purchased. It looks fantastic and is worth heading over to their website have a giggle.

Intel

Intel has gone with a new product announcement today, introducing the Intel 25 Karat Gold Gamer Keys: For a gamer who enjoys a little luxury in life.:

Lenovo

Lenovo has offered up the PawPad Yoga 9, a laptop just for cats because who doesn’t love cats and laptops.

The PawPad uses a Panther 919 processor, and runs Curtains 10. It’s controlled with a Scratchpad and comes with a Digital Array Meowcrophone – as well as other cat related specs.

Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 10.04.16 PM

Nvidia

Nvidia has introduced a new GeForce GTX product today, but rather than a video card, it’s an energy drink. The Geforce GTX Energy Drink is aimed at gamers to replace those vital fluids lost during epic, marathon gaming sessions. Here’s the launch video:

The joke goes as far as offering you a free sample, but when you go to register you’re asked to enter your Twitter handle or email address for the chance to win a GeForce GTX 980 video card – not a bad deal.

OnePlus – Sandstone Everything!

OnePlus did introduce a great feeling texture on the OnePlus with a Sandstone option, it’s grippy without being too rough and now they’re expanding the texture everywhere. The company has announced they will be (sure they will) offering up Sandstone textured Cups, Shoes and even Soap on top of the usual cases.

Just in case you really need some more sandstone in your life, head over to the OnePlus Sandstone store.

Samsung

Samsung has kicked off April Fools Day strongly with two April Fools Day pranks so far, one on Instagram and the other on their Global Press site.

Galaxy S8 tease

Samsung has only just launched the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge in Australia but the teasing has kicked off for the Galaxy S8, we knew they were reducing the turnaround time between devices but this is ridiculous ;).

Something big is coming tomorrow. #TheNextGalaxy

A photo posted by Samsung Mobile (@samsungmobile) on

Samsung has Instagram’d a ‘Gotcha’ for their April Fools prank this afternoon:

Gotcha. Happy #AprilFools.

A photo posted by Samsung Mobile (@samsungmobile) on

The Internet of Trousers

This is either Samsung at their wackiest or an April Fools Day prank and we’re going with April Fools Day prank on this one (the pic names tell the story). It’s the Internet of Trousers:
706_fool

According to Samsung, the new Internet of Trousers ‘product’ will include a new ARTIK Smarter Fashion chip module which will connect to a Smarter Fabric Care app. The new Internet of Trousers will offer a variety of new features from Wi-Fly, Get Up Alert, Keep-Your-Pants-On Mode and a Fridge Lock:

Wi-Fly: Gone are the days of unnoticed, unzipped trouser zippers upon exiting the restroom. Should your fly remain open for more than three minutes, the ZipARTIK module will send a series of notifications to your smartphone to save you from further embarrassment.
Get Up! Alert: Using pressure sensors, Samsung’s intelligent trousers detect prolonged periods of inactivity and send notifications to ‘get up off of that thing’ at least once an hour. Should you remain seated for more than three hours, devices embedded in each of the rear pockets send mild electrical shocks to provide extra motivation.
Keep-Your-Pants-On Mode: Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with the moment. The Samsung Bio-Processor in your pants checks your bio-data including your heart rate and perspiration level. If these indicators get too high, Samsung’s trousers will send you subtle notifications as a reminder of the importance of keeping your cool.
Fridge Lock: If the tension around your waist gets too high, the embedded ARTIK chip module will send signals to your refrigerator to prevent you from overeating. The fridge door lock can then only be deactivated with consent from a designated person such as your mother or significant other.

dualpixel_final_CS6

The range of Internet of Trousers is just the start apparently with Samsung looking to expand to other clothing lines with fashion partners using the Q.U.I.L.T (Qommon User Inclusion: League of Threads). The lines available will include ‘ZipARTIK for pants, the ARTIK Smarter Fashion portfolio will expand to ARTIK S (for shirts) and ARTIK Sx (for socks’.

Give it to Samsung, they do know how to do April Fools pretty well, there’s even a link to their actual line of ARTIK modules that are based on Arduino.

Check out the Internet of Trousers here.

Razer – Breadwinner

Razer is related to Android having launched their own AndroidTV console (Frustraingly not in Australia yet) and they also bought Android console maker Ouya. Their latest project though is a little more bready in nature with a new toaster:

It’s an exciting crowd sourced project that is aimed at fueling the gamers of the world. In Razr’s words, it’s ‘the world’s first gaming grade kitchen appliance built for gamers, by gamers. Bread to Win’.

You can check it out on the Razer website.

Reddit /r/Australia

The /r/Australia sub-reddit has started taking the p*ss by changing your posting name to a famous Australian celebrity when you comment on a thread. As usual you just have to be signed in, check out a thread in the subreddit and make a comment to see this in action. Either that or Dr Karl, Paul Hogan and Keri-Anne Kennerly dropped in to check out this particular reddit thread.
Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 6.03.49 AM

Sony

Sony, with their upcoming Ghostbusters reboot has gone for the Proton Pack product launch as their April Fools Day prank this year. The Proton Pack is the result of a collaboration between Dr Egon Spengler (original Ghostbusters) and Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (new Ghostbusters).

Spec wise, the Proton Pack includes features like STAMINA Mode which Xperia phone owners will be familiar with and slow-motion capture similar to that found on Sony Cybershot offering up to 960 frames-per-second high frame rate capture. The Proton Pack can then be hooked up to your BRAVIA TV or Xperia Smartphone using NFC Tap and Pair to playback the captures…Oh, and it weighs in at 6.66 kilograms (hah). Check out the video:

You can find out more about the Proton Pack at proton-pack.com

Thinkgeek

Thinkgeek are great at April Fools Day, a little too good in that a lot of their ‘gag’ gifts have been so well received that they’ve ended up as real products.

Their front page lists a heap on there, but for our purposes the VR Sensory Immersion Generator for $250USD could be great, the theory is it will enhance your VR experience when paired with a VR Headset and they list that it’s compatible with the Samsung Gear VR, and Google Cardboard as well as Oculus Rift.

ivpl_vr_sensory_generator_diag-sm

Head over to the ThinkGeek homepage to see what else they have on offer.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 4.58.03 pm

Vodafone – Voda-Drone

Looks like Vodafone is branching out into Drones, launching the Voda-Drone on their community support forum.
Voda-Drone
The Voda-Drone will carry internet to the last 3% of the population that the Vodafone network currently doesn’t cover. Vodafone has replaced the usual camera module with a wireless Modem to bring that mobile data to ALL Australians.

Unlike most drones on the market, this one will avoid trees, wildlife and people to make sure you get your internet access.

You can find out more about the Voda-Drone, like the fact it’s an April Fools Day prank on the Vodafone Community forum.
Thanks: Joel

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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2 Comments on "April Fools Pranks – 2016"

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Cédian Oosting
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Google Netherlands has announced, on Google’s official Facebook account, that they developed self driving bikes.

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