Google Photos Logo
Google’s April Fools pranks are absolutely fantastic, like all attempts sometimes they miss, but for the most they’re whimsical and fun and they even end up as real products – just look at the launch of GMail on April 1st 2004. This newest April Fools prank turned real product, known as search with emoji, may not be as grand in scope, but it’s still very cool, it works really well and shows just how advanced the AI behind Google Photos actually is.

Called ‘The next revolution in search’ by Google when they announced it on their Google+ page on April 1st, it embraces the more recent love affair that modern society has been having with emoji. Not everyone ‘gets’ emoji, refusing to use them but others use them for everything, enhancing a message, or even replacing a reply with a single image.

It’s as simple as it sounds, you can just open up Google search on the web or on mobile with an emoji.

I’ve been using this with all sorts of emoji to search various things, not everything yields a result for me, but as they say your mileage may vary. I’ve had great results with emoji for dog (?), for beer (?), car (?) and even cow (?) brought up results for me, while Santa emoji and Devil didn’t…perhaps that last one is for the best. The technology behind the search by emoji is tied in to the same technology that recognises faces, or even where you are in the world without needing to resort to geo-location.

Screenshot 2016-04-01 at 1.10.15 PM

If you’re searching on mobile it’s easy to add an emoji to the search bar, but on desktop it may take a little more effort, but it’s not impossible.

Put the cursor in the search box, then press the command and control keys on your keyboard and finally press the space bar.

There’s a couple of ways on Windows, depending on which version you’re using. You can check out these guides on enabling emoji in Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7.

There’s a few ways, but the best seems to be installing the correct font – want a quick TL;DR? Check out this site.

ChromeOS and everything else
If you have a touch screen for your Chromebook you can enable the soft keyboard, select the emoji key and then choose from a range. If you don’t then you’re probably better off just going here and copying and pasting emoji to try it out.

Google Photos continues to get more amazing and impressive with each update – even when the updates are presented as pranks. If you missed this in the April Fools Day ruckus, then don’t miss out, head to Google Photos on the web or on your mobile and try it out.

Google Photos
Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free