It’s not only Easter Sunday this year, it’s also April 1st – better known as April Fools Day. As usual, tech companies around the world will be getting in on the act and attempting to prank their customers and users. As usual, any news you hear over the next 24-48 hours should be treated with suspicion as time-zones catch up around the globe.
Google freaking Loooooves April Fools day, and they usually go all out around the world with a few joke products and services announced. We’ll be keeping track of them all here.
Google Australia – Just call us ‘Googz’
Google Australia claims to have been investigating how to make its brand more compatible with popular culture and linguistic trends in Australia and has come up with a unique rebrand.
Now, check out how the brand was re-designed in this video by Jezza:
Google Chromebook Power >/h4>
Google is very much into renewable energy, and they’ve looked into the best, cleanest ways to keep your Chromebook charged. There’s three ways they’ve identified: Wind, Solar and Compost.
Apparently just a brief visit to a wind=farm, Wind tunnel or even standing in a stiff breeze will power up your Chromebook. Google does list a warning though, telling you to hold on tight to your precious Chromebook lest it gets blown away and smashed to bits.
According to Google, your Chromebook has solar cells built-in. Just leave your Chromebook in direct sunlight to get five hours use time in as little as 10 minutes.
Yes, composting your veggies can get you power apparently. Google recommends plugging your Chromebook power brick directly into the ground of your compost heap to experience the full charging.
Google Cloud – Hummus API
For their April Fools prank this year, the Google Cloud team has launched the Hummus API to match you with your perfect blend of hummus. The Cloud team launch says: ‘After enabling our customers to address senses through Speech & Vision API, we are now releasing a subset of Taste APIs started with a dish we all love – Hummus!’
Check it out:
Google – Files Go Bad Joke Detector
The latest update in Files Go is the ability to detect Bad Jokes. Using the latest technology including ‘Blockchain, Neural Net and of course, Virtual Reality’, the Google Files Go team has analysed what makes a bad joke so they can remove them from your phone.
Google Japan – Tegaki (A physical swipe keyboard interpreter)
The Google Japan team has come up with Tegaki for April Fools Day, a new keyboard input that does away with the need to memorise where each key is on the keyboard. Instead, using TensorFlow Machine Learning, the team has a new device which interprets your swipe inputs to interpret your swipe gestures into language.
You can find out more about it by heading to g.co/tegaki
Google Maps – Where’s Wally
If you love Where’s Wally (or his American cousin Waldo), then for the next week you can keep an eye out for Wally to appear on the side of your screen in Google Maps on Android, iOS and on the desktop at which time you can tap on Wally to be transported all over the world and search for Wally again and again.
According to Google, you can also ask the Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook or Home device to kick things off by saying, “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?”
It’s not just Wally you can find, but also his friends including his dog Woof (although it’s only his tail), Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw. According to Google you can even win ‘wonderful and wacky badges’ though they’re probably just virtual.
If you find Wally, or any of his friends take a screenshot and tweet it at the @GoogleMaps Twitter or Instagram accounts with the hashtag #WaldoMaps.
— Daniel Tyson (@phroghollow) March 31, 2018
Amazon gets some bonus points here for actually making their April Fools Pranks a feature of Alexa on the Echo devices. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can ask Alexa a bunch of queries to find some cool April Fools related responses.
- Alexa, what are some good pranks?
- Alexa, prank me!
- Alexa, happy April Fools’ Day.
- Alexa, is today April Fools’ Day?
- Alexa, what will you be doing for April Fools’?
- Alexa, give me a blooper!
- Alexa, what are you doing for April Fools’? (ask on the day)
Courses.com.au – Diploma of Human Survival and the dystopian future
If you’re worried about how you’ll do in our inevitable future in which the machines take over, destroy us all in a nuclear war and then feast on the human goodness that remains, then Courses.com.au has a course for you. Launching today, the course costs just ‘6.5 bitcoin or 12 large untainted potatoes’, and lasts 4 days, with a 72% survival rate.
In the course, you’ll learn how to scavenge for food, identify intruders, avoiding detection and all the other skills you’ll need to survive in this increasingly probable scenario.
Once you graduate, you could have skills including Bunker Security Specialist, Mushroomer (Food Specialist), Tax Accountant Specialist, Bot Detection Specialist and more.
Check it out here on the courses.com.au site.
Ikea – Djown Under Range
They’re getting Tradfiri lights that integrate with Amazon Echo and Google Home so I’m including their April Fools prank. It’s the Djown Under range which includes the Drop Bear plush toy, Thjong and Stubbi. Pretty good one there Ikea.
Jabra – Sneaker Speaker
Jabra has ‘announced’ their latest voice enabled smart audio product with the Sneaker Speaker, it has push and pop speakers with 15 hours of battery life for stereo sound on the go and are charged via a wireless charging foot mat. The speakers have voice assistance built in and of course they have a headphone jack.
To learn more about the Jabra Sneaker Speaker, you can head over to the launch site.
I kinda love this, and so will you if you’ve ever had to clean up the massive mess that Lego can sometimes be.
*Adds to wishlist* pic.twitter.com/5JZA0n55YG
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) April 1, 2018
MKBHD – Bixby Speaker
The prospect of another smart speaker, this time powered by Samsung’s virtual Assistant Bixby is definitely on the horizon. Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee has imagined what that would look like for his April Fools Prank.
There’s some amusing parts, with what Bixby thinks of Siri, or failing the trick. For me though, the best part is Bixby asking Google Assistant to check maths question and having it answer on the Google Home across the room.
OnePlus – PeiCoin
We think this is an April Fools Prank, but as the owner of a OnePlus Drone that was launched on April Fools day, we’re not too sure. Anyway, OnePlus has launched ‘PeiCoin’, seemingly named for co-founder Carl Pei, a crypto currency which is due to launch on the 1st of April, which to us screams April Fools prank. The description of PeiCoin looks like this:
We’ll give OnePlus bonus points for going to the effort of producing the intro video
If you want to learn more about PeiCoin then head over to the OnePlus PeiCoin website.
OzBargin – Chinese?
It appears that Ozbargain has decided they’ll be Chinese for April Fools Day.
Niantic decided to go 8-bit for their Pokemon Go April Fools day prank. Pokemon are now showing up in-game as 8-bit versions of themselves, at least in the Pokeradar, your Pokemon storage and in the Pokedex. Pokemon on-screen are still showing up as normal though, but it’s neat.
You can check it out on the PokemonGoLive blog.
Razer – Project Venom V2
Razer’s entry for April Fools this year is an update on their energy drink, but this year they’ve added a twist with nano-bots enhancing the drink. According to Razer you can customise your bio enhancements on their website – is this a sneak peek into our future bio-hacking future.
Check it out:
You can learn more about Project Venom V2 here.
Stack Overflow – Rubber Ducky…or, Quack Overflow?
Everyone’s favourite information site for programmers, Stack Overflow, has been taken over by a virtual duck assistant. The rubber duck appears at the bottom right of the Stack Overflow page and requests you speak your questions into the mic. It will then answer the questions….or just quack at your, we’ve not been able to get it to do more than quack at us – but maybe you can get better results? ;).
Vintage Transformers at Kmart – GoktimusPrime at Ozformers
You’d have to be living under a rock to not realise Jason’s a huge Transformers fan, so he was onto this one pretty quickly this morning. An elaborate prank by some NSW Transformers fans saw the reappearance of vintage “G1” 1980s Transformers at Kmart.
— Jason Murray (@JM77) March 31, 2018
The pranksters actually took their own collection to a local store to get the most realistic photographs possible, only for it to be called out as a Photoshop by the Internet at large.
Help us keep track of the various April Fools pranks around the world. Tell us which ones you’ve seen around the world in the comments below – or hit us up on social media.