Google might not be a scrappy startup anymore, but despite being one of
the biggest companies in the world, they have managed to hold on to a
unique sense of humour and that's most apparent on April 1 every year.
The company has a long tradition of April Fools' Day jokes, and
different teams like Chrome
all come up with their
own pranks so there's a lot to choose from just out of Google
(Also see: Samsung and HTC both show off smart-gloves on April Fools' Day
year, more than a few people actually believed that Google Nose - a
sniff search system - was a real thing. Here's the ones we've seen so
far this year:
Google Pokemon Maps
year, the Google Maps team got off to an early start, and on Monday
announced the Google Maps Pokemon challenge. It's a April Fools' Day gag
that's been planned for a while, because Google has populated its Maps
apps on Android
and iOS with
the various "mons" from Pokemon.
When you launch the Maps app and go to
the search bar, you'll see a blue Poke Ball with Press Start written next
to it. The map zooms in on Japan, and the screen is populated with
Nintendo's Pokemon. As you scroll through the map, you can tap on a
Pokemon and trap it in a Poke Ball. You get to see a Pokedex entry, and
then a Pokeball marks the spot on the map where you caught it. Gotta
catch them all!
The whole map is filled with Pokemon so it can
take some time and searching to actually find them after the first rush,
but it's still a great joke and a world filled with Poke Balls is its
While the service
was indeed launched on April 1, Gmail was not actually an April Fools'
Day joke. Ten years down the line though, they're more than happy to
join in on the fun.
In a long and serious sounding blog post,
the selfie is credited to Gmail's custom themes.
"You all love
setting selfies as your custom theme in Gmail, but you've told us
there's one major problem: there isn't a way to share your selfie with
others. As the pioneering platform for selfies, Gmail is committed to
being at the forefront of innovation in the selfie space. And we think
it's a tragedy that your handsome hair, luscious lashes and beautiful
brows have been trapped in your own inbox. Until now, that is. Today,
we're proud to free your selfies by launching Gmail Shelfie, the
Because obviously, we want more ways to share a selfie.
Emoji Translate in Chrome
apps for Chrome now come with a great new feature that was announced on
- Google Translate support for emoji!
Let's face it - who
wants to actually read text? As the post puts it, "you can now read all
your favorite web content using efficient and emotive illustrations,
instead of cumbersome text."
April Fools' Day prank could be a little too much to take so thankfully
you have to activate it yourself. To view webpages in emoji, you need
to update to the latest version of Chrome for mobile, and then go to the
menu settings and select "Translate to Emoji" and reload to change the
page from English, to Emoji!
Auto Awesome Photobombs
a selfie can't cut it, a celebrity photobomb can still save your
picture. Getting a celebrity, even one past their prime, can be a tricky
job though. That's where Google+ comes in, with their Auto Awesome
Photobombs, as explained in this post.
right - your photos could feature David Hasslehoff making funny poses.
The rest of the Baywatch crew was nowhere in the picture, which is kind
of sad, because if any group deserved a "where are they now" ending,
then it's these people.
Just upload a picture to Google+
and leave some space on one side, and your picture might just become
more #Hoffsome, to quote the post.
Google Magic Hand
Google Japan team got a head start on the rest of the company and
they've released the Magic Hand, which does all the hard work of
actually using your smartphone. Clearly, the Chrome team's finger
exercise video from 2011 didn't do the trick.
Magic Hand can be attached to any keyboard, with right and left handed
versions, a cat's paw and even a back scratcher, the video claims. The
full post by the Google Japan team is here and you can see the Magic Hand in
Nest Total Temperature Control
air nozzle over your head in a plane doesn't really do anything useful
does it? Nest, which was acquired by Google
has a solution along with Virgin Airlines and that's Total Temperature
Control, which lets you take your chair from a Cancun Afternoon to a
Chicago Polar Vortex. Here's the full video:
acquired Waze last year
and Waze also gets in on the April Fools' Day act, announcing
idea, according to the video, is to measure indicators that are common
amongst single app mobile, such as your Facebook relationship status,
your frequent use of taxis during peak dating hours, and unusually small
food delivery orders. Using the app, you can find other likely singles
on the road nearby, getting dates on the go.
We'll keep updating this page with any further April Fools' Day pranks Google pulls, so keep checking back to see the latest. Feel we missed something? Let us know in the comments section below.