April Fools Day is almost upon us, but some companies aren’t waiting to share their pranks. Google always does a great job, from the Pokemon Google Maps overlay to a smart mailbox, but there are a few from other companies worth mentioning. Here’s a rundown of all the hillarious (or strange) tech-related April Fools Day jokes from around the web.
One of Google’s product launches from last year was the Google Home, a $129 smart speaker with Google Assistant. Now the company is teasing the “Google Gnome,” an outside version of the Home. You can ask it weather questions, let it control your lawnmower and other tools, and even dress it up in accessories.
The Google Gnome has a page on the Google Store, but unfortunately you can’t buy it. I really want a rain coat for my Google Home, though.
Mrs. Pac-Man in Google Maps
For April Fools’ 2015, Google added Pac-Man into Google Maps and Ingress. This year, Mrs Pac-Man is invading Google Maps. For regions of the world already on April 1st, a new Mrs. Pac-Man button is visible on the mobile app. You then have to control Mrs. Pac-Man on real-life streets, and of course, outrun the Ghosts.
Google’s Bubble Wrap Keyboard
(English subtitles are available)
Google Japan’s prank is pretty funny – it’s a bubble wrap keyboard. The idea is to pop bubbles on a bubble wrap sheet to form words, then feed the sheet through a reader to send the message. Some of the bubble wrap sheets are even scented.
Google has plenty of Easter Eggs in Google Assistant, and as you might expect, there’s one for April Fools’ Day too. When asked, Assistant will offer advice on how not to get pranked, such as “If something seems too good to be true today, it probably is.”
Google’s Netherlands division has its own April Fools’ Day gag, named ‘Google Wind.’ The idea is to use machine learning to control the weather, using Holland’s famous windmills. I’ll admit, this one is pretty great.
Will Arnet has been in plenty of Netflix original content, from BoJack Horseman to A Series of Unfortunate Events. For April Fools’ Day, Netflix is proud to share ‘Netflix Live’, which is nearly an hour of Arnett commentating ordinary events like toasting bread and completing a crossword puzzle. It’s actually funnier than it sounds. You can watch the full thing here (a Netflix subscription is required).
T-Mobile’s prank is a onesie, with “full-body coverage” and a built-in 4G LTE hotspot. You can actually buy it for $40, but the real one doesn’t have any tech inside it.
With the claim that the human attention span has “dropped to eight seconds,” Hulu has released ‘Hu.’ It’s just a library of short clips from existing Hulu content, and you actually need an account to see them. This is probably the lamest April Fools’ Day gag in the list – better luck next year, guys.
OnePlus Dash drink
OnePlus is really proud of its Dash Charge feature, even to the point of enlisting celebrates to talk about it. For April Fools’, the company made real Dash Charge energy drinks. You can find our review of the drink here.
For April Fools’ Day, Lyft has announced the ‘Lyft Mono.’ It’s a wearable glove, vaguely resembling a Nintendo Power Glove. This gag is actually real, and once you put it on and get the app, sticking out your thumb will hail a Lyft cab. You can sign up to for a chance to get one here.
We all need some positive reinforcement every now and then, right? Honor thinks so, and created the Honor BFF. This imaginary phone uses machine learning to periodically give you compliments and motivation. Hopefully it ships with Android 7.1 Nougat.
Google Haptic Helpers
This is probably my favorite gag so far. In order to create a more realistic virtual reality experience, you can schedule a “haptic helper” to come to your house and help create a more realistic environment. Just watch the video, it’s hilarious.
Alexa is cool and all, but your furry friends need one too. As the name implies, Petlexa is Alexa for your pets.
Contour by SlickWraps
Putting a skin on your phone or tablet is too much work. For April Fool’s Day, Slickwraps is teasing the ‘Countour’ – a machine that sprays on device skins. Frankly, I’m not sure if this is actually real or not, but there is a page for it on SlickWrap’s store.
Nvidia GTX G-Assist
How many times have you been playing an online game, only to be interrupted by someone in real life? NVIDIA has made the ‘G Assist,’ a flash drive that can take over for you if you’re busy. It can also help you beat boss battles, and provides periodic reminders to consume energy drinks. More information and a video can be found here.
Google’s data center on Mars
If you have important data, you need a backup. That’s why Google announced its first interplanetary data center, named “Ziggy Stardust,” on the Google Cloud Platform Blog today. Located in the Gale Crater on Mars, it will store a cache of data from Earth to prevent irrecoverable loss when a planetary disaster strikes. Google hopes to finish the data center by 2018.
CyanogenMod’s mascot, Cid, was one of the most recognizable icons in the Android community. As the spiritual successor to CyanogenMod, LineageOS has created its own mascot – ‘Ink’. The project also announced ‘Br0zip,’ an artificial intelligence that can port LineageOS to any device in no time at all.
Even though most Chromebooks can now run Android apps, you still can’t use your Chromebook like an Android phone/tablet for all use cases. Until now, that is. Google has announced a Chromebook Groupie Stick (seen above), a Chromebook Cardboard headset, and a Chromebook armband. See the company’s blog post for more info.
Exynos Yoga Processor
Remember when curved phones were a thing? Maybe we’ll see more in the coming months, because Samsung has just unveiled the Exynos Yoga Processor – the first flexible mobile SoC. Anyone up for a Galaxy Flex?
Carved screen protector
Carved is a small Indiana-based phone case company, but now they are working on a wooden screen protector. Why hasn’t this been done before? I’ll take ten.
I’m Feeling Woof/I’m Feeling Meow
By force-touching the Google app icon in iOS, you can select “I’m Feeling Woof” or “I’m Feeling Meow.” These give your pets access to the stuff they care about – from dog food to balls of yarn. More info can be found on Google’s blog post.
Waze maps for Mars
According to the company’s blog, Waze is has begun to map the surface of Mars. Certain members of the Waze community will also be sent to the Red Planet to more accurately map the surface.
At the time of writing, it’s still March 31 in some time zones, so we’ll likely see more gags show up as time goes on. Let us know in the comments below if you find any more that we didn’t cover.
This article and images was originally posted on Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets http://ift.tt/2nukjGd
By Corbin Davenport