Google April Fools
The Google team have become known for their Google April Fools Day jokes. Year on year the search engine improves the calibre of the pranks it deploys on the public. However the years of 2011 and 2012 saw the level of the jokes take on a far more professional dimension.
Google April Fools Day Jokes – The best of 2011:
- Google Teleportation: This ingenious Google April Fools hoax was devised by the Chinese branch of the search engine. The machine translation brief displayed to users read: “Through the search is to let Google take you through time and space, most want you to reach your arrival time, place with an immersive way to perceive everything you want to perceive.”
- Gmail Motion: The site provided a new concept for Gmail operation; motion controlled user interaction through body language. The brief read: “To use Gmail Motion, you’ll need a computer with a built-in webcam. Once you enable Gmail Motion from the settings page, Gmail will enable your webcam when you sign in and recognise any one of the detected movements via the spatial tracking algorithm.” The humorous Google April Fools ruse, had users raising their files to the roof, in order to upload their documents to the cloud.
- Google Hires “Autocompleters”: The brief for the job description read as follows: “Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel you know what your friends and family are thinking and finish their thoughts before they can? Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher? Like, so fast you can do 20 searches before your Mum does one? If you have good typing skills (32,000 wpm).” Applicants were required to be willing to relocate to: “obscure places like Nauru and Tuvalu to develop knowledge on local jobs and trends.” Further qualifications required for successful application were: “a certificate in psyche reading.” The Google April Fools gag even included a video with Michael Taylor describing how he became a Google Autocompleter. Surprisingly Google actually received applicants for the job.
- Google Maps and Google Earth: The time added 10 novelty “real sights” to the feature, the prank provided a brief and gave the first novelty sight away: “It all started with a recent visit to my friend Nessie in Boston. As I crossed the bridge into town, the car in front of me stopped short so I slammed on the brakes. The cars next to me were also stopped, so I got out to see what was causing the back up. There was a huge, red lobster sitting on the bridge.” It was down to the users to find the other 9 novelty humorous sites.
- Google Body Browser: For the duration of the day the Google Body Browser was replaced by Google Cow. It fulfilled all of the same functions which Google Body does except with a cows body instead.
Google April Fools Day Jokes – The Best of 2012:
- Google Maps In 8-bit: Although this prank appeared before April first, it proved to be one of the most popular to date. Google Maps was temporarily replaced by an 8-bit Nintendo-style world view. Shortly following the “updated” version was uploaded, users of Reddit posted historic and world landmarks on the site: including Area 51, the Parthenon and even an Mt Everest, complete with Yeti. There was a joke within the joke. Users were met with the warning screen response on loading that: “Your system might not meet the requirements for 8-bit computations.”
- Google Multitask Mode: This pseudo feature allowed users to browse the web with several cursors simultaneously. Enabling the user to achieve more, quicker; the site heralded the feature as the “ambinavigation” revolution. Check out the Google April Fools Chrome Multitask Mode.
- Gmail Tap: This innovative hoax aimed to eliminate the keyboard, whilst bringing back the almost forgotten Morse code. Reducing the 26 button standard QWERTY keyboard to 2 buttons with Gmail Tap! The Google April Fools hoax claimed it allowed users to type without looking at the screen and also provided the option of writing two emails at the same time.
- Google Weather Change: One of the years over looked Google April Fools pranks but the option supposedly allowed users to change the weather.
- Click To Teleport: This option was available on the Chrome Browser. Teleporting customers directly to the business they intended to use.
- Google Street Roo: This ruse came from the Australian team. Because the Google Street View car was unable to access much of the Australian outback. The team decided to strap over a thousand 360-degree head cameras to Kangaroos. The team stated this would enable them to reach areas where the car couldn’t. Genius! For more information check out Google Street Roo.
- Google Fiber: This was announced before the first of April, leading many to assume that Google was developing its own high speed fiber optic high speed internet. Instead the team unveiled, on April 1st they had developed a high fiber bar. The edible bar boasted one hundred times more fiber than any other product available.
- Google Canine Hiring Process: The Company announced that it had a high level vetting process for any employees wishing to bring their canine companions to work with them. The process was to such a high level the announcement read, that it nearly rivalled the levels of selection conducted on human applicants. The announcement continued: “Bloodhounds are a natural fit for Search. While Rottweiler’s are often drawn to our corporate security positions.” To see a dog going through the selection process see their Google Canine Hiring Process.
Google makes an effort each year with its Google April Fools Day practical jokes keeping us amused. In light of the past few years’ efforts, will they be able to raise the bar and continue the high levels of performance seen in previous years? We will have to wait and see…