April Fools’ Day 2015: From #ChromeSelfie To Bing Cute Cloud & More
Google goes all out today, but they're not the only ones - Bing and Moz get in on the fun as well.
Thank goodness April Fools’ Day doesn’t happen until three months into the year – any earlier and Google wouldn’t have time to put together such a comprehensive list of gags.
After turning Google Maps into a one big Pac-Man video game yesterday, the company has floated even more April Fools’ shenanigans online, launching everything from an old-school mail box designed by the creators of Gmail Inbox to a “Dial-Up Mode” for Google Fiber.
Microsoft is also taking part in all the fun, making claims it’s going to bring back MS-DOS – this time on mobile. The company is also delivering baskets of kittens with the launch of Bing’s new Cute Cloud.
And then there’s Moz which has announced it’s moving its entire support center to a Snapchat platform.
Here’s a quick round up of the April Fools’ Day gags we have found so far:
Google’s new April Fools’ Chromebook is going to save a ton of time, letting you take and send a selfie when sharing a website via an instant message.
“We think it’s a tragedy that your reactions, as well as luscious lashes and beautiful brows, are going uncaptured,” writes Chrome Product Manager – and Pro Prankster – AbdelKarim Mardini on the Google Chrome blog, “With #ChromeSelfie you can share sites with your family and friends on social media and via instant messages, along with a handsome selfie instead of cumbersome text.”
Welcome to Bing’s Cute Cloud
While Google definitely goes all out for April Fools’, it’s not the only one.
Bing is bringing the cuteness by including a basket of kittens on its homepage along with a link to a video announcing its Cute Cloud.
“Puppies, kittens, teacup pigs, penguins, and more adorably cute things await you when you use Bing to search the Cute Cloud,” says Bing.
Microsoft launches MS-DOS Mobile
Microsoft says its going back to basic, launching MS-DOS one more time – on mobile.
“It’s a metaphor for modern life,” says one user who can’t wait to use the new mobile operating system featured in the following video.
Google Japan’s Keyless Keyboard
Riffing on everyone’s favorite New Year’s Day novelty, Google’s keyless keyboard is a mini-computer that attaches to a party horn.
“The theme was user-friendless for users who aren’t the most tech savvy people,” says Google.
Gmail’s Smartbox by Inbox
Gmail is going old school for April Fools’ Day, returning to the “good old fashion kind” of mail you can hold in your hands. As the video says, “It’s mail for today with all the things we love about the electronic kind.”
The Google mailbox is temperature controlled, organizes your snail mail the same way Gmail’s inbox does, and includes apps. It’s, “…a new way to experience the mail you love.”
Australia At Risk Of Shifting Into Northern Hemisphere
Google even recruited Australian-born Dr. Derek Muller for one of its April Fools’ jokes.
Muller, the guy behind the Veratasium YouTube channel with more than 2.5 million subscribers, reports the equator is slipping, and, by 2055, the tip of Australia’s Cape York will end up in the Northern hemisphere.
“That raises all sorts of questions,” claims Muller, “Perhaps they [Australia] would do better in the Winter Olympics.”
Google Chrome Self Browsing
Clicking on web links is so tiresome – but not anymore. Google Chromebook now has self-browsing.
One click and the new Chromebooks self-browsing feature will do it all for you: plan your vacation, write emails to your mom, manage finances…pen the next best-seller. It’s the last link you will ever have to click claims Google.
“In total, our self-browsing Chromebooks have logged more than 5 million pageviews without once being Rickrolled!”
Google’s New Quantum Quality Software Testing
Google geeked out for its “Quantam Quality” April Fools’ gag, claiming its Software Engineers in Tests (SETs) have collaborated with the Quantum AI Lab to, “…reduce the expense and latency of software tests at Google.”
Referencing Schrodinger’s cat theory (which I’m only vaguely familiar with because of a Big Bang Theory episode) and the Von Neuman architecture of computing, Google says its researchers are now using superposition to improve software testing programs.
There’s a whole lot of (what I assume are) inside-engineering-jokes going on in this blog post, but the funny tech talk goes well beyond my software development knowledge.
Google Fiber Offers Dial-Up Mode
Google Fiber’s YouTube channel released a video announcing that it is offering “Dial-Up Mode” to help users get their time back.
“We are able to slow the photons down 376 times, giving you more time to load the dishwasher or hug your kids,” says the video voiceover.
Google’s Actual Cloud Platform
Google is also unleashing a new kind of cloud platform – one that actually looks like a cloud.
It includes a “Stormboost” feature to work within storm systems.
The Prosciutto Pilot Program
Googler Florian Kiersch whetted the appetites of a few developers with an April Fools’ Day Prosciutto Pilot Program teaser.
Yesterday Kiersch posted the following image on Google+ along with the message, “Currently piecing the rest together. The final post goes live in a few hours.”
The post was followed today with the following note, “Sorry guys. I simply couldn’t resist. #Prosciutto. Happy April Fools! Enjoy the day! :)”
Bing Palm Search: Makes Typing a Thing of the Past
Not to be outdone by Chrome’s self browsing, Pocket-Lint.com announced the new Bing Palm Search technology, removing the need for typing.
“The new tech can predict what you want to find online through electrical pulses transmitted through your hand print,” writes Rik Henderson, “You can effectively search by just thinking of the subject you wish to find.”
Moz Snapchat Support
According to Moz, it “revolutionized” SEO, so why not do the same with support standards? For its very own April Fools’ announcement, Moz is moving its support team to a Snapchat platform.
It’s Moz support 4.0: “Just send us a Snapchat to Moz_help, and we’ll get back to you in a snap!”
Twitter’s Twelfie Stick
Twitter joined the April foolishness with a fake selfie stick that it dubbed a “Twelfie Stick.” Not exactly an inspired joke, especially considering all the real selfie enabling products out there. Here’s Twitter’s description (with sketch below):
With a thin and adjustable pole that extends from 10 inches to three feet, the Twelfie Stick™ was created with a combination of fiber/cyanate-ester resin, NASA calls unobtainium, with a solar charging bicarbonate for renewable battery life. A remote shutter button on the bottom of the pole lets you take and Tweet your selfie (photos and videos) with just a simple click. And you’ll know for sure when your selfie is Tweeted, as the #Twelfie button makes a chirping sound as Tweets go live.
Amazon Like It’s 1999
If you visit the Amazon.com home page today, you’ll be taken back in time to 1999, or at least it will look like that. The massive commerce site is showing an old-school overlay:
Really need to buy something? Never fear. A click anywhere on the page returns you to the present day site.
LinkedIn’s Magic Mirror
LinkedIn promised to help unlock your secret career dreams with a Magic Mirror that overlays your profile photo with suggested new employment options. Upload a new profile photo and wave a magic wand and:
What happens next? Our algorithms will get to work on a complicated equation that takes into account your location, the majors you changed in college, your career history, the games of pretend you played as a child (often still detectable along your jawline), words that appear frequently in your recommendations (like “visionary,” “wizard,” or “hootenanny”), plus anything you’ve ever ALL CAPPED on your profile.
Alas, the feature doesn’t actually work — we tried — and that means we’ll actually have to go back to toiling away at our real job.
You can find even more search-related April Fools’ Day announcements on our partner site at Search Engine Land: April Fools’ 2015 For the Search World: From Super Smart Google Panda To Backwards Google.