Google is known for being a bit of a prankster when it comes to April Fools’ Day, and the Silicon Valley giant this year once again lived up to its reputation.
From an all-blue Gmail to the new “Google Nose” search service that can create artificial scents for users, the company went all out -- but it wasn’t the only tech company to release April Fools’ Day jokes.
Twitter said it was launching a new all-consonant service, and Sony put out a line of tech products for pets.
Here are some of this year’s best April Fools’ Day pranks by tech companies.
YouTube contest ends
Google’s YouTube pulled off the best gag by releasing a video Sunday saying that it was no longer accepting entrants in its contest to find the best video in the world.
The company said the service would now shut off for 10 years as its team of technicians and judges began to pick through the videos on the site. Then in 2023, the site would return featuring the winning video “and nothing else,” a fake Google director said in a video.
But don’t worry, your video has as good of a chance at winning the fake contest as any other video.
“We always said that this shouldn’t be a popularity contest,” YouTube’s real CEO, Salar Kamangar, said in the video for the fake contest. “‘Gangnam style’ has the same chance of winning as a video with 40 views of a man feeding bread to a duck.”
The Silicon Valley company also released a beta product to let users search using their sense of smell. Google Nose would supposedly let users sniff smells over their computer.
Obviously, the service isn’t real, but Google Nose tries to make users look silly by encouraging them to bring their noses as close to their computer screen as they can -- in order to smell scents they search for.
Another gag from Google includes Gmail Blue, a supposed new product from the company that makes everything blue. Everything about the service is blue, and there’s even a video introducing the new technology.
Google Maps Treasure Mode
Although technically a prank, Google Maps Treasure Mode actually turns users’ maps into brown, hand-drawn sketches. Users can check it out by going to Google Maps and clicking the “Treasure” button on the top right corner.
Google+ adds emoticons to photos
The tech giant’s social network also got in on the jokes with a new feature called “photos +Emotion” that add emoticons to users photos.
Google Fiber poles
Google also released a video saying it is expanding its super-speedy Google Fiber Internet service to more places by letting users access it through utility poles.
Google Apps: Levity Algorithm
“The Walking Dead’s” Steven Yeun stars in a video by the Google Apps team announcing a supposed new feature, called the Levity Algorithm, that turns boring work activity into much more fun events.
Sony pet products
In perhaps the cutest joke of the day, the Japanese electronics company announced its “Animalia Line,” a branch of products designed for pets. They included a K-9 TV, kitty headphones and in-cage speakers for hamsters.
Twitter announces Twttr
As if tweets weren’t already short enough, Twitter, the 140-character-based social network, announced “Twtter,” a new service that doesn’t include vowels. Twitter said Twttr would encourage a more efficient and dense form of communication. It said users who insist on using vowels could keep using Twitter -- as long as they pay $5 a month, of course.
Nokia announces touchscreen microwave oven
The Finnish phone company joined in the April Fools’ Day fun, saying it was releasing the Nokia 5AM-TH1N6 Constellation, a very yellow, $500 touchscreen microwave oven. The innovative kitchen appliance might be a bit funnier, though, if Nokia wasn’t struggling so much to release its real products.
iFixit finally finds the least repairable tech product
Known for its tech product “teardowns,” California company iFixit released a new teardown Monday, this time for an orange. Needless to say, the fruit got the lowest score ever for repairability, with iFixit saying the orange is “impossible to reassemble after opening.”
Hex launches carrying case for Apple Newton
Hex, a company that makes gadget cases, released a video promoting a new case for the Apple Newton. That device, one of the most criticized of all time, was released in the early 1990s.
Got more tech April Fools jokes? Chime in on the comments and let me know.