April Fools Day: Google Pranks Search, Maps And MoreBy: Zach Walton - April 1, 2012
Let’s just get this out of the way right now – Google is insane (in a good way). They have pulled off so many pranks today that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. There are so many and they are all pretty fantastic. Let’s jump on the fantastic journey that is Google’s massive April Fools Day campaign.
First, and still the best, was Google Maps 8-bit reimagining. Obviously inspired by classic NES games like Dragon Quest, it transformed the service into a real-world RPG of epic proportions. It even went ahead and transformed some famous landmarks around the world into 8-bit video game structures. I want a game based around this right now and Google Maps already has a sale right here if they ever did make a game.
Google Chrome also announced a new functionality that is sure to increase productivity tenfold – Multitask mode. This mode allows you to plug in and use as many mice as you have ports for. Use both your hands and maybe even your feet in your quest for multitasking.
It’s easy to forget that YouTube is part of the Google family sometimes. It’s easy to remember on April 1, however, because YouTube brings one of the best pranks of the bunch. The YouTube Collection allows you to order all of YouTube on DVD, Betamax, Laser Disc and more. It’s good for those times when you don’t have an Internet connection and want to watch dubstep remixes.
We’ve reported previously on Google’s experiments into self-driving cars. They’re taking it to the next level by bringing their autonomous cars to NASCAR. As you can see below, this is a real car. The drivers seem to welcome the technology, but the fans aren’t too ecstatic.
For mobile Gmail users, the company has introduced Gmail Tap. The new service simplifies typing on a mobile phone by reducing the 26 key count down to two. It does this by bringing back Morse code.
In an attempt to document the Australian outback, Google is equipping over a thousand Kangaroos with a 360-degree head camera for what they called Google Street Roo. The cameras will be powered by solar panels stitched onto the jackets that these special Kangaroos will be wearing. It’s a genius way of getting a natural look at what the Outback contains.
Google isn’t just content with innovating in the fields of maps and search. They are also bringing new technologies to AdWords. The company introduced Click-to-Teleport today and it allows customers to directly connect to businesses by teleporting themselves to said business through Search. The technology is in beta form so Google warns that users may become horribly disfigured like in “The Fly.”
I still find Google Search to be a bit vague sometimes in its results. It doesn’t get much better even when I use Advanced Search. Thankfully, Google has introduced Really Advanced Search. This allows users to search for terms with new metrics like “rhyming slang,” “font,” and “textured background.”
Google has also introduced a way for users to change the weather. Google says, “Don’t like the weather? Now you can change it in your region by selecting from the dropdown to change precipitation and setting your own temperature.” It’s a nifty option, and I would love to change it this week due to storms being in the podcast. I just don’t want to be held responsible for weather changing shenanigans like I’m Cobra Commander or something.
It’s already sold out, but it’s worth mentioning that Google Offers was selling $1 unlimited good parking karma. For only $1, drivers would get:
Prime spots when you need them
Repels parking tickets
Includes 1 space buffer on each side
Shopping cart protection plan
No parallel parking for first 6 months
The fun thing about Google’s pranks is that they are all actually real in some form or another. A lot of their prank Web services can actually be used and they’re fun to boot. Google has proven themselves to be one of the masters of a good April Fools prank because they make them fun.
What was your favorite Google prank? Were there others that you especially liked? Let us know in the comments.[h/t: Search Engine Watch]