It turns out that Spongebob Squarepants isn’t the only one who loves April Fool’s day! Google plants a few interesting pranks on this day every year and if you’re not careful, you can get caught believing them for a moment or two. Here are the reported pranks for this year…
ADsense for Conversations: Google can now place advertisements in your conversations (although that one wouldn’t be all too surprising..). When you sign up, they will send you head gear to wear on which the ads will display, based on your current conversation.
Gmail Custom Time: This “feature” was implemented in Gmail to allow users to select a date on which to send your emails. The great advantage here is that you can send emails in the past, so you never miss a deadline again. The new feature “utilizes an e-flux capacitor to resolve issues of causality“.. they really thought of everything and that one launched a Wikipedia debate.
Virgle: This is a fake collaboration between Virgin’s Richard Branson and Google for an “open-source” Mars expedition. The first users should be able to get to mars by 2014. You can see one of the videos here.
Youtube’s Rickrolling prank: Rickrollin’ is a geek-culture phenomenon in which users send falsified links to others to redirect them to a youtube video of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give you Up”. For the prank, all the featured videos on Youtube’s page redirected everyone to that video.
Google Wake-up Kit: This one was on Google Calendar(you can see it here), offering users new ways to get a wake-up call. “First it will send an SMS message to your phone. If that fails, more coercive means will be used“
I’m Feeling Lucky Dates: Google Calendar also added the famous “I’m feeling lucky” button to allow users to add random events to their calendars, usually dates involving celebrities.
Future Search: Google Australia joined the fun by adding a button under the search bar allowing users to search the web as it will be tomorrow. See the description for gDay here. The technology behind this revolutionary search method is aptly called MATE (Machine Automated Temporal Extrapolation).
Google Paper Airplane: This one was on Google Docs and was a new option in the file menu labeled as “New Airplane”. It opened up a document with instructions to fold and make your paper airplane. You can get the PDF document here to fold your very own airplane!
We’ll see you next year for the next pranks…