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11 April Fools' Day Jokes From Google

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Don't believe everything you read on April 1—especially if it's coming from Google. The company is notorious for its April Fools' Day pranks and got a head start this year with Google Maps Pac-Man. Here are a few pranks from past years. 

1. Google Maps Pokémon Challenge

Google teamed up with The Pokémon Company and Nintendo to develop an addition to Google Maps that allowed iOS and Android users the option to catch dozens of Pokémon creatures. Users simply had to launch Google Maps, tap "Search," and then "Press Start" next to a blue Pokéball icon to begin the hunt. Pokémon were hidden throughout the entire Google Maps interface.

According to a Google Maps blog posted on March 31, "We value employees who are risk-taking and detail-oriented, have deep technical knowledge, and can navigate through tall grass to capture wild creatures. It turns out that these skills have a lot in common with another profession—that of the Pokémon Master."

2. YouTube Gets "Rickrolled"

On April 1, 2008, all of the featured videos on YouTube UK and Australia took users to the music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" instead of the actual featured video. The YouTube "Rickroll" was the first April Fool's Joke YouTube participated in as a Google-owned company.

3. WazeDates

In 2014, Google's GPS-based traffic navigation app Waze announced a partnership with Israeli-based dating software developer SingleSpotter to create WazeDates, which, instead of giving traffic updates, purported to help its users find compatible matches for potential dates. According to Waze's website, the service "alerts drivers to other likely singles on the road nearby. Wazers can adjust preferences to search for drivers based on age, sex, orientation and more. Once a desirable driver is found, users simply invite them to a destination by sharing their ride, or use Map Chat to say hello." Sadly, the whole scheme was nothing but an elaborate April Fool's Day joke—SingleSpotter wasn't even a real company.

4. Google Gulp

On April 1, 2005, Google announced Google Gulp, a new line of "smart" beverages that came in four flavors: Glutamate Grape, Sugar-Free Radical, Beta Carroty, and Sero-Tonic Water. Google Gulp was "designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty." It was a limited release beverage and only "available" if you returned a Gulp bottle cap to your local grocery store.

6. AutoAwesome for Resumes

In 2014, Google's April Fools prank was AutoAwesome for Resumes, a web tool that allowed users to spruce up their boring resumes with lively templates, emojis, and animation. Users would simply have to upload their resumes or CV to Google Drive and select hundreds of preset AutoAwesome features and options. The program also matched users with potential new jobs at Google based on their resumes.

4. Google Maps 8-Bit for NES

On April 1, 2012, Google announced a partnership with video game developers Square Enix to create Google Maps 8-bit for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Google Maps 8-bit for NES resembled a side-scrolling role playing game such as The Legend of Zelda and the original Final Fantasy. Instead of receiving a Nintendo cartridge from the Play Store, Google encouraged users to simply go to Google Maps online and click the "Quest" button to get the 8-bit version of the Internet service. The company also joked that a mobile version for the Nintendo GameBoy was in the works, too.

7. The YouTube Collection

In 2012, YouTube announced that it would start shipping the YouTube Collection—every YouTube video ever made on DVD with special comment index cards and green thumbs up stickers to like and red thumbs down stickers to dislike the videos. On the official YouTube Collection site, buyers filled out a Google Form to order the DVD set. After submitting the request, the page read, "Your order has been placed. Due to heavy demand, your anticipated delivery date is: JUNE 16, 2045," followed by, in smaller text, "Also, April Fools."

8. Google Translate for Emoji

Google built Emoji translations into Google Translate for Chrome on Android and iOS. On April 1, 2014, a “Translate to Emoji” option was included on all Chrome browsers, allowing users to convert text into fun symbols and facial expressions. Google's Emojify the Web campaign allowed people to consume Internet content "using efficient and emotive illustrations, instead of cumbersome text."

9. Google Fiber Bar

As Google started to roll out Google Fiber—the company's broadband internet and cable television service—to a number of cities across the United States, it also launched Google Fiber Bar as a way to build awareness of faster Internet speeds and good health. Google Fiber Bar was an energy and protein bar that purported to deliver "what the body needs to sustain activity, energy, and productivity."

“As we started thinking about fiber,” said Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Access, “we realized that there hadn’t been real innovation in the fiber world in a very long time.” The bars weren't real, of course.

10. Google Nose

On April 1, 2013, Google announced Google Nose BETA for Chrome and Android, a web service that supposedly allowed users to search for specific smells and scents across Google's search index. Google claimed to use an advanced algorithm to recreate the smell and deliver the scent through the user's computer or mobile device.

11. Gmail Blue

On April 1, 2013, Google announced Gmail Blue, which made everything about Gmail...blue.

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Samsung’s Star Wars Vacuums Offer Everything You Want in a Droid
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Samsung

Hate housecleaning but love Star Wars? Samsung’s got the solution. In anticipation of December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the newest film in the Star Wars saga, Samsung has transformed a limited number of its VR7000 POWERbot robot vacuum cleaners into two familiar faces from George Lucas’s legendary space opera: a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader (which comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a remote control).

In order to create a unique device that would truly thrill Star Wars aficionados, Samsung consulted with fans of the film throughout each stage of the process. The result is a pair of custom-crafted robo-vacuums that fill your home with the sounds of a galaxy far, far away as they clean (when you turn Darth Vader on, for example, you'll hear his iconic breathing).

“We are very pleased to be part of the excitement leading up to the release of The Last Jedi and to be launching our limited edition POWERbot in partnership with Star Wars fans,” B.S. Suh, Samsung’s executive vice president, said in a press statement. “From its industry-leading suction power, slim design, and smart features, to the wonderful character-themed voice feedback and sound effects, we are confident the Star Wars limited edition of the VR7000 will be a big hit.”

Be warned that this kind of power suction doesn’t come cheap: while the Stormtrooper POWERbot will set you back $696, the Darth Vader vacuum retails for $798. Who knew the Dark Side was so sparkling clean?


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22 Emojis That Look Completely Different on Different Phones
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iStock

Emojis are a great addition to our communication toolbox. Without saying a word, we can talk about people, places, things, and emotions. But different platforms sometimes display the same emoji specification in different ways. An eye roll might come across as petulant or cheerful. A snake might look threatening or adorable. To help you navigate some potentially confusing cross-platform interactions, here are 22 emojis (referred to by their programming code names) that come out with important differences on Apple (iOS 11.1), Google (Android 8), and Samsung (Galaxy S8).

1. FACE WITH ROLLING EYES

3 different face with rolling eyes emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Way to miss the point.
Google: Ugh. Oh boy. Nice one. NOT!
Samsung: Heh, heh. Neato.

2. SNAKE

3 different snake emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Beware!
Google: Beware?
Samsung: Aww. Snakey-poo.

3. NERD FACE

Three different nerd face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Nerdy cuteness.
Google: Nerdy excitement!
Samsung: Nerdy astonishment!

4. COOKIE

Three different cookie emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Mmm. Delicious chocolate chips…
Google: Raisins? Nuts?
Samsung: Uh, thanks for the cookie?

5. LOUDLY CRYING FACE

Three different loudly crying face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: River of tears.
Google: Waterfall of tears.
Samsung: Cast adrift on a lake of tears.

6. GHOST

Three different ghost emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Ready for a goofy good scare?!
Google: Me scary! (*wink*)
Samsung: (*clears throat*) Um, boo.

7. COUCH AND LAMP

Three different couch and lamp emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Midcentury modern pad.
Google: Office waiting room.
Samsung: Haunted Victorian hotel.

8. CHIPMUNK

Three different chipmunk emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Cute? No. Please allow me my dignity.
Google: Tee hee. Cute!
Samsung: Where did I put those nuts…

9. OCTOPUS

Three different octopus emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Oh. You surprised me there.
Google: Boo! I surprise YOU!
Samsung: Hellooooooo, over there.

10. CAT FACE

Three different cat emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Always identified more with the mice, actually.
Google: On the internet, everyone loves a cat!
Samsung: Your texts are tedious.

11. PIZZA

Three different pizza emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Pepperoni.
Google: Pepperoni and olives.
Samsung: Pepperoni, olives, and extra cheese.

12. MAN DANCING

Three different man dancing emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung
Apple/Google/Samsung

Apple: Disco in the '70s.
Google: Miami Vice in the '80s.
Samsung: Dabbing, whipping, and nae-naeing at the middle school.

13. OLD MAN

Three different old man emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: More like middle-aged.
Google: Old and yet somehow babyish.
Samsung: Very prematurely grey kid.

14. RUNNING SHOE

Three different running shoe emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Ready for the 5K.
Google: Ready for some stickball.
Samsung: Ready for the playground.

15. DETECTIVE

Three different detective emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Experienced and ready to assist.
Google: No experience yet, but can’t wait to start!
Samsung: Seen too much.

16. PERSON SURFING

Three different person surfing emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Awesome!
Google: Pretty fun.
Samsung: Whoa. Help.

17. FRAMED PICTURE

Three different framed picture emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: For the nursery.
Google: For the den.
Samsung: For the great hall.

18. DROOLING FACE

Three different drooling face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Sooo delicious…
Google: Sooo incomprehensible…
Samsung: Sooo disturbing…

19. CLAPPING HANDS

Three different clapping emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Pay attention!
Google: Polite applause.
Samsung: Hushed appreciation.

20. T-SHIRT

Three different t-shirt emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Casual Friday at the office.
Google: Saturday at the gym.
Samsung: Sunday on the couch.

21. PERSON FROWNING

Three different person frowning emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Hurt and disappointed.
Google: Crushed and disappointed.
Samsung: Not gonna stand for it anymore.

22. FEARFUL FACE

Three different fearful face emojis from Apple, Google, and Samsung

Apple: Yikes! Aaack! No way!
Google: Oh dear! Why! I feel sick!
Samsung: Bzzzt! Yoinks!

Check the platform differences for all the emojis at Emojipedia.

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