There is one thing about Google that no other company can beat in any way - their yearly April Fools day pranks.
Every year on April fools day, Google comes out with announcements of something that really seem innovative and life changing. And these are not just some new web page with a joke. They really come from TOP Google executives including Larry and Sergei. You only get to know the prank when you dive into it a bit deeper.
Google's April fools pranks for 2013.
1. Google Maps treasure hunt.
The first one is from Google maps. Google Maps now has a treasure map which Google says is based on the treasure maps recovered from the infamous pirate William "Captain" Kidd. Since Google couldn't crack the code themselves, they are putting it as public so any one can find and recover the treasure :-)
To see Google maps in treasure mode, either click on the "Treasure" icon on the top right or go directly t0 maps.google.com/maps?t=8. Here's a video with details.
2. YouTube is shutting down.
Second and the best so far is the "shutting down announcement" from YouTube. Google says YouTube which started out as a "Best Video" competition is going into judgement mode. The jury would consist of film critics, acclaimed YouTubers and celebrities. With the huge volume of available videos, judging will take 10 years and after that, YouTube will again re-launch in 2013. You are hence advised to watch as many videos as you can before the holocaust. Take a look -
3. Google Nose.
Until now, one could search and see the results as words. Google Nose allows you to search for scents and use android phones to smell and tell what they are. Google says Nose can help you identify the smell of "a new car", "the inside of an Egyptian tomb", or "a ghost". Don't believe? Here' Google Nose in action.
4. Gmail Blue
Google has reinvented Gmail with Gmail Blue. Everything from now on is going to be just blue. With this prank, it leaves questions whether Google was just punning or poking one of it's rivals - Facebook!!
5. Google Prank in Analytics.
For those who don't know, analytics is a Google tool which website owners use to keep track of all visitor details to the site. And one of the newer features is the ability to show "Real Time" data which means it shows the pages and details of people who are currently looking at the site including visitor location. And guess who was looking at Skipser -
My first thought after the jaw-drop was - There is no way Google can detect the ISS control station. But then, it was April 1 :-)
Google's April fools pranks in 2012 -
1. Chrome multitasking.
Now you can browse the web better and faster with multitasking by using two mouse cursors at the same time. Google calls this type of browsing as "ambinavigation". With the kind of revolution this new way of browsing can bring about, "ambinavigation" is all set to get included in the next edition of the Oxford dictionary for sure. So try out Google Multitasking and see this video for details.
2. Click to teleport.
"Click to teleport" is one big step ahead in online advertising by Google. Its a Chrome extension which allows customers to click on an advertisement and get teleported to the business location where the product is being sold. So if you feel the urge for some ice-cream after seeing that mouthwatering ad, you need to just click and find yourself standing in front of the sales counter in the ice-cream store.
3. Gmail Tap.
Almost anybody has a smartphone nowadays. And almost anybody who has a smart phone uses the QWERTY keyboard to type in. Thats all the 26 keys of your normal keyboard cramped up into one small space. Google's engineers after years of research has come up with a new app that replaces 26 keys by just 2. Here's a video on how Google Tap app works.
4. Google Weather Changer.
Tired of extreme heat, cold, dryness or humidity? Google has silently released a new feature where you can really change your weather from Google search. For instance, here's Sydney, Australia's weather report page which gives you options to change the temperature, humidity, wind-speed etc. And guess what... for future dates too.
5. Google really advanced search.
Google has taken its "advanced search" to new levels to include all kinds of complex search criteria like "pages that link to pages having the searched terms" and "pages with this exact word or phrase, whose sum of unicode code points is a mersenne prime".
6. Google street roo.
In order to supplement its extensive street coverage in Australia, Google will now be using kangaroos. More than a thousand Kangaroos with three dimensional cameras strapped on their heads will help reveal all places in Australia which cars can't.
7. Google GoRo.
GoRo is a project aimed to help those who still stick to the old rotary phone and can't access the mobile Internet. I am sure it will definitely be useful for your grandparents.
8. Google 8-bit maps.
Google maps in 8-bit is a new version of Google maps especially designed for the older games like Nintedo.
9. Youtube Collection.
Have you ever dreamed of having the entire Youtube video collection in your shelves? Well, Google has now made it possible to order the entire DVD collection to your doorsteps from the Youtube Collection service. Although very tempting, my advice would be to check your bank balance before ordering!!!
10. Google driver-less cars at more than 200 miles per hour.
Sergey Brin himself did the announcement this time. Google's driver-less cars in partnership with NASCAR will be engaging in a real-world racing battle soon. You can read Brin's announcement about race here.