It’s April 1 today – the April Fools’ Day when no one actually believes you no matter how convincing a theory you may deploy to make your prank sound real. The strange thing about this year’s April Fools’ Day is that it falls on Easter Sunday. While people love to play pranks today on their friends, family, and relatives, some major companies aren’t behind in the celebration to fool everyone, more so because they have a reputation instilled in people’s minds.
Major tech companies, including Google, begin teasing new products, services, or some out-of-the-world philosophies that you would easily fall for. The companies goof around with you in every way they can and make you believe into something that will hardly become a reality. We have compiled the best pranks that tech companies played this year on us wherein some looked really funny and witty, some quite inane, and some ridiculously stupid.
Google has enthusiastically made people believe in its incredibly creative offerings that might sound and look bizarre – but people believe them blindfolded because of the potential Google holds in the world tech innovation. This time, Google threw not one but three pranks at us – ‘Where’s Waldo?’ in Google Maps and Google Cloud Hummus API, and Gboard Swipe for hardware. As funny as the latter sounds, the former is quite adventurous, to be honest. While most of the Indians wouldn’t relate to the phrase – ‘Where’s Waldo?’ – Americans, Britons, and Canadians are well aware of it. ‘Where’s Waldo?’, or ‘Where’s Wally?’, was a series of puzzle books in the elementary school in the US and Canada, and the UK, respectively.
Waldo is now making its way to Google Maps in a new game that takes you to the world of finding Waldo – and different places on the globe. All you need to do is go to Google Maps app or website, and Waldo pops up from the left side. Tap on his duochromatic caricature and you will be welcomed with a screen that guides you on the gameplay. You will be able to keep a score on the number of times you found Waldo.
Next up is Google Cloud Hummus API, which is Google’s answer to your irksome decisions while choosing the best hummus. Google is helping you out by rolling out a new API that is based on a ‘quick lick test’. Now, you must have figured out what exactly the catch is. Last year, Google opened up a world of harnessing renewable energy with the announcement of Google Wind. Google Cloud Hummus API is as quirky as Google Wind.
Another prank that Google has up its sleeves is the Gboard swipe for hardware. Gboard app is very popular on Android, as well as iOS, platforms for its more than expected productivity amalgamating Google’s various services such as Search, YouTube, and now Tenor’s GIF search. With the Gboard swipe for hardware, Google intends to offer you typing on a physical keyboard with swipe gestures, as you would do on a smartphone’s virtual keyboard. Moreover, this comes with Machine Learning, so it will learn your typing behaviour as you swipe across the keyboard. Well, this prank is only for Japanese, it seems.
Well, OnePlus is catching up with this year’s fad – Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies. Last week, OnePlus began teasing that the company is mulling its own blockchain currency, which it later revealed in an enticing promotional video. Called PeiCoin, named after co-founder Carl Pei, the new cryptocurrency by OnePlus ‘never settle[s]’. OnePlus claims that it will allow mining cryptocurrency blocks on your OnePlus smartphone while providing no-fee transactions.
The company even released a video featuring Carl Pei himself talking about how this new technology will change the way you use blockchain. Well, however gimmicky this may sound, a few of us believe that OnePlus may give it a shot in the future, rescinding the whole idea of April Fools’ Day pranks.
Like always, India’s ride-hailing app Ola has maintained its position as the top prankster on April Fools’ Day. Ola began teasing multiple videos and images of its partner drivers bringing you the ‘hyperlocal’ news from nearby. Apparently, Ola started a new news channel called ONN (short for Ola News Network) featuring its own drivers, as well as Share riders, as journalists and field reporters. The videos posted by Ola on its social media platforms look realistic and share a mutual idea of many who want more local news – even on topics such as why is there no electricity in your house while the neighbours can be heard giggling over the jokes on a TV show. Well, we know that’s not what you look for in a news bulletin.
Last year, Ola introduced a new service called Ola Wheels that was aimed at easing your commute inside buildings. The Ola Wheels electric scooter would take you from one part of the building to the other in case you’re extremely lazy to walk.
Another name that entered this year to the list of Indian companies playing April Fools’ Day pranks is Reliance Jio. This is the first time for Reliance Jio where it is using the hype that it has generated in the country so far to goof around with everyone. Jio last week glimpsed the look of what looked like a battery management app to everyone – Jio Juice. There was a little information available about it, making everyone think of it as some imminent offering from the telecom giant. However later, Jio released a video on social media shattering all the high hopes to pieces.
Jio Juice is a new technology by Reliance Jio that will charge your smartphone wirelessly as soon as your insert the Jio SIM card. Now, this sounds immensely idiotic and is not even up to the standard where somebody would actually fall for it and make himself/herself an April Fool. Well, exceptions are everywhere.
Nintendo owns one of the hugely popular pop culture characters – the Pokemon. Pokemon got rejuvenated last year when the company released the Pokemon Go game that took the world by storm. The game was downloaded so much so that became phenomenal in the mobile gaming world. Nintendo has now said that it is releasing cutting-edge 8-bit graphics for its augmented reality game. It has added that not everyone will be able to enjoy this game as it would require some really powerful and efficient hardware.
If you still can’t see the joke here, you must be living under the rock all these years. The 8-bit graphics were introduced around the 1980s for the devices that now can only be showcased as relics. Presently, the games that are supported on mobile phones usually have at least 2D graphics with 32-bit resolution, and then there are 3D games, AR games, and more.
The self-storage company Life Storage has introduced a new AI-powered valet robot called Howie that is designed to alleviate the perils of moving your packed boxes. Howie looks like a box that moves with the engine wheels. It helps people pack their stuff and move it to the desired places. The robot is cute ‘Smart Storage Smart Bot’ that will be available to the customers by paying an additional fee of $199 per month.