Ah, it's that time of year again. Spring is in the air, lambs frolic in fields, Creme Eggs appear on shelves, and the Internet spends at least 24 hours in a complete tizzy over fake news rolled out by opportunistic marketing departments hoping to ride the viral wave that is April Fools' Day. This year, things are kicking off a bit early with several stunts from Google as well as a little something from Virgin Mobile. Keep checking back throughout today and tomorrow for the best pranks of April Fools' Day 2014.
Virgin Mobile Canada
Any good April Fools' Day joke has an air of plausibility to it, and Virgin is targeting the growing wearable tech trend with its April Fools' joke. Dubbed SmartKicks, these are shoes (sneakers and stilettos) that allow you to call home, vibrate when it's time for a meeting, and charge your phone on the go. There's also integrated Bluetooth speakers for when you want to party down. Pricing is set at $299 but clicking 'Add to Cart' brings up the inevitable 'Gotcha!' message. Boo.
Pokémon Master Job Listing
Google is one of the best when it comes to April Fools' Day hoaxes. The Company delivers several pranks each year, but our favorite has to be this year's search for a resident Pokémon Master.
"We value employees who are risk-taking and detail-oriented, have deep technical knowledge, and can navigate through tall grass to capture wild creatures," Google wrote in a blog post today. "With that in mind, we've worked with Pokémon and Nintendo to develop a new training tool to help people hone their Pokémon-capturing abilities using Google Maps."
Users looking to take on the challenge can do so using Google Maps. Just pull up the app on Android or iPhone, hit search and then press start.
The Viral Videos of 2014
It might have been first to break cover, but the Pokemon Master prank from Google was just one of many. This is supposed to be a joke but given the other ridiculous trends that have gone viral, we’re afraid people might actually take this one seriously. Google says its responsible for all of the trends so far (so if you’re tweaking or planking, it’s thanks to Google) and this time they’ve opened things up to others. If you see anyone in your Facebook feed attempting to ‘clock’ (holding their arms up for a photo to correspond with the time), baby shaming (mocking your baby for being a baby), or butter fails (ruining bread with cold butter), it’s because of this video:
You know what’s annoying? Words. You know what isn’t announce? Emoji. Google now has a tool that will take away all those annoying words on your webpage and replace them with an Emoji version of the text. Google compares Emoji to the hieroglyphs used by the ancient Egyptians.
"Not only does this pictorial and theatrical language allow us to communicate complex emotions, it’s also far more compact. One Emoji symbol can easily replace dozens of characters, improving efficiency and comprehension on the go."
The Pirate Bay
Brain Plugin VR
The Pirate Bay is latching onto one of the hottest gaming trends around, VR, to push its own April Fools' Day joke. The company wants you to forget the outside world with a new device it's developed with Russian, Israeli and Japanese neuroscientists that will allow you to 'embrace your entire mind.' Using lasers projected right onto your retina and 12 Hz to 79 kHz sound, this "simple plugin" will enable users to interact with their favorite movies and games in the first person. If that didn't sound weird enough, TPB goes on to say that "every part of The Pirate Bay will be stored within you" and "scientists calculate that if we become at least 1 333 337 nodes, everything will be shared instantaneously." Sign us up?
The Awkward Moment
The Android smartphone business is a tough one. Running the same OS as the competition means you have to set yourself apart in other ways. Even so, when you're focusing on the same market, tackling the same challenges, and targeting the same demographic, there's going to be some similarities. Samsung and HTC are currently duking it out with the 2014 flagship phones but it looks like even their fake products are going to head-to-head. The two companies on Monday night "announced" smart glove products for April Fools' Day. Again, they're both latching on to a current trend (wearables) and it seems they've both coincidentally picked smartgloves. HTC Gluuv and Samsung Fingers are actually pretty different. The former uses the company’s HTC One M8 smartphone and allows you to interact with social networks with gestures. You can like with a simple thumbs up, and take selfies complete with pinch-to-bokeh effect. Samsung’s offering puts the screen on the palm and uses a flexible display. This device lets users ‘talk to the hand’ and can keep hot things hot and cold things cold. It also amplifies the volume of your voice or finger snapping. So useful.
Apple products typically score pretty low when it comes time for the iFixit folks to dish out grades based on repairability, so this April Fools' Day gag from iFixit is pretty unbelievable. Not only is Apple not in the business of making its devices easy to repair, but iFixit is unlikely to ever sell to Apple unless that changes dramatically. According to this press release, that's what happened. Apple promised to make the most repairable devices on the market. Oh, and they offered iFixit boatloads of cash. "In the end, Apple gave us a number we couldn't refuse."
"Everyone has a number," Kyle Wiens, iFixit’s CEO is quoted as saying. "I didn’t think there was a reasonable number that would make me say, 'You know I was going to change the world with repair documentation but here's a number.'"
Opera builds a browser for your kitty. Everybody say 'awww!' There is little to no explanation beyond ‘your cat deserves a better browser’ but look how cute this video is!