April Fool’s Day 2011: What Google’s Been Up To
Below, I’ve compiled an extensive list of all the Google April Fool’s hoaxes I’m aware of. If I missed any, please leave a comment below or mention me on Twitter. Enjoy. 🙂
1) Google China invented teleportation. ”Through the search is to let Google take you through time and space, most want to reach your arrival time, place, with an immersive way to perceive everything you want to perceive.”
2) Gmail Motion is a new way to control your Gmail inbox using body language. ”To use Gmail Motion, you’ll need a computer with a built-in webcam. Once you enable Gmail Motion from the Settings page, Gmail will enable your webcam when you sign in and automatically recognize any one of the detected movements via a spatial tracking algorithm. We designed the movements to be easy and intuitive to perform and consulted with top experts in kinestetics and body movement in devising them.”
Also see Google Docs Motion.
3) YouTube presents the top viral videos of 1911. “It’s hard to believe that just a century ago, YouTube was a fledgling video site for paupers and presidents alike. Today, we celebrate 100 years of YouTube, and we thought we would reflect on our inaugural year with a re-print of our first blog post from 1911. In honor of this milestone, today’s homepage is a reproduction of how you might have viewed it 100 years ago. Check out some of the most popular videos of the time and be sure to try out our new upload mode which summons a horse-drawn carriage to pick up your video submission from your home. Here’s to another epoch of great video!”
4) Google seeks autocompleters. “Are you passionate about helping people? Are you intuitive? Do you often feel like you know what your friends and family are thinking and can finish their thoughts before they can? Are you an incredibly fast Google searcher? Like, so fast that you can do 20 searches before your mom does 1?”
5) Google Body Browser is now Google Cow.
6) Google AdWords announces a new ad format: Blimp Ads. “Imagine this: a baseball stadium, packed with thousands of fans. A home run flies through the air, and as the crowd looks up, they see your ad, bigger than ever, hand-painted on the side of a majestic blimp. Blimp Ads can make this a reality.”
7) Contoso, “a fictional company used by Microsoft as their example company and domain,” has gone Google. “As a subsidiary of a traditional software company, we went against the grain and switched all 1,200 Contoso employees across nine continents to the cloud. After previously considering Google Apps, we were finally convinced to make the move when Google Docs began supporting the Corsiva font. I still can’t find track changes in Docs, but now we can use Corsiva from anywhere, on any device. We decided against Microsoft® Office 365 beta, because we’d heard for years that beta software was too risky.”
8) Google acquires Blogger. Again. “This morning we’re beyond thrilled to announce that Blogger has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Google, the Internet search company. This is exciting news not only for all of us on the Blogger team, but for our users, our partners, and most importantly — the blogosphere itself.”
9) Google Voice Search adds support for Pig Latin. “What is Pig Latin you may ask? Wikipedia describes it as a language game where, for each English word, the first consonant (or consonant cluster) is moved to the end of the word and an “ay” is affixed (for example, ‘pig’ yields ‘ig-pay’ and ‘search’ yields ‘earch-say’). Our Pig Latin Voice Search is even more fun than our other languages, because when you speak in Pig Latin, our speech recognizer not only recognizes your piggy speech but also translates it automagically to normal English and does a Google search.”
“To configure Pig Latin Voice Search in your Android phone just go to Settings, select ‘Voice input & output settings’, and then ‘Voice recognizer settings’. In the list of languages you’ll see Pig Latin. Just select it and you are ready to roll in the mud! It also works on iPhone with the Google Search app. In the app, tap the Settings icon, then ‘Voice Search’ and select Pig Latin.”
10) Chromercise is a fitness program that helps you increase the strength and dexterity of your hands. From Chrome’s blog: “Some existing finger exercise programs focus on upgrading your digits’ cardiovascular strength and musculature; others focus on dexterity. Chromercise’s unique blend of aerobic motion and rhythmic accompaniment covers all of the above while simultaneously tightening and toning your fingers’ actual appearance.”
11) Chrome is just so slow these days. You need ChromeLite, an extension that takes advantage of the power of text-only browsers. ”In our never-ending quest for speed, our team members recently gathered to race the latest and greatest browser versions against each other. Much to our surprise, the winning browser was neither the latest version of Chrome nor another modern browser, but was instead an early text-based browser called Lynx,” says Google.