April Fools 2013: A Collection of Google Gags
Article by George Norman
On 01 Apr 2013
This article covers the various gags and pranks Google pulled on April 1, 2013. As you may already know, the company made it a tradition to launch “innovative” new products on April first – this year Google surprises us with Google Nose (Beta), Gmail Blue, and more.

Google Nose – Smelling is Believing


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Google Nose (Beta) uses new and existing technologies to provide users with a fragrant Google experience. It’s like the smell-o-vision feature you may have seen in sci-fi movies. So with Google Nose (Beta), getting the answer to a query like “what does a new car smell like?” is just one click away.

Learn more about Google Nose here and check out a video presentation below.



Gmail Blue - The New Blue Gmail Experience



When Gmail was launched to the public on April 1st, 2004, the technology at the time could not allow for Gmail Blue to become a reality, even though it was part of the initial conception for Gmail. The technology has evolved and now, years later, Gmail Blue has been unveiled by Google. Check out the video below.



Google Maps – Explore the New Treasure Mode



The Google Maps Street View team, by scouring all four corners of the word, managed to uncover one of history’s long lost relics. And more to the point, during a recent expedition in the Indian Ocean, the team uncovered a treasure map belonging to the infamous pirate, William “Captain” Kidd. Said map is being made available to the public via Google Maps. You can access it via Google Maps -> click the Treasure button in the top right corner, or by clicking this link.

“When Dr. Marco Meniketti, an independent archaeologist, confirmed that this was Captain Kidd’s 315 year-old map, we were very excited. However, as seen in the video, the map contains a variety of encrypted symbols and is not readily decipherable. We need your help to decipher these symbols and find Captain Kidd’s treasures; therefore we’ve decided to digitize the map and make it accessible to everyone,” explained Tatsuo Nomura, Software Engineer, Google Maps.

Learn more about how the new Treasure Mode by viewing the video below.



YouTube – Shutting Down Today, Coming Back in 2023



The goal behind video-sharing site YouTube was to pick the best video out there. Uploading videos to YouTube was a contest and now, 7 years later, YouTube is done and ready to pick the winner. The YouTube team announced that it is no longer accepting submissions, that it is now looking at all uploaded videos, that a winner will be announced shortly, and that YouTube will be shutdown until 2023.



Don’t worry, as announced last year, the entire YouTube catalog is available for offline access.



Google+ - Automatically Adds Emoticons to Images



Staff Software Engineer at Google Erik Murphy-Chutorian announced that starting today, Google+ gives you the option to add emoticons to photos. Doing so is a fairly simple process: open an image in the lightbox, click the Add emotion button at the top.

“Many months of research on how people communicate on the Internet have convinced us that when it comes to expressing yourself, nothing beats the richness and elegance of a few properly placed colons, parentheses, letters and hyphens. These representations of your innermost emotions are simple, and best of all, unambiguous. We will plumb the emotional depths of everyone in the photo, then summarize their feelings with a beautifully crafted, emotion icon,” explained Erik Murphy-Chutorian.



Google Fiber to the Pole - Ubiquitous Gigabit Connectivity



Google has been listening to all the people who have been asking to access Google Fiber in more places and responded by releasing Google Fiber to the Pole. On its official webpage, Google Fiber to the Pole is described as follows:

“Google Fiber to the Pole provides ubiquitous gigabit connectivity to fiberhoods across Kansas City. This latest innovation in Google Fiber technology enables users to access Google Fiber's ultra fast gigabit speeds even when they are out and about.”



In related news:



Tags: April Fools, Google, Google Nose, Gmail, Gmail Blue, Google Maps, Treasure Mode, YouTube, Google+, emoticons, Google Fiber
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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