How Google Trolled on April Fools
Article by George Norman
On 02 Apr 2012
April 1st is the day when you can make up the most unbelievable things and try to fool others. This is a look at the various pranks Mountain View-based search engine giant Google came up with in order to troll you on April Fools.

Gmail Tap Replaces QWERTY Keyboard

The Gmail team decided to replace the QWERTY keyboard with Gmail Tap for Android and iOS – it decided to replace the QWERTY keyboard’s 26 keys with Gmail Tap’s only 2 keys. Gmail Tap takes all the letters of the alphabet and displays them as a patter of dots and dashes; get familiar with these dots and dashes and you’ll be able to type without looking and your smartphone’s screen – that’s something that will come in handy when you want to discreetly send a text or email.


What the video below to better understand what Gmail Tap is all about and check this informational page.

Google Racing Brings Self-driving Cars to NASCAR

For years Google has worked on creating hardware and software that would make it possible for cars to drive themselves. On April 1st 2012 Google announced that its Google Racing project is a success, that its autonomous cars have been test-driven and since everything went smoothly Google partnered with NASCAR to help self-driving vehicles compete in the world of stock car racing.

“Larry and I have always believed in tackling big problems that matter, and we’re surer than ever that self-driving cars are one of them, capable of changing the world in all kinds of truly important ways, like reducing traffic and accidents by driving more efficiently, making correct split-second decisions and never shifting their focus off the road to check a map, text a friend, apply rear-view mirror mascara or dip a piece of tekka maki into a lid of soy sauce jostling over on the passenger seat,” said Google Co-Founder Sergei Brin.

Additional information on Google Racing is available here.

Chrome Team Presents Multitask Mode

The mouse is a nice way to interact with your browser, but using just one hand is a waste of time. That is why the team behind the Chrome browser introduced Multitask Mode, a new way to get twice as much web from your browser – or to put it in other words, you can have access to multiple mice at the same time with Multitask Mode. It supports as many mice, touchpads, styli, joysticks, trackballs, and other pointing devices as you can plug into your computer.

Watch the video below and visit this informational page to learn more about Multitask Mode.

Introducing Google Voice for Pets

The Google Voice team decided that it can do something better than bring Google Voice to other countries (currently it’s only available in the US) and come up with more awesome features. The Google Voice team saw that pets are the way of the future – and so it introduced Google Voice for Pets.

Google Voice for Pets works with the special Voice Communication Collars which fits around the pet’s neck and records audio using a series of sensors. The audio recordings are then uploaded to the owner’s Google Voice account. The special Voice Communication Collars also features a tiny micro-LED emitter that projects a keyboard on the floor. The pet can use this keyboard to send out text messages.

Software Engineer Alex Wiesen presents the most astonishing part of Google Voice for Pets:
“We didn’t just stop there. Voicemails from your pet would be pretty silly if you haven’t been trained how to understand cat or dog. Thankfully, we’ve solved that problem too. We took our voicemail transcription engine and combined it with millions of adorable pet videos from the Internet, training it to understand our furry friends. Now our transcription engine can now translate cat meows or dog growls into English!”

The YouTube Collection

The team behind the popular video-sharing site announced the immediate availability of The YouTube Collection, a new service meant for those who think that liking, favoriting, subscribing or sharing a video is not enough. The YouTube Collection puts the entire YouTube world at your fingertips in DVD format. Check out the video below for more info.

Google Maps in 8-bit View

A large number of users could access Google Maps on the incredibly popular Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), but unfortunately the device that sold more than 60 million units worldwide was not supported – until April 1st that is. The Google Maps team announced that its Japanese team, working together with Nintendo and Square Enix, came up with 8-bit Google Maps for NES.

“With Google Maps 8-bit, you can do all the things you already do on regular Google Maps. Search for famous landmarks and sites around the world. Take an epic journey with 8-bit Street View. Get detailed directions to avoid dangerous paths, and battle your way through a world of powerful monsters and mystic treasures,” explained Software Engineer Tatsuo Nomura.

Check out the video below to get a view of Google Maps 8-bit for NES and click here to explore Google Maps in 8-bit goodness.

Google Street Roo

Google Australia announced that it will put 360-degree head cameras on more than one thousand Big Red kangaroos and thus address a burning request from Google Maps users: to explore the vast Australian continent using Street View. The cameras will capture 360-degree panorama pictures as the kangaroos roam about.

“The cameras on our Street Roo collection team will be powered by solar panels stitched into the back pocket of custom-made roo jackets. Images will be wired to Google in real-time. A GPS tracker embedded into the jacket will match the location of the kangaroo to ensure the image is accurately uploaded onto the new Street View layer,” explained Product Manager Andrew Foster.

Andrew Foster added that a special software has been developed to ensure a seamless experience and avoid motion sickness. The software will smooth over the bouncing effect experienced with the raw data.

Tags: Google, Gmail, Android, iOS, Google Tap, NASCAR, Google Racing, Chrome, Multitask Mode, Google Voice, pets, YouTube, YouTube Collection, Google Maps, NES, Google Maps, Street View, kangaroo
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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