Google April Fools’ Day Pranks: Pokemon, Gmail Shelfies And More

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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is no longer a scrappy startup. But it has somehow managed to maintain its unique sense of humor, which is most apparent on April 1. Different teams within the company such as Gmail, Maps, Chrome, Android, Nest and others come up with their own pranks. Last year, the company fooled thousands of people with Google Nose. This year too, the company has started the silly season with a number of pranks. Let’s look at them.

Google Maps Pokemon Master

The search engine giant’s Maps team unveiled a video, announcing that it has created a new position within the Maps team: Pokemon Master. The video opens with a thunderous music. It shows some adventures, going to remote places like deserts, mountains, and oceans to hunt for Pokemon characters. The voiceover in the video says, “At Google we seek to hire the most exceptional people. Today we are announcing a new job role and challenge — Pokemon Master. Pokemon Master’s are world’s greatest digital explorers.”

In reality, you don’t have to go out to hunt Pokemons. Simply by upgrading your Maps app on Android or iOS, you can track down as many as 150 Pokemons. These ‘toons are littered all over Google Maps. But catching them will require you to zoom in to the maps of various cities. After finding one, you’ll have to tap on it and press the “Catch” button. The Pokemons you catch are stored into Pokedex. Click on it and you’ll see its characteristics.

Gmail Shelfies

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) says Gmail has turned 10 years old. That’s completely true given the service was launched on April 1, 2004. When you log in to your Gmail account, a pop-up announces that you can now set shelfies as background Gmail theme. It goes on to say that you can share you shelfie (made from Shareable Selfie) with your mom, aunt or close friends so that they can enjoy going through their emails while looking at your friendly face.

Translate to emoji

If you use the Chrome browser on a smartphone or tablet, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) allows you to translate any webpage into an emoji. The Chrome team says that theatrical and pictorial language allows communicate complex emotions easily. A single emoji can replace dozens of characters, increasing comprehension and efficiency on the go.

Celebrity Photobombs

Do you use Google+ to edit your photos? If so, the Google+ team has introduced an option of celebrity photobombing in your photo. A celebrity photobomb is always a surprise, whether it’s Michelle Obama at the White House or Benedict Cumberbatch at the Oscars. It turns your ordinary photo into something extraordinary.

WazeDates for singles

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) acquired Waze, a crowd-sourced map and traffic app in June 2013. Waze announced that it has acquired Israeli startup SingleSpotter, which locates and tracks singles in any specific area. With this acquisition, it is launching WazeDates, which alerts drivers to other singles on the road nearby. Users can set preferences to search for drivers based on sex, age, orientation and other features.

Nest to control temperatures on flights

Yet another prank by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s latest big acquisition of Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. Nest has joined hands with Virgin America to transform your flying experience. Its thermostats will offer personalized temperature to every passenger. Options such as Chicago Polar Vortex and Cancun Afternoon are also available.

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