Back when Hangouts first debuted, it was quickly discovered that Google's messaging app included several easter eggs, ranging from ponies prancing across the screen, to a weird dinosaur hiding behind a house, to changing your chat's background color at random. Until yesterday, though, these bonus features weren't available for those using Hangouts on Android. As of the 2.1 update, users can make use of three easter eggs - one that will stream an infinite line of ponies across your screen, one that will send just one pony across, and one that will send an angry mob across, pitchforks and torches included.
Did you know that the Google I/O 2014 site that went live earlier today doesn't just contain useful information about the event but also a healthy dose of geek humor, hidden away in debug messages? We have everything from clever word play to mentions of Globophobia to Doge to Star Trek references.
Bonus points to those of you who can recognize them all without Googling!
Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and you know what that means: bitter disappointment fruitlessly displaced with technology. (That might just be me.) Google's got you covered on the second part, at least if you have a Chromecast. A new visualizer option for Google Play Music ditches the bars and equalizers in favor of a looped video of a cozy fireplace. You'll have to supply your own music, of course.
The visualizer isn't on by default, but it's easy enough to enable.
SwiftKey is well-known for being one of the best third-party keyboards available for Android. What users of other keyboards may not know, however, is that the company also loves to bake little surprises into the app, especially around the holidays (like the "tilt" feature from April Fool's Day).
While the keyboard has already received a festive holiday theme with the most recent update, that's not the only wintery goodness the developers threw into the keyboard – there's a fun little easter egg, too.
Sometimes you have to assume that there are entire teams at Google whose sole job is to think up fodder for nostalgic technology bloggers. Case in point: for the 37th anniversary of the classic arcade game Breakout, Google has thrown together another one of its elaborate Easter eggs. Do a Google Image Search for "atari breakout", and the results will turn into the smashable blocks, with your mouse working as a control for the paddle.
Google tends to put Easter Eggs into all Android OS releases - remember the one Jelly Bean came with? Turns out the company stuffs these treats into more than just the operating system, as the Nexus Q's Android app has it too.
Beneath the tough outer shell of the Q lives a lonely Magic 8 Ball. To summon this
genie bipolar fortuneteller, rub tap it in the right place a few times, and out it comes.
Indeed, the egg first presents itself as a smiling red jelly bean complete with antennae when the user repeatedly taps the Android software version in settings (this can be seen on the left). In the background is whichever picture you've chosen as your wallpaper.
We're not sure whether what you're about to see is yet another Easter egg in Ice Cream Sandwich (remember the Nyan Droid?) or the next amazing launcher that will do your dishes and fly you into space, but it turns out the stock ICS launcher actually has another launcher buried inside.
To preserve the lulz and save you some time, here is what you currently observe:
If you want to try this out for yourself without pulling out your mobile, you can just head over to this forced mobile version instead: http://www.google.com/xhtml?q=crooked
Keep it up, Google!
Have you ever wanted to peek ahead to those locked worlds in Angry Birds that are unavailable before fully completing the previous ones? A bug (or an Easter egg) in the Android version of the game lets you do just that, a reddit user braaaiins found. I tried it just a few minutes ago with 100% success.
Of course, many would argue that you should be going in order and playing the way Rovio meant for you to play, and I'd agree with them.