Today is Easter Sunday in many countries, and though humble tech bloggers don't really get fancy luxuries like "vacations" or "religious holidays" or "time to sleep," it seems appropriate to point out an Android Easter egg that's apparently been lying in wait for quite a while. The folks at Ausdroid spotted this one, a simple nod to British sitcom The IT Crowd (also known as "that show that's kind of like The Big Bang Theory without all the sucking").
The latest update to Maps v9.22 included a respectable number of new features and improvements, but that's not all it had to show off. A teardown reveals that the developers are preparing a feature that users have been requesting for quite some time: saving routes for offline use. But that's not the only item on the teardown docket, we've also got the makings of an easter egg that might just take us back to 1979 for some disco.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (application packages) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
Have you seen the Nat And Lo video series from Google employees Natalie Hammeland Lorraine Yurshansky? It's an interesting collection of shorts that explore some of the lesser-known projects going on inside the company - the pair use Google's famous "20% time" allocation to produce and release them on their YouTube channel. They actually broke the news of the new Android Marshmallow name by documenting the "making of" the official statue, and now they're back to explore the history of Android's Easter eggs.
Dedicated Android users (and Android Police readers) are no doubt already familiar with these - they're the little goodies and games you get for diving into the Settings menu and clicking on the Android version number.
I remember being 6 or 7 years old and anxiously waiting for my cousins to visit us so I could take my shiny Nintendo NES console from its box, hook it to our 14" Sony TV, and play with them a few rounds of Super Mario Bros or Contra. I don't think we ever got past the third or fourth world on one run, but we did use the secret warp pipes to move to later worlds.
Apparently, Super Mario Bros was released the same year that I was (ha!) in 1985, and it celebrated its 30th birthday yesterday, September 13. To wit Google has decided to give all of us a nostalgic easter egg when performing a search for "Super Mario Bros." Whether it's from a mobile or your desktop browser, you'll see a knowledge graph card donned with Mario's signature question mark brick.
Google is done shrugging off its easter egg in Android M. While the Preview releases show a string of ¯\\_(ツ)_/¯ after tapping the Android version number repeatedly in settings, the official Marshmallow release will have an honest-to-God easter egg. Here is a look at it in the screenshot below.
You've been driving for two hours, and you've got at least two more. You're tired of sitting behind the wheel and you want to stop and stretch your legs, but that just delays the inevitable. There aren't any alternatives, so you soldier on as that robotic voice of Google Maps occasionally pipes up to let you know there's a turn in 2 miles.
Hey, wait a minute, why does she get to tell you what to do? You gave her a phone, a data plan, and you're driving her around. You're taking care of her, so why does she act like the one in charge?
The month of June, also known as LGBT Pride Month, is nearing an end. But that doesn't mean it's too late to enjoy a few celebratory animations in Hangouts. If you type the words "happy pride" into the instant messenger, you will get a visit from a number of emoji standing in front of a rainbow or waving a flag. Some may even be making out.
Google likes jokes, but it has confined most of the Android gags to one specific place. When you open the secret version logo, you can long press to see what Google has cooked up for an Easter egg. In KitKat it was an interactive mosaic of platform logos, in Lollipop it was a Flappy Bird clone, and in the M preview it's a shrug emoticon.
To see the shrug for yourself, you have to go into About Phone (or tablet) and tap a few times on the Android version line, which just says M right now.
Google let loose with a torrent of updates yesterday, many of which offered little more than bug fixes and fairly small changes. Drive and its lineup of editors made the list with a few improvements, but not much to get excited about. However, a little digging around revealed that a previously seen Easter egg has finally been enabled. Also turning up is one of the most shocking features yet, an actual terminal. The power users are going to love this.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.