2020 sucked hard. A year ago Google decided to skip its tradition of elaborate April Fools' Day jokes, on account of, you know, a worldwide pandemic that killed millions of people. A year later things are looking up — I'm getting my first vaccine dose tomorrow! — but it's far from over. So maybe it's a good thing that Google is reportedly skipping the levity for a second year running.
April Fools is an annual highlight at Google (right on par with Google I/O), with the company directing many resources to develop the most elaborate Easter eggs. Google Maps is almost certainly always a part of the yearly festivities: After 2015's resurrection of Pac Man and last year's Where's Waldo, this time around we're invited to play good old Snake on our favorite mapping service.
LineageOS announced its April Fools' Day joke at the appropriate time back on Sunday, but the gag itself wasn't ready until the most recent builds were released yesterday. Now that it has actually landed (late), the hoax has lost both its relevance and its taste. So if you flash this week's update and see a warning about software counterfeiting and cryptocurrency mining, don't freak out. It's just a very late, very bad joke.
April Fools' day is almost upon us, but each year at least a few companies are unable to restrain themselves, pushing out their pranks early as the remainder dribble out over the day itself. Google's various divisions do some decent work each year—last year's Google Gnome was itpretty good, and the Maps team's 2014 Pokemon prank was memorable. OnePlus even has a history of pulling off a decent prank. But, there are a ton of individual companies and gags to follow.
It can be tough keeping track, so let us handle the work while you enjoy the jokes.
There's a wide selection of mobile hardware these days, but the variations between flagships are getting fewer with every year. IP-68+ ratings and high-dpi OLED displays are commonplace now, and every new phone wins a camera award. The only real way manufacturers can differentiate is via the software experience, and everyone has an opinion when it comes to that, including those of us here at Android Police.
April Fools Day is almost upon us, but some companies aren't waiting to share their pranks. Google always does a great job, from the Pokemon Google Maps overlay to a smart mailbox, but there are a few from other companies worth mentioning. Here's a rundown of all the hilarious (or strange) tech-related April Fools Day jokes from around the web.
The Nexus 5X was one of the last devices with the Nexus brand (unless Google revives it), along with the Huawei-made 6P. Compared to its predecessor, the Nexus 5, it had a faster processor, a far superior camera, a fingerprint sensor, and more. When the 5X was released in 2015, it was easily one of the best value devices you could buy - but how does it hold up a year and a half later?
I'm sorry. Of course it didn't. But - wait! Don't leave yet. I have actual news to share with you on this oft-insufferable day of fools, and news from Saygus, no less. "It's probably just more excuses," you'd say, defeated and without hope. Well, uh, actually, you'd be right. So there's that.
Saygus set a shipping estimate of the end of March back in January, and I thought it was probable they'd unveil a very new and exciting list of reasons why they wouldn't be able to meet that estimate at some point very soon. As it turns out, "some point" was the afternoon of March 31st, also known as yesterday.
Is it really an April Fools "prank" if what you put together actually performs its stated function? Either way, you probably won't want to keep the "Self-Browsing Chromebook" app on your machine for more than a day or so. According to Google's straight-faced Chrome Blog entry, the app is intended to automate your entire computer experience. What it actually does is take over your laptop with a full-screen interface that navigates around the web by itself.
And it's not just a random selection of websites loaded one after another. No, the slightly sci-fi app (which, yes, can really be installed on Chrome OS devices) uses its own cursor to select new links and scroll through pages, about one every three seconds.
Inbox by Gmail isn't even yet a year old, but Google is trying to improve mail even further. But this time, it's not working with the digital variety. It's doing something about snail mail.
And frankly, it's about time. People have been sticking envelopes in mailboxes for a century or two, and the experience hasn't changed all that much. Our mailboxes could be better. They could be smarter.
They could be the Smartbox.
This box brings many of the luxuries of email to physical mail. Receive notifications on your phone whenever new envelopes arrive. Automatically organize content into folders. Block spam by delivering electric shocks (okay, your mail carrier probably won't like that one).