April Fools’ Day is upon us, and as happens every year, Google is doing its best to outdo itself. The company releases all sorts of jokes, ranging from the ridiculously lame to the very clever, spanning the simple blog post or video to the elaborate gag or new feature. It’s a very Google-specific tradition — even other Alphabet companies don’t really participate in the celebration.
In fact, Google’s various divisions create more practical and impractical jokes for the holiday than any other tech firm, and it’s simply hard to keep track of them all. As such, we have put together our annual roundup — here are all of Google’s April Fools jokes for 2018.
Where’s Waldo? In Google Maps
The Google Maps team tends to have the more intricate jokes — usually playable games — and this year it’s a Where’s Waldo? integration. Waldo is traveling the world with his friends Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard, and Odlaw. To travel with him, all you have to do is find him. The April Fools’ feature will be available all week on Android, iOS, and desktop (make sure you have the latest app version or visit google.com/maps on your computer). To start, press play when you see Waldo waving at you from the side of your screen, or ask “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” via Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook, or Home device.
Google Cloud Hummus API
There are so many different types of hummus. And not everyone likes the same hummus. This is a serious problem. Google wants to organize the world’s information, and hummus is no exception. What better way than to have a Hummus API? It analyzes your taste using Google’s “advance artificial intelligence algorithm,” “a hummus big data warehouse” stored in the Google Cloud, “a machine learning model,” vision intelligence, and a taste stick.
Gboard Hardware Keyboard
For those tired of having to memorize where the keys are on a keyboard, Google Japan created a “physical handwriting version” of the Gboard virtual keyboard app. The device lets you swipe over hardware keyboards, just like you do on software keyboards. The physical version of Gboard collects “a ton of scribble data” and uses machine learning to match it with the correct letters. The team somehow ended up with 100,000 data points! It works for all ages and not only do you no longer have to remember where all the letters are, manufacturers don’t even need to print the letters on the keys anymore.
Bad Joke Detector
The Files Go team has decided it wants to do more to help you free up space on your phone. Instead of just removing junk files and old apps, Files Go will now delete any bad jokes you inadvertently receive from friends and family. The Bad Joke Detector uses “a custom-built deep neural network” to identify the bad jokes on your phone and lets you delete them with a single tap.
Google Australia has really embraced its job of adapting the company’s services to fit Down Under — culminating with the rebrand of Google to “Googz.” The decision comes as a result of analyzing the evolving local dialect — people are already referring to Google as Googz, so why not just run with it? In partnership with leading Australian designer Jazza, Google went to great lengths to design a new logo, brand identity, and even some swag to go along with the whole overhaul. In fact, to verify the change, just ask Google Assistant “Ok Google, What’s your name?” on your Google Home, Chromebook, or smartphone to make sure you get the pronunciation down pat.
Renewable Energy Chromebooks
The Chrome OS team is investing in renewable energy. Chromebooks may have decent battery life, but like any laptop, they unfortunately still need to be charged. As such, Chromebook owners now have three new ways to power their devices: wind power, solar power, and compost power. For wind power, all you have to do is visit the nearest wind tunnel or wind farm. For solar power, just place your Chromebook in direct sunlight — 10 minutes should get you five hours of battery life. And for compost power, simply take your Chromebook charger with you when you’re tending to the garden.
When it comes to April Fools’ Day, Google seems to have a bottomless pit for a marketing budget. We will update this post as the company launches more jokes.
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