Happy April First, errybody! Yes, that’s right, we’ve reached that special, inimitable time of year. April Fools Day 2013. At TechCrunch, we have a long history of taking April Fools seriously. Deadly, deadly seriously. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to create a master list (which will be updated throughout the day) with the best tomfoolery, pranks, WTFs and LOLs the Internet and the tech industry have to offer.
All night and all day, whatever it takes. If a company close to you happens to break out its clown shoes in what can only be an eye-rolling effort at being funny (really, the one time of year we indulge terrible nerd jokes publicly), please alert us in the comment section. And, again, thank you for your help in advance.
We’ve tried to separate the good from the bad and the ugly — and highlight the stuff that’s actually funny — sometimes with success, sometimes not.
So here they are.
(And, again, for our annual disclaimer: If you’re one of those folks who finds April Fools stressful because you’re constantly subject to punkings courtesy of your co-workers, rest assured that we at TechCrunch would never do that to you. Never. Never ever.)The Great List Of April FoolingsGoogle Nose
You have to give Google props. They always take April Fools Day pretty seriously, and cats are usually involved. But this year Google is poking fun of its Glass Project with some olfactory goodness. Google Nose. Smells galore. You’ve probably been wondering what Google does with all that information that it tirelessly indexes for its search engine, combing the Web with Page Rank to serve you moderately usable results. Well, it’s also been collecting scents.
Now, as Greg reports, instead of paying hundreds or thousands for its newest piece of sexy hardware, Google is now letting you type your favorite scent into its search engine, tap the “smell button” and inhale to your hearts content. Just try not to sneeze on your monitor.
YouTube? More like NOTube, amirite?
That’s right. You heard it here first. Jordan brook the news Google has decided to shut down YouTube. After eight years, the company revealed that the whole thing has actually been an American Idol-like competition. Thank god, because for those of us that were taught that life is a competition — no enjoyment necessary — well, we’ve been a little suspicious of YouTube.
But the company has finally revealed that the competition that we know as YouTube is coming to a close, and that an expert panel of judges — YouTube celebrities themselves — will choose the winners. But don’t expect the winners to be announced any time soon. The judges will spend the next decade sifting through YouTube videos to choose said winners. Tomorrow, at midnight, the site will shut down and all content will be deleted. When it reopens in 2023, the only remaining video will be the winner. Frankly, it all makes perfect sense.
The hits just keep coming for The Googs. Next stop on the April Fools Google Train? “Gmail Blue.” That should explain itself, but just in case, it took Google “six years to develop the technology” to turn Gmail blue. Google turns nine tomorrow, and it might as well just go for it.
A poke at Facebook? Who’s to say?
You Got Vowels? Give Twitter Money.
Twitter has announced Twttr. Who needs vowels, am I right? Not you. Or Twitter. Twitter’s new “two-tiered” service includes a free portion called “Twttr” where each tweet (or “twt”) shall contain nary-a-vowel. But just in case that has you up in arms, you can have your stinkin’ vowels back, but it will cost you $5/month.
Pretty minimal price to pay for the fundamental building blocks of, you know, the English language and all. But because Twitter is ever-the-beneficent social network, it will offer the “sometimes Y” free of charge. Well, isn’t that precious? Oh, and thankfully URL vowels are free. Twitter’s not into the whole “hidden fees” thing, you understand. It’s almost like that April Fools joke where Facebook tried to make you pay $1 to message strangers. Oh wait, that actually happened.The RestVirgin’s Glass-Bottomed Plane
Glass-bottomed boats are so last year. That’s why Virgin is stepping it up a notch with the world’s first-ever glass-bottomed plane. Richard Branson proves himself to be a peerless innovator yet again:
We hope to trial the glass bottom technology with other Virgin airlines in time and have asked other Virgin companies to support this innovative trial and launch our new domestic Scottish route. This really is a team effort from all corners of Virgin.
Speechless.Sony For Pets
Sony is releasing a new “Animalia” line of products for your tech product-starved pets. And they’re really “stoked” about it. As are your pets, no doubt. Because your hamsters need to test out those Beats headphones you bought them for Christmas.
According to Sony:
The introductory line-up includes Sony-branded products targeted at owners with dogs, cats and hamsters, with additional devices and networked services slated for release later this year. Check out this video to learn all about our new K9 4K TV, M3-OW KittyCans, and In-Cage Speakers.
ThinkGeek has a whole new line of April Fools products that are fun for the whole family. Like this “Eye Of Sauron Desk Lamp.” My apologies if your order doesn’t go through. I’ve already bought 50 of them.Google Maps Treasure Mode
Google Maps wants to bring your Goonies dreams to life:
Archeological analysis has confirmed that our Google Maps Street View team has indeed found one of history’s long lost relics: a treasure map belonging to the infamous pirate, William “Captain” Kidd.
The map was found on a recent expedition in the Indian Ocean, as part of a deep-water dive to expand our underwater Street View collection. Captain Kidd was rumored to have buried his treasure around the world, and tales of a long-lost treasure map have lingered for generations.
Google+ Photos And +Emotion
Google+ now lets you add real emotions to your photos. This would be hilarious if 25 startups weren’t currently working on/pitching this idea — outside of Google+. Because the best Google+ April Fools joke is, really, well, Google+.Google Analytics
Some users of Google Analytics may begin noticing that they have a few new international visitors checking out their sites. I’m just glad Google didn’t say that they were “totally out of this world.” Google is now including active visitors from the International Space Station, Control Room, who clearly have nothing better to do than to check out your WordPress blog. Here’s Carl to explain.Google SCHMICK
More Google. Now Google wants to help you spruce up the look of your house. They explain:
Is your house looking a bit tired and shabby? Want to make your narky step-aunt jealous? Trying to keep up with the Joneses but don’t have the money to complete an expensive reno?
Now you can give your house a lick of fresh paint for free on Street View with Google SCHMICK (Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit). Forgot to mow the nature strip? Deck it out with some fresh buffalo grass. Front steps falling down? Swap them out for doric columns and a pergola. Graffiti on the front fence? Cover it with so many palm trees people will think they’re on the Vegas strip.Google’s Levity Algorithm
For your Google Apps pleasures:
Toshiba Gets A Console
That’s right. Today, Toshiba is announcing its first-ever gaming console: The Shibasphere. Look out, every gaming console ever made, past, present or future. The Shibasphere is here.
The Shibasphere features unprecedented computing power, a completely controller-free interface, and Logical Aggression Monitoring that deploys positive therapeutics to prevent emotionally devastating rage-quits. Available accessories include the Shibadome, Shibasuit and Shibatote that enhance the sound, motion detection and portability of the console, and also features:
12 core 3.5 Ghz Processors
8192 MB GDDR5 RAM Graphics Card
809.3b Infrared Motion Detection
1080p Full HD
7.1 Channel Surround Sound
5 Stereo Mini Jacks
8 HDMI Ports
Sometimes you just don’t know when “the drop” is going to hit in a song. Not sure what I’m talking about? If you’ve ever seen a Harlem Shake video, it’s that very short, euphoric moment where the music drops out for a second and suddenly everyone is dancing/humping something. (See a notable example from my alma mater here.) Well, now, using its patent-pending algorithm, SoundCloud will tell you when that “unpredictable and surprising moment” is going to happen, via The Dropometer:
… The Dropometer is designed to help you prepare yourself for the big moment, whether that means getting in the mental space where you can really break it down, or fixing yourself a fortifying snack.
While we first innovated the Dropometer around dubstep, we’ve identified broad utility for this new functionality across all genres. Look to the Dropometer to find out when to expect a key crescendo in a 17th-century symphony or the emotional climax in an episode of This American Life.Love with Food Gon’ Get You High
Love With Food is announcing a new product line called Love With WEED — a monthly subscription that delivers a new high every month. For every box sent, we’ll plant a cannabis shrub along CA Route 1. It’s like Tom’s, but greener. Here it is.Sphero PeaceKeeper
Robotics takes a step forward today with “Sphero — Peacekeeper Edition.” The robotics maker is now offering a super-sized version of Sphero that you can control from your smartphone or tablet. And cats love it. It measures 3-feet in diameter, weighs over 150 pounds but is totally fun and lightweight and agile. The future is now, people. GoSphero.
StumbleUpon has put together a big list of things you can to do prank your colleagues, family members and loved ones. See it here.RunKeeper
The next revolution in running is here. Now. And it’s really big.
Obama Takes To Crowdtilt To Fund The Debt
President Obama has today taken to Crowdtilt to help raise money for the sky-rocketing national debt. When things get out of control, you can always turn to crowdfunding.
Here’s his note:
A PERSONAL APPEAL FROM PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
My fellow Americans,
Despite the best efforts of my administration, prolonged partisan debates in Congress are preventing us from a solution to our mounting national debt. Instead of bickering over taxes, we’re taking a new approach: asking everyday Americans to chip in so we can pay off our debt once and for all.
With your help, it’s time to act.
HELP PAY OFF our NATIONAL DEBT
Really hilarious, Samsung: “Samsung Electronics announced Eco Trees, a smart, eco-friendly air purifier that runs on solar energy.” Get it? Chlorophyll? More like Bore-ophyll. Here are all of their fresh new Eco Tree products.Nokia Gets Into Microwaves
With the success of its smartphones, it was really only a matter of time.
We are delighted to announce a significant new extension to Nokia’s product offering with the Nokia 5AM-TH1N6 Constellation, a touch-screen microwave oven. The Constellation sets itself apart with a superfast, water-cooled 8-core high-voltage transformer, which brings a combined performance of 5,000 watts to end-users, letting them heat up turnkey meal solutions within seconds.
‘Nokia has a proven track record and extensive IPR in working with microwave radios, so for us this was a logical next step. We can attack our competition in their core business,’ says Olavi Huhtikuu, Nokia’s director of household innovation.
‘That’s why we developed the highly innovative 5AM-TH1N6 Constellation, which will revolutionize everything from single households to canteen kitchens.’
The new Nokia 5AM-TH1N6 has even more innovative features. The device comes with the latest eye-tracking technology, which stops the food from rotating when you look at it, and it automatically adjusts the temperature depending on how hungry you look.BMW Gets Into Strollers
With a royal baby due this summer, we are proud to announce the launch of our limited edition BMW P.R.A.M. (Postnatal Royal Auto Mobile). Available in Princess Pink or Royal Blue, this soft-top convertible has been designed using our EfficientDynamics technology. With two or four-wheel-drive, it rides as smoothly on a polo field as it does down The Mall and comes with air conditioning and built-in extendable flagpoles as standard. For those who are ‘too posh to push’ this masterpiece of motherhood even comes fitted with N.A.P.P.I.E. (Nanny-Assisting Petrol-Powered Injection Engine).A Walk Down Memory Lane
Exerpt image from Hark.com