April Fool's Day is upon us yet again! But don't get caught out this year: take a look at our roundup of tech's best pranks from around the web...
April Fool’s Day is here yet again, and even though we did our best to warn you about what to look out for yesterday, it’s easy to have the proverbial wool pulled over your eyes on the morning of 1 April.
Have you been tricked yet? Either way, we’ve saved you a job of sifting through the real news and the false funnies by scouring the nationals, sites and feeds this morning to find the biggest and best April Fool’s Day jokes from the world of mobile, tech and online. Ready to laugh, cringe and roll your eyes all at once?
Here’s our list of what not to fall for…
Today’s tricky techy teases
BBC Store Video
The BBC is hoping to capitalise on the resurgence in vinyl record sales by bringing back another archaic medium: VHS. Time for hipsters everywhere to get their tracking on.
Watching videos online is great, and all, but wouldn’t it be better if you could watch them in 360-degree vision… And with Snoop Dogg? Of course it would! Thankfully, that’s exactly what YouTube’s been working on.
Sony Proton Pack
Sony’s spent years working behind the scenes to produce this: the world’s first working proton pack, designed to “capture content from another dimension.” It’s also water and slime-resistant. Bonus!
Think the Internet of Things is the next big development in tech? Get ready for trousers. Specifically, web-connected trousers from Samsung. According to the mobile maker, “The intelligent trousers, which combine the latest in high-tech with high fashion, were designed to address the pain points of everyday apparel.” Hmm.
Google Netherlands has created something for April Fool’s Day that a lot of people probably wish was real: the self-driving bicycle. Touch a button on the accompanying app and your bike will come from wherever it is to pick you up and take you home. Don’t tease us, Google.
Fitbit’s apparently added a pretty revolutionary new feature to its Blaze smartwatch via software update this morning – teleportation. No big deal.
Google Cardboard Plastic
As per usual, Google’s created something pretty brilliant for 2016. We all know that VR is the next big thing, and the company’s own Google Cardboard headset is a good way to experience virtual reality on the cheap. But what’s more real than VR? Reality, of course. Enter: Google Cardboard Plastic.
Ever needed the loo but been scared of being… heard? You’re not alone. Luckily, Bathstore has created a brand new app to help you do your business without alerting anyone: Silent Loo. Check it out in the video above.
What if you could walk down the high street and see bargains popping up in real time? That’s the concept behind MyVoucherCodes’ VR headset, which definitely doesn’t look at all rustled up at the last minute…
The US space agency and Mumsnet are apparently joining forces. Why? To find the perfect mother-and-baby team to send into space. NASA says it’s looking for mums who are “willing to undertake a six-month extraterrestrial mission designed to test the viability of space travel for infants.”
All caught up? Here’s our list of the best tech pranks from years gone by…
Yesteryear: The best jokes from the last five years
Starbucks Mobile Pour (2011)
You’re walking down the street and *bang*: you find yourself in dire need of a coffee. With Starbucks’ Mobile Pour app, that’s no longer a problem. The idea? Download the app and order a drink, and a friendly Starbucks barista will scoot themselves to your location with a hot cup of joe. Think Uber, but for java. If only it were real.
Gmail Tap (2012)
We’re all busier than ever before, but is there a way tech can help us free up some valuable time? In Google’s 2012 April Fool’s Day jape, the answer was a resounding yes, and the means was ‘Gmail Tap’, an Android keyboard which eschewed the boring old alphabet for morse code. With just two keys (a dot and a dash), speedy typers could ‘double’ their productivity.
Peugeot RCZ mood paint (2012)
Choosing a car colour is a big deal – you’re going to have to live with it for a long time, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. In 2012 Peugeot thought it could solve that problem by ‘inventing’ paint that could change colour based on your mood, via heart rate sensors built into the cockpit. It’s a fun idea, and one we’re a fan of if only because of the (bit risque) joke at the end of the video.
YouTube closing down (2013)
You might think that YouTube is a plain old video sharing site, but you’d be wrong; it’s actually a competition to find the best ever online video! Or at least that was the concept of the company’s 2013 April Fool’s joke. In the announcement, YouTube said that its virtual doors would close so that employees could lock themselves away to deliberate on a ‘winner’ until 2023, when the overall champ would be announced.
HTC Gluuv (2014)
Wearables have been big news over the past year or so, but in 2014 HTC was obviously thinking well outside the box when it chose 1 April to announce Gluuv, a wearable accompaniment for the HTC One M8 that turned your entire forearm into a bionic super-limb. With the Gluuv, so says the website, you can take camera shots with a fist bump, ‘like’ Facebook posts by making a real life thumbs up, and much more besides. We’re still waiting for ours to arrive in the post.
Google Maps Pokemon Challenge (2014)
For a short time only in 2014, Google and Nintendo transformed its Maps app for iOS and Android into a gaming fan’s dream. The idea behind the joke was that Pokemon had broken into the wild, and it was our collective job to scoop them all up. By going to the search section of the app and touching ‘Press Start’, you’d be able to scour cities, towns and wildernesses worldwide to find the rogue minibeasts. Another great one from king of the tech pranks.
Uber for Tinder, Tinder for Uber (2015)
Last year Russian marketing firm Instinct decided to see what would happen if you spliced up the world’s most popular taxi and dating apps. The result? Uber for Tinder and Tinder for Uber. So what’s the deal? Well, the idea for the former is that if you grabbed yourself a hot Tinder date, you could each be whisked in a cab to your chosen destination at the touch of a button. The latter would see users swipe left or right on Uber drivers; get yourself a match and the driver would go Dutch on the fare with you in exchange for a travelling date.
Reddit r/Android vs r/Apple (2015)
You could, if you were downplaying things, say that there’s something of a friendly rivalry between Apple and Android fans. And that’s what reddit.com capitalised on when it decided to swap the look and feel of its r/Android and r/Apple subreddit communities. And the members played along, creating mocking help and question topics all day long to rib their mobile rivals.
Microsoft’s MS-DOS Mobile (2015)
Sometimes the best way forwards is to take a step back, which, if 2015’s April Fool’s entry is anything to go by, is clearly an attitude being employed at Microsoft. The mobile maker launched MS-DOS Mobile last year, giving Lumia owners the chance to download and use a barebones software experience akin to command-line computing in the 80s. The attention to detail was superb, with the MS-DOS app not only actually existing in the first place, but by also being a fully featured way to get around your phone, launch apps and take photos.
Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge (2015)
The Samsung Galaxy edge series isn’t short of sharp design lines, but the S6 edge and S7 edge have got nothing on the Samsung Galaxy BLADE edge – ‘the ultimate cooking companion’. Samsung’s prank product plonked a smartphone inside a ‘ceramic diamond’ chassis, letting you look up recipes or watch videos while you cook. Other spurious features included weight-shifting gyroscopes that help you attain the perfect chopping rhythm, and live finger sensors to make sure you’ll never cut yourself again.
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