April Fools' Day is here, and that means a day full of gags as tech brands try to outdo one another. Google in particular likes to go all-out on this day, and while the search giant has created some truly memorable gags over the years — like the Google Gnome — but there was also the infamous mic drop.
Without further ado, here are the best and worst April Fools' Day tech gags of 2019.
Play Snake within Google Maps
Once again, Google is kicking things off with a new feature coming to Maps. Starting today, you'll be able to play Snake from within Google Maps, and you can choose from a variety of cities:
Google Maps shows you how to get around on foot, car, train and bicycle, and now, you can ssslither to your destination too. Starting today, you can play a twist on the snake game in different locations across the world—including Cairo, London, San Francisco, São Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo–right from Google Maps.
To get started, launch Google Maps, tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines on the top left), and hit the Play Snake button. If you don't see the feature just yet, wait for the clock to switch over to April 1 in your timezone. Google also has a dedicated website for Snake that will continue to be active "long after April Foolsss is over."
Google's Files app now cleans your phone inside and out
Files by Google does a great job removing unused apps and clutter from your device's internal storage, but what about the outside of your phone? Google is introducing a new screen cleaner feature that will "wash away smudges and polish your screen." Google says screen cleaner uses the "smudge detector API" to identify imperfections using geometric dirt models and a haptic micromovement generator.
Google Assistant now speaks Tulipish
Google Assistant is picking up a new feature that allows it to talk to plants. Dubbed Neural Machine Translation, the technology allows Assistant to understand the language of plants and translate it to human languages. Google is making the tech accessible with the Google Tulip, a smart home device that lets you talk to plants.
The ability to speak with tulips comes with great environmental and societal benefits. Tulips now have a way to indicate to humans that they're in need of water, light or simply some more space. As their needs are expressed more clearly, they are able to live a happier and healthier life.
Socially, it turns out that plants, and particularly tulips, are very chatty, and make for great friends. Tulips are excellent listeners and when listened to carefully, give sound advice.
You can also ask Assistant on your phone or Google Home to talk Tulipish by saying, "Hey Google, talk to my tulip."
Google Calendar on web gets a Space Invaders-esque game
If you use Google Calendar on your desktop/laptop, you might have noticed a new option in the Settings menu called "Play a game." Upon clicking this, you'll be taken to a Space Invaders-like game in which you move a box at the bottom of your screen and shoot lasers at calendar events as they fall down your screen.
In all honesty, it's a pretty fun mini-game with hilarious pew pew sound effects each time you fire your laser.
OnePlus introduces the Warp Car
OnePlus partnered with McLaren over a limited edition 6T, but clearly that wasn't ambitious enough, because now it is introducing its own electric vehicle, dubbed the Warp Car. The car is made out of SLS 3D and ABS 3D, giving users the ability to build the entire frame in their homes with a 3D printer. The car also has innovative controls:
In-car control is done via gestures on your smartphone, making previously complicated concepts like steering very simple - swipe left to turn left, swipe right to turn right - you get the idea - swipe up to go forward, and swipe down to reverse, and in the first OTA we'll introduce airplane mode for driving mode so you won't ever again suffer from dismissing a notification and accidentally turning the car.
Light comes from a clever system of light tunnels and mirrors, simply turn your smartphone's torch on and slide it into the phone holder, to provide both internal and external lights.
Oh, and it charges in just 20 minutes:
OnePlus Warp Car Charge means you have a day's power in just 20 minutes - in addition, as you'd expect you can use existing OnePlus smartphone chargers, simply plug in 20 regular OnePlus Warp Chargers and you'll be good to go in a day or so.
There's just one problem, however. You'll need to be at least 5ft 6in to access the pedals in the Warp Car, and no taller than 5ft 8in.
Get your groove on with Spotify's Discocover Weekly
Is your Discover Weekly playlist a bit off this week? You're not alone, as Spotify's weekly playlist is getting a disco makeover for April Fools' Day. The streaming service even changed the name to Discocover Weekly, which I didn't notice the first time.
Meet R.O.N., NVIDIA's AI-powered holographic assistant
The future of PC gaming is here, and it involves an AI-powered holographic assistant. NVIDIA's R.O.N. AI assistant optimizes your games, keeps you up to date on the latest gaming news, and coach you through your gameplay. R.O.N. also uses cutting-edge tech like RageConverter and TrollDestroyer to help you in challenging gaming situations:
Have anger issues? R.O.N. uses all-new adaptive RageConverter technology to translate any questionable language into supportive messages for your team. You'll avoid punishment, see better squad performance, and appear cool and collected in even the most challenging gaming situations.
Haters got you feeling down on Reddit or Twitch? Don't stress. Just enable R.O.N.'s cutting-edge TrollDestroyer capabilities to effortlessly wear down their stamina with a limitless supply of AI arguments, backed up by the endless wealth of information available on the Internet.
Never speak to your friends again with Razer Ping
Talking in real life is inefficient and requires too much focus, so Razer is rolling out a new service called Razer Ping that makes it easier to communicate:
Talking's for chumps–you say it best, when you say nothing at all. Why flap your gums when you could be taking names? Kill leaders make the most out of every second they have, and by using Razer Ping!, you can increase your productivity by an average of 1337%–according to math.
Simply point your camera at any object and Razer Ping! will contextualize it into a notification sent to users in the vicinity, or to selected friends.
T-Mobile offers the ultimate privacy with Phone BoothE
T-Mobile is always good for a laugh during April Fools' Day, and it's no different this time around. In 2019, T-Mobile is tackling noise pollution with Phone BoothE, a soundproof booth that offers the "ultimate privacy:"
Launching in NYC, Washington DC and Seattle (T-Mobile's hometown) today, the Phone BoothE is a groundbreaking soundproof cube that allows T-Mobile customers to take and make calls or browse their smartphone in peace – in some of the loudest public spaces in the country.
T-Mobile will roll out the BoothE in select locations in the aforementioned cities:
The T-Mobile Phone BoothE is reserved just for Un-carrier customers, thanks to next-generation advanced BoothE access technology. Simply download the T-Mobile Phone BoothE App from the App Store or Google Play (coming soon) and then use your T-Mobile device to unlock an available BoothE.
Say goodbye to noisy chaos and step right into a quiet, temperature-controlled space complete with walls and windows. You can also use the app to find and reserve a BoothE nearest your location when on the move.
For everyone else, there's the Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE — a gorgeously crafted cardboard box with a hole in it.
Newegg's iBrite is the world's first RGB CPU
If you haven't been keeping up with PC components, you would've missed that RGB lighting is everywhere now. From keyboards to mouse pads, memory modules, cases, fans, and even cables, RGB is pervasive in the PC building community. That's why Newegg is now turning its attention to an RGB CPU, dubbed the iBrite.
With the iBrite, Newegg has introduced the world's first CPU with built-in RGB capabilities. Our marketing team has racked their brains searching for the right words to describe the aesthetic qualities of the iBrite. Opulent. Grandiose. Ostentatious. Eye-meltingly shiny.
But the lights aren't just cosmetic – they also give you critical information about the performance of your system, too. Rather than diving into the Task Manager or BIOS to see what's going on with your PC, you just need to look at the iBrite. If the lights are all on, that means your system is on. If the lights are all off, well, your system is probably off too. And if some lights are on and some are off, that's your indication that some of the diodes are currently illuminated, while others are disabled, or possibly burnt out.
The iBrite runs at a minimum clock speed of 1.4 Petahertz, with the maximum clocks "currently classified:"
During the design process for the iBrite, Newegg opted to just skip right past what everyone else was doing for processors, and it shows in the performance of these chips.
Newegg says it found a loophole in Moore's law that allowed them to go smaller than nanometers, with the iBrite built using quarks:
With Newegg's new FireQuark technology, they've achieved a transistor density that is only theoretically possible! Try not to think about it. Seriously, please, stop thinking about it. Brainwaves interfere with the device's performance.
Duolingo brings real-world push notifications
With over 300 million global users, Duolingo is one of the most popular platforms around to learn a new language. Gamification is at the core of Duolingo's approach, and to ensure users maintain their learning streak, the company is rolling out push notifications to the real world. With Duolingo Push, the company's owl mascot Duo will start showing up in real life to remind you to practice.
If the "testimonials" are anything to go by, Duolingo's latest feature is turning out to be very effective:
I was relaxing after a long day when that bloody owl knocked on my window at 11:55 pm. Almost had a heart attack, but at least my streak is alive and well.
Duo appeared while I was on a second date. We didn't make it to the third date, but I did make it to the third lesson of the Flirting skill in my French course!
SodaStreamME lets you create your own carbonated drinks
SodaStream is teaming up with astronaut Scott Kelly to launch its latest innovation, SodaStreamME. The on-the-go bottle lets you turn everyday burps into carbonated beverages. All you need to do is blow excessive carbon dioxide into the bottle, and the "breakthrough space technology" does the rest. We'll let Kelly sign off with this: "When life gives you gas, make SodaStream."
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