Google brings its A game to April Fools’ with Cardboard Plastic, Photos emoji search, and more

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While we can probably all agree Google’s first early 2016 April Fools’ Day prank uncharacteristically bombed, a slew of much better gags and hilarious introduction videos for fake products were always expected to debut today.

The hoaxes and “crazy features” ultimately went “official” a good number of hours ago, when it was still March 31, ranging as usual from gut-busting to self-deprecating to outright bizarre and… stuff we’d actually like to see happen.

Hands down the best, most elaborate and funniest clip (embedded below) takes the wraps off the Cardboard Plastic. No, this isn’t the sensor-laden next-gen VR device Big G is tipped to unveil for real before long.

Instead, it’s the world’s “first actual reality headset”, sporting 360-degree sound, universal app compatibility, 20/20 resolution (depending on eyesight), and a lightweight, waterproof design. A little silly? Sure. But who doesn’t like absurd humor, especially when it nails pretty much all pompous advertising terms typically used to describe virtual reality products?

Meanwhile, Google Express jokingly finds an alternative to futuristic drone delivery, aiming to land packages via… parachutes. The only problem? To lift the parachutes towards the sky, drones are still needed. Nice one!

But it’s even nicer to see Google take its own pranks seriously, as the Photos app now includes actual emoji search, and Gmail lets you “drop the mic” on participants to the same seemingly endless conversation.

Google Japan’s Physical Flick Bluetooth keyboard? YouTube’s Snoopavision viewing mode and Snoop Dogg integration? Google Search for your socks? Told you things were ultimately going to get weird as well. Oh, alright, the sock-organizing feature made my inner 12-year-old chuckle a little.

Update: It appears sometimes it’s wise to keep fiction clearly separated from reality. Though an amusing, harmless idea on paper, the Gmail Mic Drop function backfired, prompting Google’s engineers to admit they pranked themselves this year. You can no longer exit threads by way of Minion GIFs, so as to avoid unpleasant work situations and whatnot.

Sources: Google System Blog, Android Central, Gmail Blog

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu

Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).