Thanks to the limitless possibilities the Internet has given us, today’s April Fool’s jokes are a lot more sophisticated than the ones American Girl Magazine used to suggest (“Put a dime and a safety pin in a box, give it to your friend, and say you got them a diamond pin!”). Tech startups (and, of course, established companies) have become especially big players, as they have the platforms, budgets, and creative minds to make really wacky ideas come to life. Some companies go all-out, like Google, which has at least five different pranks (just in America) on its multitude of channels. Others, like Uber and TOMS, realize they’re a match made in heaven and combine forces into something beautiful. For your entertainment — and to help you avoid falling for an embarrassing prank — here’s a roundup of the best April Fools’ jokes the Internet has to offer today.
If I may be the judge… Google Maps wins April Fools’ 2014 with “Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge,” a quest to find their newest employee: The World’s Best Pokémon Master. You open the Google Maps app on your iPhone or Android, then determine where each Pokémon is hiding — all over the world, from New York to Toyko.
Image via Google
“Google+ Auto Awesome” will instantly make your photos more awesome (#Hoffsome) by adding a David Hasselhoff photobomb.
For the narcissist in all of us, Gmail has introduced the “Shelfie” (SHareable sELFIE, get it?), so you can stare at your own face while you Gchat the day away at work.
To make life more efficient, Chrome for Android and iOS will translate your words into emoji, so you can express what you’re truly feeling in a more digestible way. Standouts are “fancy gentleman,” “cut a rug,” and “shy snowman.”
Chromecast shows its compassion for park rodents and some outside-the-box thinking with “Chromecast: A New Era of Squirrel Entertainment.”
If you’re squeamish and have an active imagination, this might not be the prank for you. Hulu “premiered” its new series today: In the Kitchen With Hannibal.
Last year, Netflix pranked its customers with oddly specific categories like “Movies Featuring an Epic Nicolas Cage Meltdown.” This year, it’s creating its own content, specifically 20-minute movies Sizzling Bacon and Roasting Chicken, which people are actually watching.
(Note: I also accidentally watched Sizzling Bacon for long enough to realize it’s five seconds of looping footage repeated for 15 minutes. The bacon doesn’t even cook! Yes, I hate myself.)
In YouTube’s Viral Trends of 2014, the site’s overlords (rightly) cast themselves as gods of the viral universe, beings who decide in their boardroom what will be the next “planking” (hint: it’s “clocking”), and other viral trends, like “kissing dad” by surprise.
Samsung Fingers are actually worth clicking, because the accompanying cartoons are great. Who doesn’t need a pair of tech gloves that can tell you if coffee is hot and ice cubes are cold? I think we all do.
The HTC Gluuv wins for “Prank We Wish Was Real” — look at that HoloCall! Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century is finally coming to life.
Clothing company Bonobos went all out with its hilarious video for “TechStyle,” a shirt with Siri-esque technology that gets less and less helpful as the day goes on. First, she sweetly suggests putting on another layer because it’s chilly out, but soon she’s proclaiming to the wearer’s boss: “Body temperature rising — that means he’s lying” and posting “I miss you” to his ex-girlfriend’s wall.
Yahoo! seems to have sat this year out, but Yahoo!-owned Tumblr released an incredible video for “Tumblr Pro.” Watch a chainsaw demolish a stack of papers as a voice says, “A pro doesn’t see limits. A pro crushes the limits!” If you watch through the whole video and “Upgrade to Pro,” your Tumblr avatar earns its own tiny top hat which will hopefully never go away.
TOMS x Uber
A collaboration between car service Uber and do-gooder shoe company TOMS, ShuberX is a revolutionary new way to travel that combines both products in the worst possible way: “We simply don’t have time to reinvent the wheel. So what if we uninvent it?”
Sick of browsing Reddit using your big, clunky hands? Well, today’s your lucky day: with the introduction of “Headdit,” you can “upnod, frownvote, and navigate your way around reddit using your head.”
A “surprise” face opens a link (see below), and “presenting a feline companion will enable cat mode.”
“opening links with surprise,” via Reddit
In College Humor’s fantasy prankland, Facebook bought them.
The yoga apparel company piggybacked off of Jimmy Kimmel’s sketch about their “spray-on yoga pants” and posted a link to buy the canned pants on their site. If they weren’t already “sold out,” you’d be out a mean $1,200 trying to hop on this bandwagon.
Need a desk in a pinch? Want to make 20 bucks during your afternoon coffee break? Airbnb brings you “Air BRB,” the desk-sharing site we didn’t know we needed.
Fresh Direct’s advertisement for “Eagle-Caught Salmon” is one of those sad pranks you could imagine snobby rich people or extreme Paleo dieters falling for and then being really sad about.
College magazine Her Campus reverted their website back to the web’s glory days of 1999, complete with ASCII art and a peace-sign cursor. Lisa Frank would be proud.
Among ThinkGeek’s many April 1 offerings is a Klingon version of Rosetta Stone, and this beautiful Flux Capacitor car charger.