Fun and Fooling with Android, UPDATED


April Fool's Day all Around the World of Android

Here's a brief review of the Android fun for April Fool's Day.  Once more, Google owns April Fool's, although Groupon filed a patent to obtain exclusive rights over the holiday, and then prevent anyone else from celebrating it without their approval.  Google has jokes all over the world, mostly for the desktop, but we'll keep it as mobile as possible.

And the best April Fool's Day joke of all: sending this out when the day is over in most time zones.

Update: In pulling together all this fun, I missed this terrific writeup that quite a few sites actually reported seriously.  It was played straight on Android Police, complete with decoy "obvious" April Fool's Day story, and so several sites ran with this piece.  We're adding this item to the top of the Round-Up as our weekend comes to a close.


Android Police: The Amazon Blaze (Added in Update 4/3/11)

Written up as an exclusive look at a phone nobody saw coming, Android Police punked a number of sites with this writeup of the so-cool-it-ought-to-exist Amazon Blaze and some terrific renders.  And just slaver over the specs!

  • 4.3 inch Mirasol display
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8660 processor
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • 32 GB of internal storage
  • 8 GB microSD card included
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • 5 MP rear camera
  • MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) port for both microUSB and microHDMI
  • DLNA connectivity
  • Possible NFC chip – we haven't been able to confirm this, but given recent rumors, it's a strong possibility
  • Bluetooth 2.1/3.0
  • GSM/HSPA+ on AT&T and possibly a Verizon variant, but we're not sure yet
  • 9.25 mm thick
  • 120 g weight
  • 1700 mAh Lithium Ion battery
  • Solar panel on battery cover (hope you get a lot of sun in your area)

Well done!  This story was actually assigned to our staff, but the writer caught on, and after some back-and-forth we decided this was the best place for it. (End update)

Google Kittehs

Google enables Meow Me Now on Android (and iOS) devices.  Find kittens near you on the go!  Simply type kittens into Google Search.


Google Voice Search in Pig Latin

Your Android device is now Pig Latin-enabled for Voice Search!  To use this feature, simply go to Settings >Voice input & output settings > Voice recognizer settings > Language > Pig Latin.  Pig Latin is the last choice, after Latin, which is after Turkish.  Somebody must have forgotten how to alphabetize when those last two were added.

Voice Search requires Android OS 2.2 (Froyo).  If you don't already have Voice Search on your device, you can download it from the Android Market.


Apple to License Android OS


Apple has announced plans to license Google's Android operating system, outlining details of the new initiative in a blog post by Steve Jobs entitled "Thoughts on Google."

The Android Exception

"Android will give Apple an important defense to critics in the market," Jobs wrote. "As an Android licensee, Apple won't have to deal with critics complaining about missing features or people like Brett Arends concocting stories about how the real price of an Apple product is the price you would pay, multiplied by decades of compounded interest if you had invested that money in the stock market instead."


Jobs said Apple's new status as an Android licensee makes the company "bulletproof" and "essentially above criticism, the law, or reality." No one has dared to offer any sort of realistic appraisal of Google's Android OS since its inception, even as the search giant's other projects crumbled into ignominy, including Answers, Base, Buzz, Catalogs, Dodgeball, GOOG-411, Jaiku, Knol, Lively, Notebook, Orkut, Page Creator, Print Ads, Sidewiki, the Nexus One, Google Video, and Wave.

Google Maps Real World Sightings

Google added a few reported sightings to their maps, like a giant lobster on this bridge near Boston.  There are nine others somewhere in the world, and the twitter account @GoogleMaps left some hints.  There's a pink elephant near the GooglePlex, but I couldn't find it on my phone.  This site found three more of the critters.

If you turn on 3-D buidings you can see the 3-D models of the creatures as well.  Looks like this is to let people know about Google's Sketch Up rendering tool.  All 16 models are here, with hints on where to find them on the map.


Google Voice-alyzer

Usually when Google pulls an April Fool's prank, they really release the new feature.  I haven't found this one on my phone yet, but they said it was rolling out over the next 24 hours.  It could be quite useful. The Voice-alyzer prevents you from texting drunk by allowing you to enter a time period when you expect to be out and about, and probably ought to avoid SMSing.  When enabled, like a drunk driving test,Voice-alyzer makes you enter difficult text input within a time limit when active.

xda Developers: iOS installed on Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S on AT&T)

Guide and download files here.  One might ask why, but this is xda we're talking about.


Google Cow

Google Body has been upgraded.  Four legs good, two legs bad!

Cyanogen leaving CyanogenMod

Long live TehDuckUberDistro!  Here's the tweets to prove it:

  • It's true, TDRevolution has bought all rights to CM from me. I now own a new yacht. And a jet. Stacks of cash all around the house.
  • RT @ChrisSoyars: Since @cyanogen quit Android, We're in the process of re-branding to TehDuckUberDistro!

HTC to acquire ClockworkMod

This was sent out in a tweet, so it must be official.

Starbucks Mobile Pour

Great idea, but where's the Android version of it?  They still haven't made a myStarbucks card app, and there's both iPhone and BlackBerry!  There's a paid Android app in the Market by a third party, but come on!

Thunderbolt Secret Second Core Unlocked

Again, if it's in a tweet, it must be true.

Google: Gmail in Motion

Gmail enabled for gesture support, which allows you to stay in shape while you answer your correspondence.

Alas, Gmail in Motion is not ready for Mobile yet, but should be a natural with a hand-held device.  Coming soon: Google Docs Motion BETA.  Also no announcement when this will be available on Android devices.

Angry Nerds

The joke is that they say they have the game as an Android app, but you have to play it on your computer.  If you click on the Android button it will play a video that appears to be the game, curiously nonrespondent to your input.

Droid-Life: iPhone and DROID Bionic

Do you really think Verizon would release these two phones on the same day?

You definitely want to click this image and see the larger version.  The joke is given away in the fine print.  Be sure to pre-order your iDongle if you want 4G.

Taste and Smell Beer on your Android Device

This is an actual Market app by Shock Top ale, but the joke is more on your friends than on you.  Convince them you can smell and taste the beer using this app.

Swype for 2011: Thynk

Why type when you can Swype?  Well, why Swype when you can Thynk?

Bing SDK for Android

What do you mean this isn't a joke?  Come on, Java but no JavaScript?  Very funny.

YouTube: Top 5 Viral Pictures of 1911

Homage to Annoying Orange, Bed Intruder, the Rick Roll, Failblog and Keyboard Cat.

The desktop version of YouTube has a "1911" button today (at least in the the US it does, but try adding the tag "&vintage=1911" to the URL if you can't find it) which makes any video sepia with piano music track.

Of course, how could you forget last year's:

Google: Translate for Animals (2010)

Google Translate for Animals (Google UK).  Be sure to take the tour.  Then download the app from the Android Market.

Phandroid: Owner Rob Jackson's Farewell, Sites Sold to AOL

But he didn't name a successor.  Is it Arianna?

Android Headlines: Google Dumps Android, To Buy Symbian from Nokia

An Android Headlines exclusive, which you can read right here.