Every year when April 1st comes around, even earlier this year in fact, big tech companies like Google, Microsoft and Samsung all launch elaborate hoaxes and gags to put a smile on our faces. It's an institution in the tech world these days to create something funny every year, and some companies – we're looking at you Google! – spend an alarming amount of time crafting the funnies. Here we've rounded up the best April Fools gags and fakes for 2015, neatly broken down and linked to so you can go out and enjoy the chaos that is April 1st.
Channelling Conan's WikiBear, Google Japan has launched Google Panda, essentially a super-cute and fuzzy Google Now…Panda. Google Panda is durable, portable and it'll answer your questions with a response time of 0.3 seconds, making Google Panda genuinely helpful. You can watch the informative keynote below.
Google Maps often gets something fun on April Fools and this year was no different. Pac-Man came to Google Maps this year, and you can play on either your desktop using Chrome or your mobile device, it doesn't matter which. You just need to find a suitable place and the streets will be turned into a Pac-Man level. It's actually genuinely good fun, as you can essentially choose from millions of different levels to play some classic arcade gaming. As always, Google have put together a handy little support page for this new, wondrous feature of Google Maps.
Google kept things going with the Smartbox, a ludicrous reimagining of the mailbox and well, it has a neat spam filter at least:
Google Fiber bought us a wave of nostalgia as well as subtle nod to put the phone down and close the laptop up every now and then with Dial Up mode. For you young whipper snappers reading this, back in the day you had to dial into the internet with your phone line, using a 56k modem. These days, we do very little waiting when it comes to loading web pages, even less if you're a Fiber customer, so Google Fiber wanted to slow things down for us:
We have one more video for you here, again from Google Japan, and it looks like they've discovered how to input text without the need for a pesky keyboard, this is pretty interesting stuff here.
Elgoog is another good one from Google, you just need to head to https://com.google/ and you'll get Google, in reverse. Simple, yet effective.
Samsung started things off early yesterday with the Galaxy Blade Edge, a Galaxy S6 Edge as a Chef's knife, which is just classic. Interested in ready more, you can head here.
As keen Redditors have noticed, the April 1st nightly of CM12 adds in a sneaky little nod to the noise surrounding cash coming from Microsoft to Cyanogen. The picture is all you need to see really, and it's pretty funny and one of the more subtle, yet appropriate jokes of April 1st.
Moto took things in a different direction this year, and parodied the humble selfie stick that is causing quite a stir these days. It's packed with the usual over-the-top, form over function we've come to expect in product videos and it's a good laugh.
T-Mobile likes to give you lots of data to use, and with their Music Freedom service, you can make the most of that data along Data Stash. Today though, they announced Pets UN-LEASHED, giving you the option to add your pet to a family plan, making sure they don't miss out on anything. This is a great idea from T-Mo, after all, pets are loved on the internet, and why shouldn't they get the same sort of data we do? More from T-Mobile here.
HTC were fun enough to poke fun at their own Re brand this year, with the Re Sok showing off what wearable technology is capable of in the future. This is one of the more fun product launches of today, as HTC have put together a pretty good-looking website for the Re Sok available here.
This year Microsoft used nostalgia and their Lumia line of Windows Phones to play pranks on us with the revival of MS-DOS for mobile. If you've ever used the command line in Linux or you just remember having to load Windows as a command, then you'll love this.