Google has made a name for themselves with their Android operating system’s tasty names, exposing the more playful side of the company. April 1st is fast approaching, and it wouldn’t surprise us if Google had been working on some more clever and entertaining April Fool’s jokes just as they have done every year. April 1st isn’t the only time of year that Google like to have a joke however, as they’ve been putting Easter Eggs into many of their software products for a long time now, even Search has a few fun Easter Eggs to be explored. Recently, enterprising Reddit users found that the Marshmallow dialer housed an Easter Egg that’s a nod to the British comedy series, the IT Crowd.
One of Channel 4’s more famous comedy series, the IT Crowd centered around, you guessed it, an IT team managing a large corporate entity’s IT needs. The real fun started when a total outsider to IT is put in charge of a department she knows nothing about, hilarity ensues throughout the few seasons of the show, but the real key to the show’s success was its ability to poke fun at other parts of British culture. One such thing was the change to how people could reach an operator to ask for numbers of local services or businesses. It changed from simply ‘192’ to ‘118 xxx’ with the last three digits being assigned to whichever commercial outfit opened their doors. Everyone will be familiar with ‘118 118’ across the pond these days, but back in 2003 when the change was made, there was something of a storm in a tea cup around the doubling of numbers needed to be dialled.
The IT Crowd made fun of this by creating a false ad for the emergency services and their “new number” which was the hilariously long, yet easy to remember “0118 999 881 999 119 7253”. The false ad is embedded below for those to watch, but the Easter Egg Redditors have discovered is that dialing this number will result in the call button to flash blue and red similar to the sirens found atop Ambulances and Police Cars. This is a small nod to a popular cult show, and it’s nice to see something like this in Android. It appears as though this only works on stock Android 6.0 and above, but it’s good fun nonetheless.