Google has continued its Easter Egg tradition with a new search animation in its Photos app that's only a little bit spooky. Of course, the company added the hidden pop-up for Halloween, as detailed in the recently spotted tweet its discovery originates from. But it definitely leans more toward being cute than scary. All users need to do to see it for themselves is to open the app and then search for "Halloween" at the top of the home page.
Then pressing the on-screen enter key causes the search results to appear as normal. Google has had the ability to search for similar keyphrases for a long time now so that's not what's surprising. After Photos loads those up though, the app greets users with a jack-o-lantern animation.
The pumpkin has been carved with a fairly standard grinning face, complete with goofy, square teeth. That rolls itself to the bottom-center of the screen from the left. Then it hops a little and winks before lighting up and rolling itself off the right-hand side.
The Google Easter Egg tradition is extensive both in and out of Photos
This latest Halloween animation from Google isn't the first time it's put an Easter Egg — spooky or otherwise — in its services, let alone in Photos.
For example, in the Files Go file management application, there's one that shows up every time storage is cleaned. That animation pops up from the bottom, amid streamers and confetti. The figure there waves a little flag to celebrate the user's decision to clean up their device.
There doesn't need to be an ongoing holiday or event for Google to do that either. Among more famous examples, Google Chrome actually has a functioning video game users can play if they don't have service.
That's been around for a while and is fairly easy to access just by opening Chrome with no access to the internet. Tapping or clicking on the T-Rex in the resulting error page boots up the offline low-res side-scroller.
Yet another, more recent Easter Egg was the addition of Nintendo's Mario character as a placeholder in Google Maps. Like the jack-o-lantern and other holiday-based Easter Eggs from the company, that was a limited-run secret that only appeared for a short time. Summarily, that allowed users to drive around with Mario in a go-kart marking their place on the map.
Other Google services are in on the Halloween fun too
Google is celebrating Halloween and some other October holidays this year across several of its apps. It's also getting devices in on the fun.
To begin with, Google's smart home speakers are all getting temporary features that provide atmospheric sounds for Halloween. That's been ongoing for a couple of years now but this year it also includes responses for smart displays. Nest-branded doorbells can play ghoulish noises for trick-or-treaters too.
The video calling and messaging app Duo received an update not t0o long ago on the server-side as well. That's added new effects and filters for both Halloween and the Hindu festival of lights holiday Diwali.
Spooktacular tip: Search “Halloween” in @googlephotos to find your old Halloween pics. Psst … before you get into the spirit, make sure to update to the latest version of the app for a treat. 🎃 pic.twitter.com/VQDmzg2oGt
— B🎃🎃GLE (@Google) October 29, 2019