Throwback Thursday: Google's 10 best April Fools' pranks

Every year, the big G never fails to keep us entertained on 1 April

Didn’t catch ‘em all Pokemons on Google Maps? Can’t wait to try the Nest smart thermostat on Virgin America flights?

These are just some of the great innovations that Google have unleashed upon the world on 1 April* Sure, they sound zany, wild, and at times almost impossible to pull it off. But we have absolute faith in the folks at Mountain View.

Just look at some of the wonderful ideas they came up with over the last few years.

*Disclaimer: as a self-professed Google fanboy, this writer has been in denial and refused to recognise these antics as April Fools’ Day pranks.

Google Nose (2013)

The ultimate search feature that no longer limits you to just ogling at those delicious-looking cakes. With over 15 million scentibytes saved on Google, you can practically smell the great outdoors or know how city-dwellers feel about the air pollution.

Treasure Hunt on Google Maps (2013)

Avast, ye land lubbers. It’s time to find Captain Kidd’s long-lost treasure. Don’t think about hoarding that treasure, you’ll have to work together and combine maps to get more clues to the infamous pirate’s treasure. Bring a sword along, just in case you get double-crossed when you find them shiny gold.

Google Maps 8-bit (2012)

Blow the dust off that Nintendo Entertainment System and chuck in Google Maps 8-bit to explore new realms, slay some dragons, and save the world. Well, mostly just to see Street View on the NES, actually. Dragon slaying is optional, and you should take extra precaution to avoid being roasted by dragon fire.

Google Street Roo (2012)

Ah, the great Australian outback. A land still full of surprises, and filled with roaming kangaroos. Google, you’re a genius, strapping a 360-degree head camera onto the abundant population of skippers to map the hidden treasures of the great outback.

Being a Google Autocompleter (2011)

A keen sense of prediction, and search speed so fast, it’s done in the blink of an eye. That’s the main prerequisite of the Google Autocompleter, and in 2011, Google gave everyone a sneak peek at the impossible task of this essential person who saves us so much time with autocompleted words.

More after the break...

Google Translate for Animals (2011)

Her: “Honey, Rover’s still barking! Is he hungry, or does he want to go for a walk?!”

Me: “I can’t speak dog, how’d you expect me to find that out?”

Her: “Didn’t Google just launch Google Translate for Animals?”

*Grudgingly downloads the app, selects dog to English*

Rover: “Dude, I just crapped on your bed, sorry. Hehehe…”

Gmail Motion (2011)

Stop typing on that keyboard, throw it out before you get carpal tunnel syndrome. Get with the times, fire up that webcam and start using gestures to type that e-mail. It’s easy, intuitive and makes e-mail much more fun with a few quick motions.

Meow Me Now (2011)

Kittens, you can never go wrong with these adorable little things. Now, you can find these furry playthings by typing [kittens] on google.com on your Android or iOS device. By the way, trying meowing into your phone, it’ll work just as well, and you might attract the attention of a nearby kitty too.

Virgle (2008)

After six long years, it’s finally time for Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to begin their project - the first permanent human colony on Mars. It’s not too late, this is the start of Virgle’s 100 Year Plan. The adventure of many lifetimes guaranteed, if you apply to be a Virgle pioneer now.

YouTube (2008)

You’ll have to watch it to truly appreciate how much YouTube loved its users on 1 April. Trust us, you'll want to watch see the epic video.

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