Hatched: the 101 best Easter eggs in tech history

Operating systems and smartphone apps

OS X Tetris

As we said, Tetris gets everywhere. If you're still running an OS X Mac open Finder, go to Applications and then Utilities. Open Terminal, type ‘emacs’ and press Return. Press ‘Esc’ and ‘X’ together, then type ‘tetris’. This is just one of Terminal’s many hidden treats – replacing ‘tetris’ with ‘pong’ or ‘snake’ will give you the retro games, while typing ‘doctor’ takes you to a virtual pyschotherapist.

Android pics

Google’s easter egg trail continues on Android. Go to Settings/About. Tap repeatedly on the version number for a picture surprise particular to your version of Android. The latest Easter egg, for Android 8.0 Oreo, is a particularly fishy little number...

Secret games

And, once that secret picture has popped up, try long-pressing on it: doing so in Android Lollipop, for example, saw users met with a Flappy Bird-like mini-game. And, yes, it was just as infuriatingly impossible as the original.

Destination nowhere

Open Dashboard in OS X and ensure the weather widget is active. Click the weather symbol while holding Alt and Command; the location is now ‘Nowhere’. Keep pressing to cycle through the weather symbols.

Iconic OS X eggs

Open your Applications folder in tile view, whack up the icon size (Command+J) and many Apple apps, such as Textedit, reveal a hidden message – we found ‘Hello from Cupertino’ on the Mail icon.

Never Settle

Own a OnePlus 3 or 3T? Head to the calculator app, type in '1+' and hit the equals button. You'll get a nice marketing message. Simple, but classy.

Macintosh SE (1987)

Hit the debug button, type ‘G 41D89A’, and boom - you’ve got yourself a pixel, monochrome photograph of the Macintosh SE’s development team. Why? Because, the whole world deserves to see that hat and shirt combo, that’s why.

Microsoft used to be fun too...

Enough Apple and Google - what about Windows? Well, the bad news is that Microsoft doesn’t seem to do eggs any more, due to security fears. But it used to hand out more than the Easter Bunny.

Microsoft Office 97 hid a pinball table in Word and a flight sim in Excel, while Internet Explorer 4 hit back at the Book of Mozilla (see below) by showing a blue screen of death every time you typed ‘about:mozilla’ into its address bar. The good news is Microsoft swears that there are secrets for egg hunters to uncover in the video homepages of its search engine, Bing.

Playtime on Facebook Messenger

iOS and Android users can play basketball in their Facebook Messenger app, by sending a basketball emoji to a chat window, and pressing on it. This brings up a basketball net, and the rest is pretty self explanatory.

Want more? Hit the little plus symbol down the bottom left when you're in a conversation and then tap the 'games' icon. From here you'll be able to fire up a whole host of time-wasters - from Snake and PAC-MAN to Solitaire and Tomb Runner - without leaving the app. It even works in group chats, too, if you want to get properly competitive.

 

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