Google has been busy preparing pranks for this most dangerous of days to be a journalist. In addition to empowering Google Maps users to go forth and catch all the world's Pokemon, another April Fools' feature in Chrome for Android and iOS will translate the mobile Web into emoji for you.
Well, kind of. It just replaces certain words with emoji in a way that's still easy to read. It's actually kind of charming.
To try it out, open a tab in Chrome on your phone or tablet and go to any non-Google Web site. Apparently, Google was not willing to defile sites like Google News with emoji. Then click on the menu icon and you should see the option to translate to emoji just below the navigation buttons. Tap it to enable it and reload the page if you don't automatically see all sorts of goofy little icons in the midst of the text on the page.
Of course, the gag is that Google is taking this seriously, as the apparently fictional employee Emily Mee tells us in the explanatory video below:
"This is the next phase of linguistic evolution and we want to provide this to all of our users."
I find it to be a much lighter way to take in the daily news. From now on, I think any time we write about how we can be strengthening our diplomatic ties with another nation, it should be imperative to include little icons of a bumblebee and a necktie in there.