April Fools' roundup: Google Nose, Twttr, and more

Search the Web by smell, Maps gets a pirate-themed overhaul, and Twitter starts charging for vowels, in our April Fools' roundup.

It's that time of year, and Google has again gone all out with its April Fools' jokes, from searching by smell to turning Google Maps into a treasure hunt.

But it's far from the only prankster getting in on the action, as our roundup reveals. This way, funsters, there's plenty of gags in store.

Google Nose is one of the best of the bunch. Hit up the Google homepage and you'll see the option to search by smell. It's touted as your Internet sommelier, with SafeSearch included, to avoid any nasty pongs. Think smell-o-vision, but on the Web. It's only in beta, mind.

Ever wanted to feel like a pirate? Of course you have. Well Google Maps has added a treasure map mode -- just hit the button, and the world is transformed into a hunt for buried treasure. The maps aren't very detailed though, which I suppose makes them more authentic. But it's a step up from last year's 8-bit mode. Select StreetView, and you'll see everything in black and white, and as if through a telescope too, which is pretty cool.

YouTube is closing down! Not really of course, but we can pretend. Last year, Google said it would sell the entire collection of clips from YouTube as a DVD boxset, and this year it's come up with a new gag for the site. Apparently the whole venture was a competition to find the world's best video. Now Google is ready to pick a winner (which it reckons will take 10 years), so no need for YouTube to carry on. My suggestion? This doozy.

How is everyone feeling in your Google Plus photos? Just use the stylised emotion option, and Google will work it out for you.

Google has also made everything blue in Gmail. Well why not? And could it be a sly dig at Windows Blue ?

If you're using Google Analytics, you might notice active visitors from the International Space Station's Control Room too.

Google's Fibre Poles will let you access the Web at gigabit speeds wherever there's electricity, so just plug your laptop into the nearest utility pole. These could come in handy on street corners, actually.

Now you don't have to spend thousands to spruce up your home. Just use Google's SCHMICK (Simple Complete House Makeover Internet Conversion Kit) on Google Maps, and you can upgrade your abode in seconds. You can even add an extension using the house builder tool.

Finally, Google's Levity Algorithm will spice up your most boring of work days by helping you send happier emails, be more engaging in meetings and write even better presentations. If only!

Seriously, the resources Google must have. But it's not the only one playing the prankster. Twitter has announced it'll start charging you to use vowels in your tweets, with the free service rebranded as Twttr. Musically reports that, under threat from Apple's impending iRadio streaming service , Spotify is making its own handset, called the SpotiPhone. Nokia has designs on your kitchen, with Lumia-coloured microwaves. Samsung is branching out by launching its own eco-trees, while Sony has a range of electronics suitable for your pets.

Google Glass? Pah. How about The Guardian's effort, Guardian Goggles? Its anti-bigotry tech promises to "redact columns by Melanie Phillips or Richard Littlejohn". And possibly to insert typos into whatever you're reading.

Virgin has unveiled a glass-bottomed plane that'll fly to Scotland. ThinkGeek has a Play-Doh 3D printer. And here's a bacon-flavoured mouthwash. Nice.

What are your favourite April Fools' jokes? And did Google beat last year's effort? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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