April Fools' Day pranks: Pokemon, cats, and other high-tech high jinks (pictures)

Tech companies take advantage of April Fools' Day to pull off some hilarious, and elaborate, pranks. Here's a look at some of the best ones we've spotted so far.

CNET News staff

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1 of 18 Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It's the one day of the year where you should not only question things that sound "too good to be true," but just about everything you hear: April Fools' Day.

Tech companies are no strangers to pulling off pranks, and many of the big names are getting in on the fun this year. The Gmail Shelfie, above, is just one of the tricks Google is trying to pull off this year.

Click through to see what Google, Samsung, and others are trying to pass off as real this April Fools' Day.

2 of 18 Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET

Google Maps Pokemon Challenge

As part of the fake Google Maps Pokemon Challenge, Google has flooded its real iOS and Android Maps apps with Pokemon, placing 150 of the creatures in real-world locations that can then be tapped on to "catch" and fill one's Pokedex.

3 of 18 Screenshot by CNET

Cats by Opera project

Opera Software, the company behind the Opera browser, announced its feline-first Web browser project. The software, currently in beta, is the "first Web browser tail-or made for cats," Opera said.

4 of 18 Google

Qwerty Cats

Google also revealed a cat-themed April Fools' Day joke. A virtual keyboard for cats, dubbed Qwerty Cats, showed up in the Chrome Web Store. It features pawprints that your feline friends can use to type out a message, mouse mode, and "cat translation technology."

5 of 18 HTC

HTC Gluu

April Fools' jokes from HTC, Samsung, and Toshiba this year have something in common. See if you can put your finger on it.

Designed to join hands with the HTC One M8, the HTC Gluuv lets you take selfies with a fist bump and "like" things you see in the real world on Facebook with a cheeky thumbs-up.

6 of 18 Samsung

Samsung Fingers

Samsung takes gesture control to a whole new (fictional) level with the Samsung Fingers. The glove features a talk to the hand mode that lets people record a message when you're too busy to talk to them and a Pull My Finger feature that, well, the less said about that the better.

7 of 18 Toshiba

That's right, another glove joke.

Toshiba introduced a wearable technology called "Digit" in a (wonderfully fake) ad that shows people listening to music from the glove's thumbs, taking selfies with the squeeze of a finger, and creating real-time ultrasound images with the wave of the glove over a woman's belly.

8 of 18

Emojify the Web

In another Google gag, Chrome for Android and iOS will translate the mobile Web into emoji for you.

9 of 18 Google

Auto Awesome Photobombs

If you're lucky this April Fools' Day, you might spot David Hasselhoff in one of your Google+ pics thanks to the new Auto Awesome Photobombs feature. You can check out all the lucky Hoff photobomb recipients by searching for #Hoffsome on Google+.

10 of 18

Hulu spin-off season

Coming soon (we wish) only on Hulu, a spinoff for all your favorite shows. From Hannibal’s culinary delights to a superhero workout inspired by "Arrow's" Oliver Queen, Hulu says its Spin-off Season will show you another side of your most-beloved TV characters.

11 of 18 Orbotix


Orbotix, the maker of quirky phone-controlled robots, looked to take advantage of the selfie obsessed with its April Fools' joke. Take a look at the company's newest robot, the Selfiebot, a small flying orb that's "always watching for life's most precious moments."

12 of 18 Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Nokia Here Papyrus

Nokia extends its digital mapping service Here to the analog realm with Here Papyrus. A Nokia spokesperson told CNET that route guidance "will be delivered as an OTA update during Q5."

13 of 18 Screenshot by Wayne Cunningham

Honda FitKit

In the YouTube video First Honda DIY Car, the ultimate crafting couple talks about how they ordered the Honda FitKit, consisting of about 200,000 parts, so they could build their own Honda Fit.

14 of 18 Screenshot by CNET

YouTube #newtrends

Setting out to top last year's epic prank, YouTube reveals that they've been behind the creation of every viral video ever. In addition to giving you a sneak peek at this year's viral trends -- which include "Clocking" and "Glub Glub" -- they want you to submit your own ideas for viral trends with #newtrends.

15 of 18 Blizzard

Blizzard Outcasts

Blizzard is pitting outcast against outcast in a new fighting game Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished. The game, which Blizzard says is "for realsies," comes with a custom control that has 32 buttons and a credit-card slot for in-game purchases.

16 of 18 Screenshot by CNET

Roku Watch

Roku pokes fun of the smartwatch craze with a device that's aimed at "rare individuals who enjoy squinting around a teenie tiny screen."

17 of 18 Screenshot by CNET

Kayak Bathrooms

In addition to helping you find hotels and flights, Kayak now lets you compare bathrooms so you can find the perfect "place to go." Those who play along with the gag are rewarded with a toilet-themed minigame.

18 of 18 Sony

Sony Power Food

Sony revealed a line of food that will not only fill you up, it can also power your gadgets. Sony said the Sony Protein Energy Bar, above, "contains a daily serving of fiber, protein and charged lithium." Oh, and in case you were fooled, Sony made sure to include this disclaimer: "This non-factual news release is issued by Sony Electronics and is an acknowledged spoof press release for April Fool's Day!"

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