April Fool’s Day has become a major event in the digital calendar, with many brands and media owners creating elaborate pranks to show off their funny side (and get plenty of social media shares and column inches in the process).
Here’s some of our favourites this year:
Snapchat trolls Instagram with copycat filter
Instagram has become infamous for introducing Snapchat ‘inspired’ features such as “Instagram Stories”. This April 1st, Snapchat took a cheeky swipe back at the Facebook owned rival with a filter that looks exactly like the Instagram interface. By taking a photo and swiping to the right for about 10 times, you could make your Snapchat post look like an Instagram post. To add insult to injury, each filter received a like from “my_mom” and a “crying with laughter” emoji caption.
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) 1 April 2017
The bubblewrap keyboard from Google
Need something more addictive than Candy Crush? Introducing the bubblewrap keyboard. For April 2017, Google Japan dispensed with touchscreens and voice activation for some old school packing wrap. Responding to an annoying email will never feel stressful again.
Your pet probably spends more time in your home than you do… so why deny them the delights of Alexa’s smart home? Amazon’s new Petlexa listens to your animal’s woofs and meows, responding to their requests. (disclaimer: Amazon is not responsible for multiple orders of high grade Catnip).
Waze goes to Mars with thanks to alien crowd-sourced map
Waze announced a new partnership with a leading extra-terrestrial exploratory organization to build a more thorough and informative map of the fourth rock from the Sun. The real-time, crowd-sourced navigation app, which has over 400,000 volunteer map editors globally (with over 1000 in the UK) will work with Extra-terrestrial Intelligence Communications Group (EICG) over the next decade to map key locations via detailed satellite imagery with the aim of providing practical navigations for an unmanned Mars rover.
Honda turns to dating game with windshield “swipers”
Honda pretended it had created a Tinder spoof Using windscreen wipers. Dubbed “H-swipe”, the dashboard app supposedly connected to an digital windscreen and interactive directional “s-wipers”, and uses geolocation technology to pinpoint the nearest potential dating candidate. Of course, the company put safety first by encouraging the car the be stationary first… don’ t date and drive!
With smart speakers being all the rage, Google Home took its devices one step further… into the garden. Google Gnome provides extra infomation for you while enjoying some fresh air, including constant updates on the wind speed and direction. Which isn’t annoying at all.
Coca-Cola launches helium variant
Soft drink giant Coca-Cola drink giant decided April 1st was the ideal day to add helium to the carbonation process to give customers a high pitched voice alongside a thirst-quenching taste. Kate Miller, Coke’s marketing manager, said she hoped sales of the new drink variant would “balloon”.
Burger King launches Whopper Toothpaste
Need a burger fix first thing in the morning? Whopper Toothpaste from Burger King France was apparently packed with active ingredients for gum hygiene.
Wash & Go to take over Barnet FC
As part of a (genuine) club ownership deal with P&G’s Wash & Go shampoo, Barnet Football Club announced it would be renaming themselves “Great Barnet”. Wash & Go was sold to Conter SRL in 2015 (not part of the joke). The club’s actual owner, Tony Kleanthos, spoke about the move:
Google introduces PacMaps
This year’s Google prank was similar to one from 2015, turning the Google Maps iOS/Android apps into a playable build of PacMan with the press of a button. It’s Ms. PacMan this year instead of Mr. — but it’s the same overall idea.
Moto talks to the animals with mobile translator
Phone maker Moto introduced a new app designed to translate pet’s moods into easy-to-understand verbal communication. The Pet Translator Mod is being launched for the Moto Z and Moto Z Play, a modular accessory for its flagship smartphone devices, enabling true communication between pet and owner. By simply snapping the Moto Mod onto your Moto Z or Moto Z Play, your pets’ grunts, barks and snuffles will instantly be translated into easy-to-understand verbal communication.