The best spoofs of April Fools' 2012

Taylor Martin
 from Concord, NC
Published: April 1, 2012

By now, I'm sure your Facebook news feed is full of hundreds of people who thought they were creative and funny by posting obvious and age-old April Fools' Day pranks. (PSA: Announcing you're pregnant to your Facebook friends on April Fools' isn't original or funny. Neither is saying you wrecked your car or that you're getting married or ... well, you get the picture.) While there are likely hundreds of thousands of people pulling April Fools' pranks in poor taste, there are still some who know how to do it right. And if there are any who still know how to do it right, it's tech companies.

Here are some of this year's best April Fools' pranks:


Gmail Tap, Google Maps 8-bit for NES, YouTube Collection, etc.

Google is known for being remarkably cunning. Nearly every significant day out of the year, Google has an new, custom doodle to replace the typical "Google" branding on their home page above the (likely overused) search bar. But one particular day out of every year, they go all-out – overboard, even. This year, they pulled all stops for their April Fools' pranks, topping last year's Gmail Motion and Google Translate for Pets.

This year, Google has set out to make typing on a smartphone much more simple, specifically within the Gmail application. Instead of being equipped with your standard QWERTY layout, the keyboard that will display within Gmail is a Morse code keyboard, a simple dot, dash and a space bar. "What could be more simple that that?"

But Google didn't stop there. They're also bringing Google Maps to everyone's favorite pastime gaming console, NES. Yes, Google has created an 8-bit version of Google Maps. Simply pop the cartridge in your console and tour the world. And if the program won't load, try taking the cartridge and blowing in the bottom for "debugging."

And if one mouse simply isn't enough for you, Google is offering a solution with Chrome Multitask Mode. Simply plug a second mouse into your computer and presto! Two cursors for double the productivity ... or something like that.

"Welcome to the ambinavigation revolution."

Don't underestimate Google, though. That isn't all. They're up to 15 new "products" for April 1st and counting. To see the rest of what Google is up to today, check The Next Web, who is trying to bring a bit of sanity to Google's April Fools' mayhem.


SwiftKey Mono

Think Google's three-button Gmail Tap interface has too many keys? Maybe you should consider SwiftKey Mono. According to TouchType, makers of the ever-popular Android replacement keyboard SwiftKey, you no longer need a full keyboard to type what you want; all you need is their super accurate prediction software and one, giant spacebar. Earlier today, SwiftKey Mono was announced, claiming to be the world's longest spacebar.

Charlie Edmunds says, "Who needs letters and numbers and punctuation marks? They just take up space where you could have a really long spacebar!"

Good point and well played, sir.


Shapes by Toshiba

Apple suggested that its competitors (specifically Samsung), should consider making tablets with an "overall shape that isn't rectangular, or doesn't have rounded corners." We laughed at the idea and reveled at the thought of someone actually creating something that resembled the Pyramid from The Office.

Enter Shapes by Toshiba, a new line of tablets that "match your personality and style." Toshiba's tablets will come in Oblong ("Technology that's come full circle"), Rhombus ('More than just a convex quadrilateral") and Amore ("This is one heart you can play with").

Aside from all of the bad puns, does anyone wish that heart-shaped tablet was available before Valentine's Day? No? Yeah, uhh ... me neither.


O2 On & On

Does your cell phone's poor battery life have you down? What you need then is O2's new On & On phone, which features a 1.2GHz processor, 3.5-inch LCD display and an 8-megapixel rear shooter. But as you'll notice from the image above, it's also packing a little lot of something else. Inside this baby is a battery that will supply you with 1,000 hours of talk time or 92 days of standby.

The DROID RAZR MAXX ain't got nothin' on the On & On!

This is how Android phones should have been all along. Plus, you now have a good reason to dust off that ol' fanny pack of yours and put it to good use again!


What are your favorite pranks, folks?

I have to admit, this year kind of caught me by surprise. Aside from the fact that I forgot today was April 1st, I didn't expect so many great gags. You've got to hand it to Google for totally knocking it out of the park ... again. And the best part? They actually make some of their hilarious jokes come to fruition. You can browse Google Maps in 8-bit right now. And there's good reason to believe that Gmail Tap may be available tomorrow, for those who dare ... or are good with Morse code.

But these pranks are only a few that I have picked because they stuck out to me. Tell me, what are your favorite April Fools' pranks this year? Was last year better? Personally, my favorite April Fools' gag ever was the one pictured at the top: Otterbox Oh Snap! series. Tell us in the comments below which gags made you laugh this year!