It's time for the April Fools jokes to go by the waysideEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
So today is April 1, which means that’s somewhat of a holiday for some people out there. This is the one day of the year that the Internet’s biggest names drop their serious faces and do their best to crack a joke. Or two. Or three. In some cases, like Google, there have been more “jokes” than you’d probably want to shake a stick at (but you can smell it!) this year. But, I saw something quite different this year on my Twitter feed than I have in previous years: An utter lack of excitement for the “all in good fun” antics.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t pay a lot of attention to the Internet on April 1. Over the last few years I’ve just found no reason to. While there are some news pieces that are, indeed, factual that make it to the front page of sites across the Web, the majority of the news is just recycled gags from companies like Google and Microsoft, and other smaller sites providing some sort of product or information. This year isn’t any different. As I mentioned above, Google had a plethora of new jokes, and all of them focused on their own products in some way or another.
The Google Maps treasure map had its funny moments in the video, at least. But, then Google unveiled their newest “product.” They call it Google Nose (BETA!), and it allows you to expand beyond just searching for something, or looking at pictures. As you can guess from its name, it allows you to use your phone to smell what you’re searching for. Like a wet dog.
Then there’s the impending shutdown of YouTube, because it has apparently fulfilled its mission. Or the fact you can track website traffic coming from the International Space Station. Or Google’s new Levity Algorithm. How about Google Blue?
As you can see, Google’s been busy.
I can’t help but see the silver lining when I look at these April Fools jokes. In the past, there have been some April Fools jokes that have been hard to determine their fallacy right off the bat. Some of them out there just seem plausible, which is all the Internet needs to start a fire. But these? No one’s taking Google Nose seriously. And while it would be cool to see site traffic from the ISS, that one’s just as admissible. None of these jokes, with maybe the exception of Google Blue, are plausible enough to give any rational thought.
Unless of course you really thought Google might close YouTube.
It got me thinking about news pieces in the recent past that I wish would have been announced today, and indeed were jokes. We’ve heard some pretty interesting things in the last several weeks, some of it just ridiculous enough to warrant a sarcastic, “April Fools!” immediately after it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get it.
First, Sprint and the BlackBerry Z10. Back at the beginning of March we heard that Sprint had apparently decided to skip over the Z10 in favor of the Q10, and actually said that they believed their customer base would just be happier with the full physical QWERTY-packing Q10. While I’m sure there are plenty of customers out there who will love the Q10, I’m also sure there are plenty of Sprint subscribers who would have loved to at least have had the chance to get the Z10. But, I guess we’ll never know.
And then we’ve got the HTC One and AT&T. While I was initially excited that HTC was canning the 16GB option from their new flagship device, my happiness has been capped by the apparent fact that HTC and AT&T worked together to launch the 64GB option as an AT&T exclusive. As I pointed out over the weekend, a carrier exclusive just isn’t the right way to go.
And last, but certainly not least, “Facebook Home.” That’s apparently what the new “home on Android” is going to be called for Facebook’s new thing they will be showing off on April 4. A piece of software that replaces your home screen and just gives you more Facebook. The one good thing about this not being an April Fools joke is that it means by April 5, we should be done talking about a Facebook phone.
Anyway, I want to hear from you. Do you think the April Fools jokes are getting old? Would you like to see them given up? Or do you like the news-in-jest approach one day a year? Were there any news pieces announced since the start of 2013 you wish were April Fools jokes? Let me know!