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March 31, 2015

Google April Fools' Day 2015

April Fools' Day is here, so it's time to list all the pranks, hoaxes and funny Google features that make this day so special.

Google Japan announces Google Panda (translation), a cute toy that answers your questions using the power of Google Search.

There's also a "keyless" keyboard for Japanese (translation). Piropiro uses a party horn and measures your breath to convert it into words.

Google Maps lets you play Pac-Man. "Play the classic arcade game PAC-MAN in Google Maps with streets as your maze. Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, (and Clyde!) as you swerve the streets of some famous places around the world."

You can also play Pac-Man in the real word using Ingress, Google's augmented reality game.

Google Australia found that Australia is at risk of becoming a Northern Hemisphere country by 2055. "Over the past two months, Google Maps engineers in Sydney have discovered that the Earth's equator is slipping south at rate of 25km per year — much faster than previously thought."

Gmail launched Smartbox by Inbox, "a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind".

Chrome for mobile added a new feature that lets you share reactions about the pages you visit. "With #ChromeSelfie you can share sites with your family and friends on social media and via instant messages, along with a handsome selfie instead of cumbersome text."

There's a self-browsing extension for Chromebooks. "With just one click, you're off surfing the web — no input needed. Just lean back, and we'll take you there - quickly, simply, and securely." The extension also writes emails automatically, sends roses to your significant other on Valentine's Day, buys and sells stocks and plans your vacations. "This new functionality has been tested for weeks, browsing the whole web from classifieds to news, music to cat photos - and now, these Chromebooks are responsible for the majority of ALL CAPS comments on the web," says Fran├žois Beaufort.

Google launched a new domain:, which is just like in the mirror. Similar to elgooG, the entire content of the page is flipped around. "We're always thinking about what's ahead, but sometimes it's important to look backwards. In that spirit, we're proud to introduce, available today. Made possible by new gTLDs," informs Google.

YouTube's player has a new button you can use to play some music. Just click "add music" and YouTube starts to play Darude's Sandstorm for a few seconds. Click again for more.

If you enable "Auto-Darude" in the settings, the AutoPlay feature will only play Sandstorm.

YouTube search results also include suggestions like this one: "Did you mean: Darude - Sandstorm by Darude".

Google Fiber added the dial-up mode, just in case you want to go back in time. "As we've rolled out Google Fiber in Kansas City, Provo and Austin, we've learned that Fiber has been impacting our subscribers in ways that we didn't expect. Loading bars used to give people an opportunity to pause and take care of the little things — like making a cup of coffee, taking a bathroom break or playing with the dog. We've been told that Fiber’s seemingly instant connections have taken away that precious time."

Google Italy made an experiment (translation): "50 gamers, comedians, designers, beauty experts and many others have exchanged their respective channels, working together to bring the spirit of April Fool's on YouTube."

Google Actual Cloud Platform is "the world's first public cloud running on servers in the troposphere. Drawing on charges from electrical fields during thunderstorms, we're able to supercharge read/write performance on all persistent disks and offer 50% higher IOPS."

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