Google has been known to celebrate April 1 by making some crazy, zany announcements. From looking for people to join its moon base to joining forces with Virgin and moving to Mars, Google's joke announcements have been out of this world. This year's pranks are a mixed bag that make one wish Google should actually develop some of these features for real-life use. Here are some of this year's "announcements" from Google:
Emoji Smart Reply for Inbox by Google
Sometimes, it's really hard to express one's truest feelings through words. Sure, Robin Williams (may he rest in peace) in Dead Poets Society taught his pupils there definitely is a word for that, Google has gone one better and given users the option of replying in emojis.
"When someone emails you asking to schedule a meeting, there's a good chance you're thinking, 'Aw .' Or, when you get that 17th update on that topic you stopped caring about 10 emails ago, you just wanna say . Or maybe your friend just emailed you photos from Vegas, and you get inspired to stand up and . Whatever you want to say, emoji can say it better (obvs). So we figured we'd take the deep neural network behind Smart Reply, and make it more sassy [sic]," Google said in the official Gmail blog.
Smart Reply is a feature on the Inbox by Google app that predicts appropriate replies to mails received and gives users three options to choose from.
Furikku, the Japanese physical keyboard
Google's next announcement comes from Japan, where the company announced an open-source physical keyboard, the Furikku, modelled after its Japanese version of Google Keyboard, which allows users to slide their fingers across their smartphone's screen to input characters.
According to Google Japan, the keyboard has Bluetooth and can be connected to a computer and has been designed for those who can type on their smartphone with great ease and gusto, but struggle with a traditional keyboard.
The keyboard apparently consists of 20 sensors in total, which can be tilted and pushed down upon to enter the characters.
Google Japan also announced a revolutionary sensor, a spinoff of the Furikku, which can be attached to any surface featuring a grid pattern, instantly turning it into Google's Japanese keyboard. Chessboards, calculators and tiled floors instantly become character inputs. It can even be hooked behind one's ear and convert entire city blocks into a means to type out cheesy messages of love to your beloved — at least that's what their video gives you reason to believe.
Coming all the way from Google Down Under, a.k.a., Google Australia is a piece of technology that will forever change the way you use socks to make a style statement. Anybody who does laundry has probably lost a sock. Some say it disappears into a parallel dimension where every time somebody does their laundry they find an extra sock others blame the dog. Google Australia's innovation will present a permanent fix by paring it with your smartphone, allowing users to track it using Google Maps.
"We're teaming up with retailers across Australia to launch a new range of Searchable Socks — to organise the world's undergarments and make them universally findable," Google Australia said in their blog. "These new bluetooth-enabled socks are fitted with thin LTE beacons that wrap around the top of your lower calf, just like the coloured stripes you'd see on traditional socks. If you can't find one sock, you can press the beacon on its pair and let the Google Search app on your phone pinpoint its whereabouts. The missing sock will then sing this song to help you find it."
According to Google, the connected socks can be picked up in blue, red, yellow and green — Google's official colours. A pure white version can also be picked up at the Google Store.
Gmail Mic Drop
Sometimes, when you get into a verbal battle, your opponent, who knows he or she has been defeated, tries to get in the last word, which can be infuriating. Short of physical violence, the only way to silence your foe, who keeps comin' back for mo', the most effective way to end a debate is the legendary mic drop.
Oxford Dictionaries (yes, this link is legit.) defines a mic drop as "An instance of deliberately dropping or tossing aside one's microphone at the end of a performance or speech one considers to have been particularly impressive."
"Today, Gmail is making it easier to have the last word on any email with Mic Drop. Simply reply to any email using the new 'Send + Mic Drop' button. Everyone will get your message, but that's the last you'll ever hear about it. Yes, even if folks try to respond, you won't see it," Google says in the Official Gmail Blog.
'Nuff said. *Drops mic*