The Best 2016 April Fool's Day Pranks from Around the Web
Every year, tech companies use April 1st as a means to prove that they have a sense of humor. Sometimes their jokes are good for a chuckle, other times the gags backfire disastrously. For the most part, however, we'd be better off without the bulk of these annual antics.
But they're here, so we might as well check out some of the most "hilarious" shenanigans that these wacky global corporations got into this year.
Keep checking back here as we continually update this article with the best April Fool's Day pranks of 2016. And if you missed the best of last year's jokes, make sure to check them out here.
Wait a minute... this one's actually pretty good. Google added a button on Gmail that allows you to "Drop the Mic" on a conversation that you no longer want to be a part of.
Starting March 31st (a day early, you sneaky Google), you should see a "Send + [image of microphone]" button to the right of the normal send button. If you press it, you will instantly end the conversation with a GIF of a Minion (sigh) dropping a microphone. The conversation will be archived, so you'll have to hunt down any future replies in your "All Mail" folder.
The thing with this one is, it actually works. Google might only be rolling it out as an April Fool's joke, but I kind of like it. It'd be even better if they let you upload a GIF of your own to use as a personalized "drop the mic" signature.
Update: Google has already scrapped the feature as of Friday morning, following several complaints from users who accidentally hit the mic drop button instead of the regular send button. There were even reports of a bug that "mic dropped" a conversation even if you hit the proper send button.
If you still see the Drop the Mic button on your Gmail, just refresh the page and it should disappear.
Google is taking virtual reality to the next level with the unveiling of its new Google Cardboard Plastic "Actual Reality" headset—"Technology that's as powerful as you are. But not any more powerful than that."
The new headset lets you see in four dimensions in 20/20 resolution (depending on user's eyesight) and boasts 360° spatial audio. Google Cardboard Plastic is compatible with all of your apps, and even works on airplanes. You can select from six color options, and Google says there will be "a combination of tints, patterns, and add-on accessories coming soon" for Cardboard Plastic.
Google Maps went retro again for April Fool's Day this year and gave us some disco-inspired fun. If you head to the desktop site, you'll see an option to "Visit Funky Town in the Google Maps App."
You'll need to be signed into a Google account for it to work, but you can click where it says "Send to Your Phone" to get a notification sent to your phone asking if you'd like to "Get on the Dance Floor." Click it, and you'll see a funny little video of Pegman pulling off some sweet disco moves.
Pegman has also dressed up in the browser version, donning a purple leisure suit and sporting an afro and beard.
The ability to watch videos on YouTube in 360° is already a pretty great feature, but it just got a whole lot greater. With Snoopavision, you'll be able to watch any YouTube video in a VR theater with rapper Snoop Dogg.
Open any YouTube video, and you'll see a new icon—a silhouette of the famous West Coast rapper—next to the "Settings" cog.
Right now, there are only a couple videos that SnoopaVision works with since it's still in beta (you can see all of the videos at the bottom of the page here).
YouTube is promising SnoopaVision support for all 360° videos by the end of the century. It's too bad SnoopaVision probably won't stick around, since this is another one of those April Fool's jokes that I'd be glad to see turned into a permanent feature.
T-Mobile has a new wearable contraption to help you get the most out of its Binge On service, that lets users stream video from sites like Netflix and Hulu without affecting their monthly data limit.
This T-Mobile ad is a joke, of course. But I wouldn't exactly be surprised if we see a real product like this sometime in the near future. This is kind of a funny concept, but it gets a little too real when you start to think about it.
Everyone's favorite free online encyclopedia is getting in on the fun with some dad-joke-esque entries under the "Did you know..." section on the front page. You'll see facts like "Did you know that a bird grew nearly 4% a year for forty years?" Click the link, and you'll see that the "bird" in this case is the city of Phoenix, AZ. Heh, good one.
Also, the "Featured Photo" for the day is this self-portrait of Joseph DuCreux in the midst of a hearty yawn.
One of those disgusting ex-girlfriend porno sites might've surprised some users Friday morning with a decidedly-SFW home page, possibly inspired by the real-life corn stand that drew its inspiration from PornHub to begin with. The circle of life is complete.
Just be warned that clicking anywhere on the April Fool's homepage will instantly bring you to PornHub's decidedly-NSFW content.
Here's an example of an April Fool's joke that I would certainly not like to see become a reality. GrubHub unveiled a new ride-sharing app dubbed Grüber, which is basically like Uber, except your driver is also a delivery guy.
It seems like a decent idea until you think about it from the perspective of the person who ordered the food. What if the potentially drunk tag-along tries to yoink one of your chicken wings? Hopefully there's an opt-out.
Even though the name Grüber is an obvious portmanteau of "GrubHub" and "Uber," it's still fun to think it was inspired by this guy.
Lots of individual subreddits have little jokes going on for April Fool's day. There are way too many to list here, but you can find most of them in this April Fool's megathread on r/OutOfTheLoop. Let's highlight a couple of the funnier ones here.
Keep in mind that you'll have to enable CSS if you use Reddit Enhancement Suite to see some of these changes.
This isn't much of a change, but /r/BlackPeopleTwitter became a Spongebob-only subreddit for April Fool's, even changing its name to "BikiniBottomTwitter."
The subreddit for all things Donald Trump briefly changed its banner to show sarcastic (I think?) support for Bernie Sanders. It's since been changed back to normal, but you can see it here.
The company debuted the 2016 Proton Pack, the "world's first ghost-catching device." The pack—first conceived by Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis in the original movie)—was designed by Dr. Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon in the upcoming movie).
Sony plans to release the Proton Pack on July 15th, which just happens to be the same day that the new Ghostbusters will hit theaters. Surely it's only a coincidence.
Further proof that this bit of cross-promotion is the work of the devil—the Proton Pack weighs in at 6.66 kg. Boo.
Samsung's smart pants include helpful features like:
- WiFly, which sends notifications to your phone if your zipper is down for more than three minutes.
- Get Up! Alert, to motivate you to get your hindquarters off of the couch (the pants are equipped with a device to zap your keister if you're sedentary for longer than three straight hours).
- Keep-Your-Pants-On-Mode, which sends notifications to your device to tell you to chill out if the pants sense that your heart rate and perspiration levels are rising too quickly (some might take this as an indication to take one's pants off—but it's a safe bet that you're not getting much action if you're wearing nerd pants).
- Fridge Lock will send signals to a smart refrigerator to lock the door if the pants sense too much tension around your waistline.
One joke wasn't enough to satisfy Samsung's lust for laughs, though. The day before April Fool's, Samsung Mobile posted this image—hashtagged "TheNextGalaxy"—to Instagram and hinted that "Something big is coming tomorrow."
The post was probably somewhat truthful, in that Samsung will most likely debut a Galaxy S8 at some point—it just won't be on April 1st. Samsung confirmed it was just joking with this subsequent Instagram post on Friday.
Lyft is getting in on the fun and games by adding "Prank Mode," where you can play a joke on one of your nearby friends.
The video below shows Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors using Prank Mode to put one over on his teammate, Festus Ezeli. But other than this, it's not exactly clear how Prank Mode works.
What we do know is that it will only be available in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, so try it out if you're in one of those areas and let us know.
What are the April Fool's Day pranks that you loved this year? Let us know, plus any that we may have missed, in the comment section below.