April Fools’ Day 2014: Google Maps’ Pokemon Challenge, Gmail’s ‘Shelfie’ and Others

Google released several tech-themed pranks to celebrate April’s Food Day.

It’s April’s Fool Day and Goggle is fully armed with pranks.

April Fools’ jokes are a worldwide thing with Google, and its Japan division has introduced the Magic Hand, a new input method for smartphones. In short, you no longer have to operate your own mobile device: the magic hand does all the hard work.

The nonexistent device weighs just 800g and can be attached to any keyboard. There are right-hand and left-hand versions, as well as ones to replace your thumb, pinkie, cat paw, or back scratcher, says TheNextWeb.

But that’s not it. The company’s maps division announced new “job ad,” as Google created a colorful augmented reality game in which the winner earns the distinction of ultimate Pokémon Master and a position at Google.

Google’s video says people who find all of the Pokémon in time will be invited to the Googleplex to participate in the final round of hiring. The winner supposedly will start his or her job as Pokémon Master on Sept. 1, 2014.

Even though, it’s rather disappointing this job listing doesn’t actually exist, Google did at least create a mobile app game, so you can still relive your childhood Pokemon-catching days.

“If you think you’re up to the challenge, grab your Poké Ball and the newest version of Google Maps for iPhone or Android. Then tap the search bar, “press start,” and begin your quest, says Tatsuo Nomura.

“Leave no stone unturned or city unzoomed as you seek out wild Charizards and Pikachus to add to your Pokédex. Be vigilant-you never know if a wild Steelix will appear in Tokyo, Japan or New York City, USA. And follow Google Maps on Google+, Facebook and Twitter for hints and tips,” he urges us and ends the post with a modified wisdom quote.

“Time is of the essence-in the words of Professor Oak, “The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the Pokémon.”

In addition to a Google Maps-based Pokémon challenge, the company also posted Wednesday about a new Gmail feature on the Gmail blog: the Gmail Shelfie.

What exactly is the Gmail Shelfie? It makes your Gmail background, technically known as your custom theme, shareable with others. Google claims that so many people have selfies as their custom theme that the company decided to make them shareable with others.

“As the pioneering platform for selfies, Gmail is committed to being at the forefront of innovation in the selfie space,” Google Software Engineer Greg Bullock writes in the post. “And we think it’s a tragedy that your handsome hair, luscious lashes and beautiful brows have been trapped in your own inbox.”

Nest, one of Google’s newest acquisitions, is even in the April Fools’ Day game. Their gag is about a partnership with Virgin Atlantic airlines on a feature called “Total Temperature Control.” Every seat on Virgin’s jets gets its own Nest device to let passengers set their own temperature preferences as they fly. Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson even stars in the parody video.

Share This article

We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language, all capital letters or appear to be spam, and we review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Coinspeaker Ltd.