The best April Fool's pranks of 2014

What is April Fool's without a few online pranks? Here are some of the companies having a little fun today.

Happy April Fool's

It's April Fool's Day, and you know what that means: pranks, and lots of 'em. From Google Maps to Pirate Bay to Hulu, numerous companies are getting in on the fun this year.

Here are some of the most creative online pranks we could find, but if there are any that we missed, let us know in the comments. We will keep updating this throughout the day, as new ones emerge. But in the meantime, enjoy!

Related: April Fool's prank round-up (2013)

Auto Awesome photobombs with David Hasselhoff

We all love Google's auto awesome feature. You take a bunch of pictures or videos in close succession, you get an awesome montage video set to music. You take a pic of your kids skating, Google puts falling snowflakes in the scene.

Well, auto awesome just upped the awesome factor, by a lot, by combining two of our favorite things: photobombs, and The Hoff.

Just upload your favorite selfie or group pic, and get photobombed by, as Google put it "everyone’s favorite crime-fighting rockstar lifeguard.... He just might make your photo a little more #Hoffsome." 

Google Pokémon Challenge

Google is no stranger to unusual job titles. Case in point: Google employee 107, Chade-Meng Tan, now holds the title of jolly good fellow. The newest job Google is looking to fill, though, may have the most interesting title of all: Pokémon Master.

This isn’t your typical applications process. Applicants must be the world’s greatest digital explorers, and as such will take Google Maps to the next level. By exploring all types of terrain using Google Maps on their smartphones, the masters will seek out and find wild Pokémon.

Applicants who locate all the Pokémon hidden throughout the map will be invited to the Googleplex for the final round of hiring, and the winner will begin their new role at Google on Sept. 1, 2014. 

Hulu spin-off season

If you've ever wanted to see your favorite television characters  in a completely different setting, you're going to love Hulu's spin-off season. In it, Hulu has chosen some of its most popular shows' most popular personalities and given them their own shows. 

And the result is this: In the Kitchen With Hannibal, a cooking show with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, That's my Fitz, a hilarious look inside the goings-on in the Oval Office with Scandal's favorite couple, and Hola Señor Chang, a spanish language learning program for children with Community's Spanish teacher, Ben Chang, and all the other characters in Muppet form. And these are only a few of the ingenious shows Hulu will be premiering today. 

YouTube viral videos

Thought YouTube’s viral videos came from the unwashed masses? You were duped like the rest of us. This year, YouTube has revealed that its talented writers and producers have created every single viral video you've ever loved.

For 2014, YouTube is letting us know what some of the video memes will be for the year, and letting us come up with meme ideas of our own.

In the meantime, enjoy some of the viral video memes YouTube has already developed, like clocking, when people record themselves moving their arms like a clock, flash mob divorces and lots of videos of people kissing their dads. The Glub glub water dance combines a catchy tune, dancing and a foreign language. A guaranteed hit. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy.


According to Waze people spend three hours a week in traffic and "loneliness is the greatest pain a person can a car."

Enter WazeDates, powered by dating app SingleSpotter which analyzes everything on your smartphone to determine the best match for you. With it, WazeDates is on alert for other singles on the road near you. Just set your preferences for age, sex, orientation, car type, etc. Once WazeDates lets you know there is a potential match closeby, you can say hi by Map Chat, or share a ride. 

Who knows when the first Waze wedding will be, but it's bound to be soon. Finding love in the car just got a whole lot easier.

The Virtual Bay

Peer-to-peer file sharing site, the Pirate Bay (TPB), announced its most ambitous undertaking yet, The Virtual Bay (TVB). After starting on just four Linux servers, TPB's systems have gradually updated over the last 10+ years. They dropped trackers, then torrents, and now, they are departing from earthly form altogether. 

Thanks to a new device being developed by Russian, Israeli and Japanese neuroscientists that will plug right into your brain, TVB users will see everything at 100% resolution; the device will also neutralize outside noise. Users will no longer watch a movie, they'll live it. 

And because of the power of the brain and nervous system, TVB will be fast. Scientists predict that once TVB reaches 1,333,337 nodes, "everything will be shared instantaneously."

Gmail shelfie

Selfie was the Oxford Dictionaries' International Word of the Year for 2013, so it only seems fitting that Gmail, in celebration of its 10th birthday, would take it to the next level. For years, users have been able to set selfies as backgrounds for their Gmail pages, but now, we have the SHareable sELFIE. Hence, shelfies.

Built on the premise that we shouldn't be selfish with our selfies, Gmail is letting us share them...with everyone. Family, friends, random acquaintences. Now they can all check their Gmail and have a picture of YOU (or of Miss Piggy) as their background. 

Emoji translation in Chrome

Finally, you can communicate by emoji without having to sort through who knows how many screens of emoticons. This next phase of linguistic evolution arrives thanks to Google Translate and Chrome. 

Now, on your Android or iOS phones, if you input text and hit the Google Translate button, your phone will change that text into emoji. Your friends and family will be able to understand and read your mood and your tone more easily. Gone are the days of misunderstandings over email and text.

Soon, everything from medical journals to software code will be emojified. And I don't know about you, but I think the world may be a better place for it. 

Nest + Virgin

Nest, the thermostat that never stops learning, has just acquired a whole new bag o' tricks. Together, Nest and Virgin Atlantic will change the way people fly.

When you think about, why really should an entire plane be subject to one temperature zone. With Total Temperature Control from Nest, each seat has its own control, meaning each passenger can customize their climate.

It no longer matters if you like it warm and balmy and your seatmate likes it frigid. Choose Cancun afternoon to heat up (don't forget your shades) or Chicago polar vortex to cool down. Now, that's flying in style.

Cat keyboard

Chrome doesn't want to leave anyone out, so with that in mind, it's created the cat keyboard, which will translate what your cat types so you can finally understand what she's saying. 

The keyboard, which was developed using Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI) research, employs four pawing modalities using your trackpad or touchscreen and includes mouse mode. 

Dog lovers, don't despair. Research is underway to develop keyboards for dogs, fish, hamsters and dinosaurs. 

Twitter Helmet

For all those times when typing a tweet was just too exhaustive, you will soon be able to, while wearing a Twitter Helmet with a custom aviary interface, tweet merely by making a pecking motion with your head. 

The high-resolution wearable device comes with an impact-resistant, oleophobic-treated glass and offers a fully immersive experience. 

The helmet, which will be available in mid-September, will retail for $139.99, but you can also purchase accessories, like "a hand-tooled leather case inspired by falconry hoods, feather-shaped Wi-Fi and cellular signal boosters, and a carbon fiber chinstrap with optional wattle-form factor microphone." 

The magic hand

Tired of touching your touch screen. Well, now you don't have to, thanks to the magic hand, courtesy of the Google Japanese input team. 

After recognizing the myriad problems that face consumers inputing information on their smartphones, like long nails, dirty hands, gloves or just the inability to accurately type on a touchscreen, the team came up with this device.

Users can operate the magic hand using either a joystick or keyboard, and it does the typing for you. It also comes with multiple attachments, such as the thumb, pinkie, cat paw and back scratcher.

Data-less decision making

Google Analytics is announcing its third course for its Analytics Academy, data-less decision making. Since it has determined that 50% of the time, 99% of decisions can be made using only 38% of the data, Google Analytics decided to take a different approach to decision making. 

The course will explore arbitrary ways to make decisions, like the dart board method, using a Ouija board, a crystal ball, astrology, a divining rod and the age-old standby, coin flipping. Now, you can make decisions with out worrying about thinking or data. What could be better?

Coffee to the home

Google Fiber already provides Internet at significantly faster speeds than what the typical American has, but now it can provide coffee, as well.

After discovering that people love settling in with steaming mug of coffee while surfing the web or watching their morning news on their devices, Google Fiber came up with coffee to the home, "your direct coffee superhighway." 

Fiber adds a special coffee spout to the fiber jack, which then connects back to their coffee backbone. Drinkers can customize their orders or use fiber's predictive brew algorithm to pick an order for them. Hit the "coffee now" button on the jack, turn the spout, and get your coffee at lightnight fast speeds. It's that easy. 

Cats by Opera

Internet surfing can be hard for a cat. Browsers just aren't made for how your favorite feline works. Thankfully, you can now download Cats by Opera for your furry companions. 

Cats by Opera incorporates TongueTouch interface, which works by screen licks, a PawPredict feature that can translate adresses such as “34lkr34tottttt4<<<….uuuu” into “” and a catified speed dial for quick access to cat content and your cat's favorite sites. 

Cats by Opera is not yet available for the desktop or in the App Store, but you can ask about it at your local cat store. 

Seagate announces new bacon drive portfolio

Seagate, maker of hard disk drives, has had a breakthrough: a family of bacon drives. With five different flavor options, ranging from low salt to maple smoked, Seagate has a bacon drive for every appetite. 

Each drive is unique. The double smoked drive uses Ash Control Technology to do away with ash residue, and the veggie option weaves together asparagus and broccoli nanotubes at the sub-atomic level using "GreenTube technology for incredicolossal capacity." Also, they're all delicious. 

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.