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The best and worst April Fools’ jokes from around the web

The tech world sure does love a good prank.While some sat out on April Fools’, a number of big tech companies embraced the opportunity to waste time this way.So without any further ado, here are the April Fools’ pranks from around the web:The good1) Google TulipGoogle Tulip, in my humble opinion, is the best April Fools’ joke this year. It’s a product that lets you communicate with tulips (they’re making progress with cacti, which just want to be left alone, it would appear).The premise itself is par for the course on April Fools’ Day — the perfect mix of mildly plausible and “but why?” — but a few of the comedic touches on the video really make this prank shine.If the bit at the :54 mark doesn’t tickle you, then I fully respect your opinion, but we are very different people and I doubt we could ever be real friends. 2) Shutterstock stock IRLThis happens to be one of my favorite April Fools’ jokes from a tech company this year. Shutterstock is unveiling “plans” to build the world’s largest physical library, called stock IRL, which would host “shelves upon shelves upon shelves” of stock photos, watermarked videos and music tracks.Best line: “Because sometimes innovation means moving backwards.”Sometimes, the idea itself can be an obvious prank as long as it’s executed well. It doesn’t hurt that Shutterstock does a pretty solid job marketing its actual product here, either. 3) Spotify Discocover WeeklyThis one is elegant and delightful. Spotify has transformed your Discover Weekly playlist to feature disco hits, or disco takes on non-disco hits. I’ve been listening to mine this morning and it’s solid. Oh, and the playlist is called Discocover Weekly.Lovely. 4) Duolingo PushThe best way to learn a language is to practice every day. So Duolingo is introducing a more effective way to remind you with Duolingo Push.“We’re taking push notifications out of your phone and into the real world! Duo the Owl will literally show up to remind you to practice. It’s the green-glove treatment you’ve always wanted.” 5) Google Maps SnakeIf this is a prank, it’s an incredibly generous and sweet prank that never hurt anyone. Google has put the classic Snakes game into the Google Maps app, for both iOS and Android, as well as on a standalone site for folks who don’t have the app.It’s fun and simple and makes me wonder why this nostalgic little Easter Egg can’t live in the Google Maps app forever and for always.(I died for that ^^ screenshot. You’re welcome.) 6) ProductHunt IPOProductHunt joked that it’s going public simply as a result of peer pressure. It also highlighted some of the April Fools’ pranks coming through on its own platform, including a SideDoor into college admission and a monstrous USB hub.7) Waymo PetIt’s exactly what you think it is. Waymo Pet is an autonomous car service exclusively for pets. The real beauty in this April Fools’ joke is in the details — the idea of Waymo employees overthinking the interior of a car based on the type of pet that may be riding in it is relatively humorous.Best line: “Research shows us that cats love laser pointers.” The not so good1) Adobe CaptureAdobe wonders what would happen if designers could spark a memory through the smell of a particular ad or logo. Heralding the arrival of this hellscape is Adobe Capture, which uses Adobe Scent-sei technology to give users the ability to capture scents in the real world (through the camera?) and preview scents via the phone’s charging port.Don’t shoot the messenger. It gets both better and worse from here. 2) General Cat-A-ListGeneral Catalyst has spruced up their landing page with loads of cat gifs, powered by Giphy. Yes, General Catalyst is an investor in Giphy.“We took this process seriously. To best convey that we sit at the cutting edge of all things new, bright and shiny, we spitballed our way through design-thinking sessions and administered Rorschach tests across the firm. We concluded that our brand should land at the intersection of tech + fun. What could illustrate tech-enabled fun better than the cat gif?” 3) Google Files Screen Cleaner:Google is adding a new Screen Cleaner feature to the Files app. To clean it from the inside out. According to the video, the features uses “a smudge detector API” to identify imperfections, along with “geometric dirt models” and a “haptic micromovement generator” to sh-sh-shake it off.And because they already committed, the team at Google decided to double down and say that the Screen Cleaner also uses micro vibrations to create a non-stick shield around your phone. Cause why not? 4) NVIDIA GeForce RTX R.O ...Read more

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