Google unveils series of April Fools’ Day gags for 2012

Posted April 01, 2012, at 6:02 a.m.
Last modified April 01, 2012, at 9:27 a.m.
Miss old-style gaming? Relive it with Google maps.
Miss old-style gaming? Relive it with Google maps.

Google has expanded its April Fools’ Day faux functionality this year with a bunch of hoax services that will keep users occupied if not productive. New for 2012 are 8-Bit Google Maps, Chrome Multitask Mode making their debut, then continued early this morning with the YouTube Collection (Order now!), Google Racing, Click-to-Teleport search ads, and much more.

On its maps blog, a Google software engineer Tatsuo Nomura writes, “With the power of Google’s immense data centers, and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we’re excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack.”

Last year’s April Fools’ Day inventions from Google featured Gmail Motion, which the company promised was “a new way to control Gmail using body language.”

It told users, “Once you enable Gmail Motion from the Settings page, Gmail will enable your webcam when you sign in and automatically recognize any one of the detected movements via a spatial tracking algorithm. We designed the movements to be easy and intuitive to perform and consulted with top experts in kinestetics and body movement in devising them.”

No word on how many people gyrated in front of their computers in an attempt to send a message.

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