Google typically embraces April Fools’ Day like no other tech company, and 2013 was no exception. Some of Google’s pranks this year included announcements of new products such as Gmail Blue and Google Nose Beta as well as a treasure map hidden in Google Maps.
Google Nose Beta was the biggest April Fools’ Day prank for the tech company. Users could search for smells such as wet dog, airport terminal, diaper, dumpster and beach from Google’s “Aromabase,” which featured over 15 million “scentibytes” of available search terms. Google promised knowledge graphs, descriptions and the ability to share aromas, not to mention a “People Also Sniffed” feature.
Besides the “smell-o-vision” search prank, Google also had some fun with its popular email system, introducing the "radical" new "Gmail Blue."
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In the video introducing it, project managers describe how it took six years to develop the technology to "completely change" Gmail "but keep it exactly the same." The result: Gmail Blue, in which the “Compose” button is blue, the text is blue, the buttons are blue, italics are blue -- everything is blue. “You don’t have to make it blue. It is blue,” says the video voiceover.
The developers, inspired by nature, said they wanted a “blue that was reminiscent of nature but better than what nature created.” Before deciding on blue, they had tried orange, yellow and brown ("a disaster”).
In its third April Fools’ Day prank, Google transformed Google Maps into a large treasure map -- Captain Kidd's map, to be precise, discovered by divers from the Google Maps Street View team off the coast of Madagascar. Users were able to search around for symbols and signs leading to the X-marked treasures.
Another Google prank for April Fools’ Day was an announcement that YouTube was shutting down after eight years.