April Fools' Day 2011: The best stories from around the Web
Alright, we admit that April Fools Day can be a bit of a pain if you're searching for some serious gadget news and are a little on the gullible side, but it's only around for half a day, and, let's be honest, there's some cracking and elaborate gags out there this year.
That's why Pocket-lint has scoured the 'net in order to find the very best April Fools' gags just for you. And may have found some that have tricked you already.
So, without further ado...
Kate & Willy Bandz
The final fool of the day - yes, we've been updating this page from the top - is from Firebox who has gone all Royal Wedding with the craze that is Silly Bandz. Instead, they've created Kate & Willy Bandz. They come in the shape of the couple's heads, the ring, the Union Jack and some bunting.
We could say all sorts of things about why we liked this one but, when it comes down to it, it's probably because we got to say Willy Bandz.
Not content with owning the Internet, Google has shot off a volley of April Fool's gags today and possibly the best of the bunch is the job application for a Google Autocompleter together with a video. Out of all the acted April movies, this is probably the most natural, if not the most believable.
The idea behind the gag is that the Big G actually employs people to come up with what we're trying to type in before we manage to, and then type it in first. The actual listed job advert asks for skills such as typing at a good speed (32,000 WPM) and a certificate of psychic ability. Of course, if the manager of the team was really worth his/her salt, they wouldn't need to ask.
Post PC Mag
Part drole, part dig, we fancy is PC Mag's April Fool. They've apparently re-thought their very existence and created Post-PC Mag. The publication will now be entirely voted to the tablet and, more specifically, just one tablet - the iPad.
The nice part of this one is in the detail with such articles as "The genius behind Apple's incredible awesomeness", "The best iPad for you" and "Smartphones - remember when they were hot?". Make sure you head over and take a look. Well worth a read.
Via Post PC Mag
iPhone 5 MacBook Dock
There's something eerily familiar at what ITPro Portal is claiming that Apple is up to. April Fool's Day word is of a shell of a MacBook which will act as a docking station/large netbook for the iPhone 5. The mobile part of the equation will dock where the trackpad is and will, in fact, become the trackpad itself.
The dock shell contains no CPU nor any guts at all save a three-cell battery which can charge up the iPhone. Essentially it's an external monitor-come-keyboard-come-carrycase. Oh, and the's no ports on it either. At all.
Software development tool company Atlassian has decided to surf that Angry Birds wave this April by launching its own version of the hit casual game. They call it, Angry Nerds and, despite being part of the 1st's foolery, you can sort of play it on their microsite.
You'll find it a familiar experience with the famous birds now dressed up and characterised as programmers, hackers and developers. Instead of pigs, it's bugs they're after and you catapult them towards their foes from office chairs. It's a rubbish game, if a game at all, but not such a bad joke.
Groupon copyrights April Fool's Day
While we were treated to the Royal Wedding 99 per cent saving deal in the UK, Groupon US gave us its version of when gullible was removed from the dictionary. The mob site has, allegedly, made a patent application for the intellectual rights to April Fool's Day.
The joke comes with an absurd amount of detail including the multi-page application itself and cease and desist letters to other websites who have fooled without consent. Someone around that company has a lot of time on their hands.
Nokia to buy HTC
It's Fools like this that can often lead a publication into trouble with libel. Fortunately, it's so laughable that Nokia would buy HTC that there's no chance of anyone taking it seriously. Or is it?
Either way, Mobile Gazette has come up with a rather nice leaked correspondence between Nokia's Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer on how they're hatching a plan to take down Taiwan's favourite mobile manufacturer and scrap all of their Android based handsets with it. That way it can be Nokia and WP7 all the way, baby.
Via Mobile Gazette
Google goes Comic Sans
Not the prettiest one to look at as April Fools go but it's always fun when they're interactive. Head over to Google and start typing in the world Helvetica and the whole search page from top to bottom and results to ads comes out in a Comic Sans typeface.
If you're wondering if it works in the other direction when you type Comic Sans into Google, the answer is no. You just get Comic Sans again. Yuck.
Online storage...on paper
What's nice about the April Fool from online storage and back up company Livedrive is that it's really well thought out and that there's a very tidily produced video to match. The concept is that the they're now using barcodes to store people's data. The trouble is that each barcode can only hold 3KB, so they're having to print out quite a few.
Having become the world's largest buyer of paper overnight to feed the process, Livedrive is currently trying to print out the 2 billion sheets necessary to back up everything they've got.
Things just look better in black and white, so why limit that experience to looking at prints or down a camera lens? Thanks to ThumbsUp and its greyscale lightbulb, you don't have to and, provided there's no natural light peeping in, you can turn your room from technicolour to classic at the flick of a switch.
The bulb works by emitting wavelengths that intercept the light travelling to the colour photoreceptors on your retina and prevent them from doing their job properly. Add a clipped accent and, hey presto, you're back in the 1940s.
Kodak Gallery Tattoos
Kodak is offering to turn your family photos into tattoos which you can have inked on your body forever this April Fool's Day. You can have anything from tiny tats to full body and just in time for Mothering Sunday as well.
Whether the company is planning on fulfilling the service with pigments rather than dyes and relies upon your skin being swellable for permanence is unclear but what's obvious is that this is all a gag the minute you go to click on anything.
Via Kodak, thanks Amy
Sniffs insteads of pokes, lick and dislick and Bark Out Loud are just some of the nuances dogs and their owners are going to be getting used to on the first ever social network for animals called WoofWoof. The jape, as dreamed up by TalkTalk, is all about letting our canine friends to talk to their canine friends with a system that can translate barks.
Naturally, it works on a P2P (pet-to-pet) network and if you want to get the full groaning weight of the rest of the puns and gags, then make sure to watch the video.
Via TalkTalk and thanks to Katie
Star Wars Light Saber Popsicles
While popping your mouth onto a genuine light saber would burn your lips off in seconds, these popsicle moulds, complete with light up hilts, aim to cool you down instead. It's another one of those April Fools gags from Think Geek that you just know will come true one day - perfect for a summer Star Wars wedding.
The hilts apparently come in two styles - Luke and Darth - and the package even comes with a recipe book for you to concoct such flavours as Chewbapple and C-3POrange. Yep, that's some good barrel scraping going on right there.
Via Think Geek
BMW M3 Royal Edition
Whether you fancy it in Regal Red, Bridal White or Imperial Blue, the BMW M3 Royal Edition is a great choice for the April Fool's motorist. Each comes with Windsor White Dakota leather interior as well as a rather amusing adaptation of the classic M3 logo which now reads "Will".
The jape puts any aspersions to international stereotypes and sense of humour firmly in their place although BMW was keen to mention that they thought it would make an excellent gift due to the German heritage of the current branch of the Royal Family. Fair does.
Via @jeensy and Rich
Toshiba Spectacle 3D
Very nice moves from Toshiba on this one who've managed to get both high tech and old school at the same time. The Spectacle 3D is apparently a new monocular device that makes one-eyed 3D so real, you'd think you were using both eyes.
Lovely production values on the video and even three fool accessories to go with April product - a chain link, a spec pouch and two designer lenses to go with it - red and blue. Of course.
Via Toshiba US
Groupon tickets to the Royal Wedding
Our personal favourite April Fool of the day so far has to be this deal that was simply too good to be true from hit mob website Groupon. The London section is advertising pairs of tickets to the Royal Wedding at £8 reduced from £1,200.
For the mini-outlay, highlights include invitations to the after party, a guided tour of Westminster Abbey from Prince Phillip and a glass of house wine each. Funnily enough, the deal has apparently sold out with 1,235 bought.
There's already all sorts of fishiness about the idea of a Lomography app for the iPhone even before you head over to the product page and start reading down the list of features. The analogue photography company start it off fairly sedately with allowing the addition of sprocket holes but most should have figured it out by the mention of drilling a hole through the case for a pin hole effect.
Just in case you were still April Fool enough to click through to buy the so-called Lomography 10 Prophecies of the Analogue Future App, there is a page to let you know that it's all a prank waiting on the other side. The URL is also a bit of a giveaway.
Via The Lomographer
Self-repairing mobile phone glass
It's after midday GMT, and if you hadn't worked it out already, it's time to let the cat out of the bag, give it a bowl of Whiskers, a tickle under the chin and say, "thanks for the help with the April Fool, little buddy." Pocket-lint teamed up with Autoglass to come up with this gem which is the kind of development that would make mobile insurance companies weak at the knees.
Self-repairing mobile phone screens are all a but Terminator 2 but, who knows, it's the kind of thing that could come true. We've been right before.
Pluto a planet again
It might be a believable concept for Pluto to revert back the status of planet if a) Richard Branson hadn't bought it and b) it wasn't April Fool's Day but, all the same, it's a rather nice idea. The plan is to get a deep space vehicle to effectively trawl space for debris and asteroids on its way out to the former outer most planet of the solar system before dropping it so close to the stellar body's gravitational field that it bulks it up to large enough size to be considered a planet once more.
We have no idea if that would actually do the trick, both physically or in terms of the classification, but perhaps the Internation Astronomical Union would like to fill us in on that one.
Via Virgin Travel and thanks to Tim
It's not the first time that YouTube has added a button for crazy effects on their videos but this year's 1911 version is one of the best. It's not available on every single clip - possibly something to do with copyright and such - but if you can find it, it's rather amusing.
On testing, we reckon this Dr Who trailer is one of the best suited for the early 20th century twist but give us a shout in the comments at the bottom if you find one that's better. Play me off, Johnny!
Via Huffington Post
Google’s always one to have a few japes up its sleeves for 1 April and one of the best this year is the addition to the Gmail service known as Gmail Motion. There’s no pretending to try to pull the wool of anyone’s eyes with this one. It’s just bloody funny.
Make sure to watch the video all the way through. The guy acting out the demos is excellent with the gesture for “thinking ahead” a particular favourite.
PlayMobil Apple Store
Ever wanted to work at an Apple Store? Now you can thanks to ThinkGeek. For $179.99 you get a complete two story Apple Store with employee figures. An optional line (queue) pack sells for $49.99, with which ou can re-enact the iPad 2 launch.
The PlayMobil Apple Store contains a Keynote Theater, Display Tables, Kids Corner and, of course, a Genius Bar.
Naturally, it's not real... But wouldn't it be cool?
Spotify Announcing US Launch; Closing European Service To Fund It
According to the US arm of TechCrunch, Spotify has finally announced the launch of the North American version of its music streaming service. The problem is that to pay for it, Valley investors have demanded the company shut down its European service, effective as of noon today (GMT).
Ha. Good one!
RC Eagle i
Gadget and gift developer Thumbs Up has created a new concept in remote controlled devices - an iPhone controllable Wi-Fi Eagle powered by the Sun.
Scheduled for launch this Autumn, the Eagle i comes with GPS tracking, Wi-Fi control from an iPhone and a solar powered body. And when combined with a dedicated application you can soar over cities, using the inbuilt cameras to see where you're going.
Wojtek Kolan, Business Development director and co-founder of Thumbs Up, said: “We’re really excited about the RC Eagle i, never before will so many people be able to experience the world by sitting comfortably at home. It’s our greatest invention yet – it’s truly unbelievable.”
It is indeed.
iPad 2 used as plates in Apple-themed restaurant
Cnet.co.uk is reporting that a swanky new restaurant has opened in London called Tableau, and that, as part of its shtick and theme, it's using newly-released iPad 2 tablets as plates.
The site also claims that it has visited the venue, and that, "after chowing down at the all-white restaurant, which also has an all-black room, we can vouch for the fact that it's mind-blowing to see an iPad 2 surrounded by crisp white napkins and silver cutlery."
We particularly like the idea that staff at the restaurant also use iPod touch devices as side plates.
Edible Metro newspaper
Free UK newspaper the Metro has published details of its trials with creating an edible edition. It claims to have devised a printing and setting process using ingredients such as corn starch, vegetable oil, gum arabic, water and citric acid cooked into a paste and thin sheets.
It says that, "the paste is poured on to the sheets under silk meshes arranged in the form of headlines, pictures and articles."
Normally, London's tube system can be scattered throughout with copies of the Metro every morning, but an edible version would allow readers to simply dispose of the newspaper by munching on it.
UPDATE: The stunt was actually created by Warner Bros. to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the iconic film starring Gene Wilder as the eponymous sweet-maker. The movie is available to buy on DVD, Blu-ray and to download on iTunes.
Jason Bradbury's iPad 2 x-ray hack
The Gadget Show presenter Jason Bradbury stars in a video for Expansys where he explains how to hack your new Apple iPad 2 in order to see through people's clothing.
Using cling film and an IR emitter, he explains that because the iPad 2 contains a "semi-closed aperture" it can be bodged to become an x-ray camera.
Warning: The end of this video can be quite disturbing.
Re-Cycle Cardboard Bike
Firebox is listing an exclusive product for 1 April: German engineers Zeug and Unsinn have created the Re-Cycle Cardboard Bike.
Costing £14.99, it is light, easy to carry and simple to assemble. Step-by-step instructions are included and all you have to do it pop, fold, score and tear the pieces you need to assemble your bike in a flash. No glue, tape or staples required.
And when you've tired of the bike, you can just pop it into a recycling bin or on a compost heap.
Qualcomm's Way of the Dragon Retreat
In order to empower the engineers who work on its Snapdragon processor, Qualcomm runs its own innovative training program at the Way of the Dragon Retreat on Komodo Island.
Hosted by "The Laughing Yogi" Ramesh Pandey, the retreat teaches the engineers to become one with komodo dragons, who "know all the truth of the universe". They will then become more alert, more awake, and more atuned to their essence.
"By living with and observing these 10-foot long super predators with mouths full of venom and virulent bacteria, we can unlock the mysteries of existence and imbue mobile devices with the heart of a dragon," says Qualcomm.
"Ha," says us.
We'll be updating this story throughout the day with more April Fools gags as we find them.
Additional content by Stuart Miles, Paul Lamkin and Dan Sung.
Have we missed any? What are the killer gags you've seen this 1 April? Let us know in the comments below...