'Gmail Shelfie' and 'Pokémon Master': Google's April fool day pranks

R Dinakaran Chennai | Updated on March 13, 2018 Published on April 01, 2014

"Gmail Shelfie, the SHareable sELFIE". Photo Courtesy: Official Gmail Blog   -  Special Arrangement

Become a Pokémon Master with Google Maps. Photo Courtesy: Official Google Maps Blog   -  Special Arrangement

It’s April 1. The time of the year when Google pulls out all the pranks from its bag and unleashes them on unsuspecting netizens.

This year a bloke going by the name of “Greg Bullock, Software Engineer” gives us a “thank you gift”.

The Gmail Shelfie

In a >Gmail blog post full of mistakes, he says the internet giant is “proud” to launching something called “Gmail Shelfie, the SHareable sELFIE.”

And what exactly is it? Here it is in his own words: “Gmail Shelfie is built on the idea that you shouldn’t be selfish with your selfie. With just a few clicks, your mom, your aunt, or that girl you have a crush on can set your Shelfie as their Gmail theme so they can enjoy checking, reading, and writing emails while seeing your friendly face in the background.”

So, what we should do? “Greg Bullock” says: “Got an awesome selfie? Upgrade it to a Shelfie! Simply open or refresh Gmail on the desktop and share it with your friends. (Gmail Shelfie is rolling out over the next few hours.) If you're looking for inspiration, set your theme to Gmail's top trending Shelfies. You can also see who's currently trending on our Google+ page.”

And at the end, he drops a “spoiler”. No, he is not saying it is a an April Fool joke. Just that the “Word of the Year 2014 will be Shelfie... clearly.”

Pokémon Master

The >Google Maps blog too tries its best. In a post titled: “Become a Pokémon Master with Google Maps”, an “Advanced Pokémon Trainer”, going by the name of “Tatsuo Nomura”, says, Google has “worked with Pokémon and Nintendo to develop a new training tool to help people hone their Pokémon-capturing abilities using Google Maps.”

What exactly we, the “Pokémon Masters” have to do? Says “Dozens of wild Pokémon have taken up residence on streets, amidst forests and atop mountains throughout Google Maps. To find and catch ‘em all, you’ll need to tap into your inner Pokémon Master.

“If you think you’re up to the challenge, grab your Poké Ball and the newest version of Google Maps for iPhone or Android. Then tap the search bar, “press start,” and begin your quest, says “Tatsuo Nomura”.

“Leave no stone unturned or city unzoomed as you seek out wild Charizards and Pikachus to add to your Pokédex. Be vigilant-you never know if a wild Steelix will appear in Tokyo, Japan or New York City, USA. And follow Google Maps on Google+, Facebook and Twitter for hints and tips,” he urges us and ends the post with a modified wisdom quote: “Time is of the essence-in the words of Professor Oak, “The early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the Pokémon.”

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Published on April 01, 2014
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