April Fools’ Day 2016: Gmail mic drop prank goes sour, Bing’s dancing puffins & more

Yesterday Google wasted no time getting into the April Fools' Day spirit, making a number of fake announcements before the day even started.

It wasn’t even April 1, but being the overachievers they are, Google had already started releasing its April Fools’ Day announcements.

Starting yesterday, we spotted a disco-clad pegman on Google Maps, a Google sock-finding app on Google’s Australia blog, and a new “Flick” keyboard from Google Japan. There were also two Gmail hacks that rolled out: an emoji-powered smart reply feature and a “Send + Mic Drop” option.

The Gmail mic drop feature had a number of users up in arms after they unwittingly inserted a mic-dropping Minion gif into emails. By this morning, Google had disabled the prank and apologized for causing more headaches than laughs.

Bing has opted to stay away from controversy-causing pranks so far, taking a cute approach to April Fools’ Day with dancing puffins featured on its homepage.

You can see a rundown of April Fools’ announcements from Google, Bing and other April Fools’ perpetrators below. As more shenanigans happen, we’ll update this story to include whatever we find.
Google’s disco pegman

While the Google Maps pegman may or may not be dressed to disco, he definitely is sporting a beard and purple suit with retro butterfly-collars — a much cooler pegman for April Fools’ Day, versus the square that usually shows up for Street View images.

Google Japan Flick Keyboard

Google Japan went all out to develop the Flick bluetooth keyboard — a device that mimics the comfort of striking the keys on a PC keyboard that can be used on any surface.

“We thought again about the ‘Flick’ keyboard and realized it could be really useful. There’s just something missing when you’re swiping across a smooth flat screen,” says the narrator in the Google Flick YouTube video.

The Q&A portion of the announcement didn’t specify a release date but did confirm it would be available in blue, red, black, white, and eventually, “tea” colored.

Bing’s Dancing Puffins
Keeping in line with its cute-theme from last year, Bing is featuring two dancing puffins on its homepage today.

Users can select four different musical selections for the puffins, starting with Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive.” There’s a country/bluegrass theme composition, electro-music and a Mariachi tune. The homepage includes a control to pause what’s playing, and sharing icons to post the homepage image on Twitter or Facebook.

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