Google Launches 'Google Nose,' Introduces 'Gmail Blue' and Shuts Down YouTube

Company unveils suite of April Fool's pranks

Published on Apr 01, 2013

Editor's Pick

As usual, it looks like Google devoted a large chunk of its 37,000 employees to coming up with pranks for April Fool's Day. First up, Google Nose, a "beta" service that lets users search for smells. Integrated into the existing search function on Google, so you can answer questions like "What does a new car/ghost/Egyptian tomb smell like?" and have the answer delivered straight to your nose.

Meanwhile, YouTube's April Fool's efforts shut down the entire site. Eight years after the site first launched, with 72 hours of video uploaded per minute, it turns out the whole thing was just a contest. The service will shut down at midnight on April 1 so "judges" can start searching for the best videos. It will go back online in 2023 and feature the winner of YouTube -- and nothing else.

Google Maps now uses a treasure-map interface (it belonged to pirate William "Captain" Kidd!). Users are invited to crack the code and find the treasure. A spyglass is used to zoom in on Street View.

Gmail, which celebrates its ninth birthday today, has launched Gmail Blue -- a complete redesign of the service that manages, somehow, to keep it the same. Everything is blue -- from the font to the compose button to everything else. It's Gmail, just bluer.

The company also has added an "emotion" feature to Google+ photos, which uses a special algorithm to add an emoticon to every photo you post on Google+, based on what expression the people in it are making. According to a post by software engineer Erik Murphy-Chutorian, it will "plumb the emotional depths of everyone in the photo, then summarize their feelings with a beautifully crafted, emotion icon."

Google Wallet introduces ATM, a cash dispenser that will attach to your smartphone to spit out cash whenever you need it. It even dispenses two-dollar and fifty-dollar bills. If you end up running low on moolah, a self-driving armored vehicle will be alerted and come to you to refill the ATM.

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Apr 01, 2013

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