The 13 Best April Fool’s Day Pranks Technology Has Fooled Us With

April Fool’s Day has survived the onslaught of technology. In fact, tech companies like Google have taken it to an elaborate level. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the hoax from the real as they manipulate our imaginations with feature “updates” and product announcements. So let’s go back to the past to see how much they puzzled us before we better understand what’s to come on April 1st.


So, here are some of the best April Fool’s joke tech companies we’ve come across.

Note: The list is subjective as the humor is too. Plus, there are too many April Fool’s Day shenanigans by tech companies to count over the years.

1. Google Gulp (2005)

One of the world’s richest companies selling soft drinks looks like a business flop. But it wasn’t just any other drink. Google Gulp (BETA)™ with Auto-Drink™ was a “smart drink” with a punchline that was a mouthful, as you can see from the screenshot. Oh yeah, it was also low carb.

It wasn’t their first April Fool’s joke, but it showed how fun Google could be with technology.

2. Apple iPlay game console (2010)

Many Apple fans may not have heard of Pippin, Apple’s failed game console. That was long before the “i” came primarily from Cupertino. So, there is a chance that people thought that Apple would try game consoles again. The Apple iPlay console, with the likes of Jony Ive showing it off in a promotional video, made people believe it.

Ultimately, it was a clever April Fool’s joke engineered by video game website IGN spoofing Apple’s product promotions.

3. Twitter of Twitter (2013)

A Twttr where you receive messages with only consonants? For the whole message with the vowels, you have to pay $5. The subscription is a joke to us now, but Twttr’s announcement was a humorous April Fool’s prank played on unsuspecting users of the service in 2013.

4. Youtube (2013)

In 2013, YouTube posted a message saying the video site was actually a contest to find the best video in the world. The winner will be announced in 2023 and the site will be closed. It was an almost believable prank because of the official serious tone of the video. But it was enough to realize the date to find the joke.

5. Pokémon Google Maps Challenge (2014)

April Fool’s Day 2014 brought another Google Maps zinger. But it turned into a contest in the joke as the search for Pokemon continued until April 5. Users pulled out their Google Maps app for iPhone and Android and tracked down the creatures in locations around the world.

Pokémon Masters who caught 151 of Nintendo’s creatures received a certificate at the end of the augmented reality hunt.

6. PlayStation Stream (2015)

This concept is surely halfway between fiction and reality in a game lab somewhere. A few years ago, on April 1st, a fully immersive gaming laptop had the potential to make hardcore gamers salivate at the thought. Take ‘immersion’ literally as the PlayStation Flow combines gaming and swimming, wearing special sensors, PlayStation waterproof goggles and headphones.

7. Amazon Petlexa (2017)

Man’s best friend and his fellow companions deserve the best tech deals. Amazon thought of it too with Petlexa, which your pets could use to bark (or meow) pet food orders and whatever they wanted via Amazon Echo, Dot, or Tap. But the joke didn’t spare the idea of ​​dropping them on your Amazon account and the linked credit card.

8. Amazon Edition (2018)

Amazon delivered…but it was your favorite author at your doorstep this time. Best-selling author Patricia Cornwell was on hand as she made an almost James Bond run to the customer’s front door. Maybe one day it will come true with virtual reality avatars.

9. PayPal (2018)

Everyone would love this feature during a recession. A PayPal tweet in 2018 claimed that a new feature would allow customers to print money directly from their phone using the PayPal app. The tweet went viral and helped PayPal navigate its way to (likely) more customers and brand recall.

10.Netflix (2018)

Netflix has done its share of April Fool’s Day pranks. But in 2018, they signed Seth Rogen to a lifetime contract to transfer his body and soul to Netflix and create content for them. In return, Netflix would air Rogen’s “Hilarity for Charity” special (for Alzheimer’s disease awareness). Binge watchers could see this top in a banner when they logged in.

11.Spotify (2019)

Spotify did an underrated April Fool’s Day attempt that was a lot of fun. Listeners noticed that a regular Discover Weekly playlist used disco covers of non-disco songs. Most notable was that many of the covers matched the originals that every listener loved.

12. Google Maps Snake (2019)

We couldn’t feature Google’s vast array of April Fool’s Day gags here. But returning to a beloved classic game deserves to be on the list. In fact, you can still play Snakes game on Google Maps.

Note: Google canceled its April Fool’s jokes in 2020-21 due to the pandemic.

13. Duolingo (2022)

It was less of a prank and more of a company poking fun at itself (and its notifications). Few people would have been fooled by the Duolingo owl threatening you to take your language lessons. Even then, I wouldn’t want his digital avatar to come in all three modes offered by Duolingo Push – encouraging, disappointed, or passive-aggressive.

April Fool’s Viral Marketing Hijinks

The best April Fool’s Day jokes are the ones you didn’t see coming or within reach of being real. The best ones are also a win-win for tech companies, as social media provides free brand promotion. But that shouldn’t bother us as they help bring joy to our online lives. The list is not exhaustive but should give you an idea of ​​what businesses do with humor.

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