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Google’s 2015 April Fools’ pranks include all-knowing panda, Smartbox, super-slow Internet

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Google PandaIt’s April 1, in case you haven’t checked your calendars yet today, and we all know what that means. Nothing and nobody can be trusted for the next few hours. Not online, not offline, not on TV or out in the street.

Not even the mighty, always reliable Google. Especially not Google, as the search giant’s list of April Fools’ Day hoaxes and easter eggs is traditionally far too lengthy to keep tabs on. Basically, whatever you search for today could be tainted with.

Don’t switch to the dark Bing side just because of Mountain View’s jokey nature though, as their pranks are more often than not totally harmless, intentionally transparent and out-there. Remember last year’s “Emojify the Web” initiative? How about YouTube’s shockingly outlandish announcement from back 2013 calling for a stop to video uploading?

Perhaps the best one this year is Google Panda’s faux introduction in Japan, combining the cuteness of a stuffed animal with the omniscient character of Google Now. Yes, the talking panda is essentially an evolved, far more delightful Siri.

Wait, so the product isn’t real? Too bad, it actually sounds tempting. And so does Smartbox by Inbox, an innovative, futuristic way to liven up the old physical mailbox that “just sits there”.

A not-very-attractive service/hoax? Google Fiber’s new Dial-Up mode, meant to slow your online life down and facilitate more offline time spent with loved ones.

Let’s see, what else has Google got to brighten our otherwise boring Wednesday? A Pacman View for GMaps, maybe? Just be careful, it can be highly addictive. Then there’s a backwards elgooG service, where everything is upside down, and uber-irritating “Share a reaction” Chrome browser button allowing mobile users to spam their friends with selfies of various website responses.

Harmless, see-through and fairly amusing. Google seems to have hit the trifecta this April Fools’ Day.

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