Google really did unveil its extremely popular Gmail service on April 1, way back in 2004, so you might be excused for getting excited over its brand new update, Gmail Blue. (Watch the video above.) But the tech world, and Google in particular, is also very fond of celebrating April Fool's Day. Twitter, for example, has unveiled its vowel-less service (for all non-paying tweeters), throwing in the letter Y:
(Translation: Tried the new Twttr yet? More time for more tweets)
Its faux-explanation was spot-on:
We're doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we'll encourage a more efficient and "dense" form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream. [Twitter]
But the joke was mostly funny because of Joan Rivers' reaction:
Twyttyr? Why byy vywyls whyn yyy gyt "Y" fyr fryy? Syckyrs! #nvwls— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) April 1, 2013
And Google's other big April Fool's Day offerings are either a little silly — see Google Treasure Maps — or more liable to incite panic than mirth (we're looking at you, YouTube cancellation threat). And "the Nose one was just so-so," says Drew Olanoff at TechCrunch. But Gmail Blue?
@felixsalmon Funny because it's so close to being plausible as major tech release.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) April 1, 2013
Plausible, sure, but "some people flipped out about the new compose screen becoming the default, so they'd lose their mind if Google changed all of the colors," says TechCrunch's Olanoff. "I can't help but wonder if this is a not-so-subtle poke at Facebook," which uses blue liberally. But poking rivals or not, there are enough hilarious buzzwords — and one great cameo by a certain comedy troupe — to make Monday just slightly less blue.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why would a young person today be religious?
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- Israel and Russia are getting along. Have the neocons noticed?
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- The 6-year-old who woke up from a coma with a different personality
- Why Holy Thursday is so important to Christians
- Why I'm a pro-life liberal
- How Community's Dean Pelton broke new ground for sexual politics on television
Subscribe to the Week