April is finally here, which means it’s time for corporations to put impressive amounts of effort into lying for the sake of comedy. April Fools’ Day always brings out the best (or worst) in tech companies in particular, and the 2019 edition of the holiday was no different.
This year, at least one major tech company deliberately sat out April Fools’ Day, but plenty of others put in the work. Here’s what they came up with.
Google goes all out
Google (and companies related to Google) definitely won April Fools’ Day this year in terms of sheer volume. The company put together a handful of different gag product announcements, including a video showing off the new “Screen Cleaner” feature in the mobile Files app. Think of it as a windshield wiper for your phone, except it’s fake.
Aside from that, Google threw another joke at the wall to see if it would stick in the form of Google Tulip. The idea is that your Google Home device can now speak to flowers. If that wasn’t enough, Google added a playable version of the Snake video game to Google Maps.
Finally, Google’s corporate cousin under Alphabet in Waymo announced a ride-sharing service for pets called, appropriately, Waymo Pet.
Amazon appeals to aquatic life
Audible, the audiobook service run by Amazon, went the “humorously useless product” route this year with Audible for Fish. It’s exactly what it sounds like: An audiobook experience for aquatic animals who don’t actually care about audiobooks.
To top it all off, the audiobook is only three seconds long.
Spotify’s joke is actually good
If there is such a thing as a good corporate April Fools’ joke, Spotify came close this year. The music streaming service normally generates “Discover Weekly” playlists for each of its users consisting of new music they might want to listen to, based on what they normally like.
For April Fools’ Day, Spotify put together a “Discocover Weekly” playlist that is largely disco covers of non-disco songs. The disco cover of the original Star Trek theme, in particular, is a good choice. It’s honestly not the worst playlist in the world.
Microsoft takes a stand
Microsoft took a different approach this year. An internal memo sent around to Microsoft employees last week explicitly asked them not to do any public-facing April Fools’ jokes in 2019. The idea is that too many people might take a potential April Fools’ joke seriously for the jest to be worth it.
“I appreciate that people may have devoted time and resources to these activities, but I believe we have more to lose than gain by attempting to be funny on this one day,” marketing exec Chris Caposella wrote in the memo.
Netflix, Prime Video pander to anti-April Fools’ sentiment
On a similar note, official Twitter accounts belonging to two streaming services played into the idea that people might be tired of corporate April Fools’ jokes. Of course, the tweets pulled double duty as advertisements for shows on their respective streaming services.
Honorable mention: A review of slime
Our friends at Reviews.com took a break from their daily duties to join in on the April Fools’ shenanigans. They put together a comprehensive review guide for all the different types of slime, which is bound to be useful to someone.
Nickelodeon’s iconic slime, for example, was named “Messiest Slime.”