This April Fools’ Day, We Look Back At Some Witty Pranks By Tech Companies

'Tis the day of the fools!

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april fools' day
Image: Duolingo

And so the day of pranking and fooling friends for gags is finally here. For a long time, April 1 has been celebrated as April Fools’ Day in many countries. Thanks to cultural globalization, the occasion has crossed borders and spread into most parts.

But, as common as April Fools’ Day has become, the secret of its origins is not common knowledge. In fact, there are multiple theories about how the occasion and the tradition of fooling others came to be.

April Fools’ Day origins

As per Britannica, a popular origin story says that April Fools’ Day started with the passing of the “Edict Of Roussillon” in 16th-century France. Back then, the Christian festival of Easter, which falls on a different April day every year, marked the start of a calendar year. With the new law, Charles IX moved new year’s day to January 1 instead. And thus, anyone who still observed Easter as the beginning of a new year became an April Fool.

Another theory speculates that April 1 emerged as a fools’ day because of its proximity to the vernal equinox on March 21, during which people are known to be fooled by unexpected weather changes.

While we’re on this topic, it’s imperative to point out that tech companies have often observed April Fools’ Day. They have had their fair share of fun, fooling their fans with ridiculously fake announcements. Below, we look back at some of the wittiest April Fools’ pranks pulled off by well-known tech firms.

Wittiest April Fools’ pranks by tech companies

Google Tulip

A few years ago, Google pulled off one of the most hilarious pranks on its followers. It unveiled a new product, Google Tulip, that could apparently help humans communicate with Tulip plants. The tech giant didn’t stop just there, but it also managed to craft an entirely professional launch video to sell its prank to the gullible ones.

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Ola AirPro

Last year, the folks at Ola woke up in the morning and chose pranks. The online cab-hailing service announced the launch of a new cutting-edge taxi that would make even the Batmobile look like nothing. It posted a video of Ola AirPro that co-founder Bhavish Aggarwal called “the world’s first and only fully autonomous electric flying car” in a light-hearted tweet.

Duolingo Push

Anyone who has used Duolingo for learning new languages knows that starting a new course is super easy but finishing it takes consistent effort. That’s why Duolingo also sends you frequent notifications on the phone. However, a few years ago, the company jokingly announced a new “Duolingo Push” feature that would notice when you don’t continue a course and send a life-size Duolingo mascot to your location for extra motivation.

Waymo Pet

Many of us know that Waymo provides fully autonomous taxi rides in select cities worldwide. Normally, Waymo’s passengers are humans, but in 2019, the company announced an exclusive lineup of services for pets. In good humor, the company rolled out a funny clip of these luxury pet-exclusive taxis that showed its team working meticulously to ensure the satisfaction of its furry customers.

As the day goes on, we will see more tech firms luring fans into their pranks. So, make sure to browse the internet keeping the occasion in mind. Happy April Fools’ Day!

Priye Rai

Priye Rai

Priye is a tech writer at Fossbytes, who writes about gaming and anything remotely related to tech, including smartphones, apps, OTT, etc. He prefers to be called a "video game journalist" and grimaces when he doesn't get to be "Player 1." If you want to talk about games or send any feedback, drop him a mail at [email protected]

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