Ugh. I hate April Fool's Day with a passion. I feel almost like what's her name in Mean Girls. YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US! That's in regards to anyone who tries messing with me today. (I should know her name since I can and do quote that movie regularly but at the moment I'm drawing a blank when I try and think of her name.) Sorry, I like a good joke or prank as much as the next person but it goes without saying that today is the day of...
That said, let's just get on with the news and handful of interesting jokes/pranks/silliness that are genuinely amusing. Surprisingly there are more than a few items I'll be posting here today that are absolutely amazing and brilliant while being genuinely funny at the same time. So it is possible for today to not be as bad as it usually is. (There should be a recognized legal authority/agency that punishes people who make bad/terrible pranks and jokes today. I'd shell out some of my paycheck for taxes to go towards funding something like that.)
Again, let the record reflect that if you try and mess with me today you might lose a limb. Unless you succeed in making me laugh, in which case kudos to you.
We'll do the actual silly/amusing stuff first and the news after. Like that no one says I was just fucking with them today. I save my "it made me laugh" stuff for all days but today, just so you all know.
Speaking of Chrome, introducing Chrome Selfies!
It might sound like a joke, but Chrome Selfies are now a thing. Think of it as sharing your reactions to things you read in Chrome.
If you visit Google+ and search for #ChromeSelfie, which clicking that link will just take you to because I did the work for you cause I'm awesome like that, you will find some truly amazing responses to this. Truly amazing.
Also, no one bother asking to see a Chrome Selfie of me. Not happening. People can't even snap a normal picture of me without me somehow always managing to obscure my face, so good luck trying to find a selfie pic of me.
Also, there's now going to be a Google Panda!
Not too mention the upcoming new Smartbox from Google.
Google Fiber is getting in on the phone, they've unveiled a new "dial-up mode". I cracked up so bad when I saw this one. I remember dial-up and damn. Those were dark days.
That 56k modem dialing sound! The horror!
And then there's the Google Actual Cloud Platform.
I may or may not have blown my own mind just now thinking about "Google Actual Cloud Platform". Mostly because the last time I looked at clouds I was in an inebriated state and thought to myself, "Those clouds don't look real." I just imagined myself thinking that but about Actual Cloud and my mind just went BSOD on me.
There's one more Google treat but I won't spoil things by telling you what it is.
Just go to the following link and prepare for a dose of "wtf am I seeing here because it hurts my eyes and brain!!!" Be warned, it is pure madness at that link.
Oh and typing "Happy April Fools" into Hangouts will result in one funny laughing face or another popping up on your screen and the screen of whoever you sent that too. Honestly I am always beyond amused by this little Easter eggs Google has for Hangouts. I will never not enjoy seeing the torches and pitchforks one or the pony stream. I freaked out a high friend once with both of those. It blew his mind. And then he failed to get them to work for him, probably cause typing was not something he could easily do with how blazed he was.
Moving on, Samsung finally seems to have a sense of humor
They've "introduced" the Samsung Galaxy Blade Edge. You don't even need to see the pics to imagine just what that is, you know. Oh, you know.
Note the "premium mammoth tusk" option for the handle. I'm not sure where they got the mammoth tusk, I don't know if I even want to know where they got the mammoth tusk but I'd be game for buying a device that came in a mammoth tusk option. I'd go full Crocodile Dundee on EVERYONE!
*does his best Australian accent* You call that a knife? That's not a knife. Now that [whips out Samsung Galaxy Blade Edge with premium mammoth tusk handle] is a knife. And a smartphone. (All Australians who read this, however many of you there are, can officially groan and hate me for that overused joke. It'll never not be funny to me. Expect it to come up again at a later date. You've been warned, people from the land of "everything here can and does in fact want to kill you". And don't try saying that isn't true! Dael Kingsmill aka MonarchsFactory told me as much. EDIT. I just learned that MonarchsFactory, among others, will no longer be doing their vlogs for Geek and Sundry but they will continue doing their vlogs and videos and all that. So show your support by watching them if they continue to put them out and share said videos wherever you feel like sharing them to. Dael is absolutely hilarious and random and awesome, so I highly recommend watching her videos if you aren't already.)
Motorola is getting in on the ridiculous products game too
I still stand by my original opinion that the person who created the term "selfie" should be drawn and quartered. Or tarred and feathered. Or forced to endure a marathon of Jersey Shore and Party Down South. That'll teach whoever unleashed that word on us all!
Motorola though is being as awesome as they always are and if you go to the Moto Maker and design a Pure Edition Moto X you'll automatically receive a discount of $140 off at checkout. (So $359.99 for the 16 GB model.) Plus you can also get a 30% discount on accessories. The discount is good until 10:59 AM CST tomorrow (April 2nd).
Oh yeah, you can also request a promo code from Motorola that'll be good until April 15th and also get you $140 off.
Good Guy Motorola.
Emphasis added with italics on my part to kinda highlight things.
Even T-Mobile is getting in on the silliness
And I have no idea why that one actually came as a surprise to me. Introducing Pets Un-Leashed. (I see what they did there. Clever bastards.)
ASUS is not one to be left out in the cold this time of year
Introducing the ASUS ZenFone Zero, a "fusion of past and future".
Not gonna lie, of all the silly products as part of the festivities I've seen thus far that one looks the slickest (aside from the Blade that is).
HTC gets in on the silliness as well
CyanogenMod throws a curveball with their latest CM12 nightly
I discovered that one over on reddit, where additional shenanigans are taking place on /r/android. You can see the screenshot below of just what exactly I'm referring to.
OnePlus has "unveiled" the OnePlus DR-1 Drone, which is a joke but you can also buy it
Wait, what? So it's a joke, but you can get it? Yeah, cause that's how OnePlus rolls.
Also, did everyone here take note of the name of the product?
As might be abundantly clear by this point, I'm not a fan of today. More specifically of not so clever jokes. OnePlus one hit the nail on the head in that regard for me today. Android Police has a rather succinct piece on the DR-1 Drone, which takes quite a few actually clever jabs at OnePlus. Check it out for an actual laugh.
AND NOW TIME FOR ACTUAL NEWS AND WHAT HAVE YOU!
ASUS and Google have announced Chromebit!
I mentioned it elsewhere, but I'm actually very intrigued and slightly excited about the ASUS Chromebit. What is it? A Chrome OS HDMI stick that retails for $100.
That is all it is.
So now, well "soon" is the better term, can use Chrome OS on your TV sans a Chromebook or Chromebox and at cost.
Considering how many relatives I don't trust with computers this is going to make a sweet "you get a Chromebit, you get a Chromebit, you all get Chromebits!" gift down the line for all of them!
Also, honestly who here didn't expect me to go with the BEES! GIF the moment I started saying everyone gets a Chromebit?
When I think Oprah I think bees nowadays. That's just how juvenile I am and I regret nothing.
But seriously, folks, this is a godsend for those of you who routinely have to fix relatives computers because "it got a virus or something". Bullshit! You installed something you shouldn't have. I know because I recognize all these spamware like programs that have "mysteriously" just appeared on your computer. (Relevant note: Someone's computer in the office just "got a virus randomly I think". No, it didn't. You installed something you shouldn't have and you just won't admit you did it! I'm not an idiot. I do this for a goddamn living. Ugh, coworkers. Amirite?!)
So it's Chrome OS on a stick pretty much. Plug it into an available HDMI port, connect the microUSB power cable and you're up and running.
The device itself is running an ARM-based Rockchip RK3288 SoC (which translates to "gibberish" to most of you and I apologize for that), has 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. It's also got WiFi and Bluetooth and one USB 2.0 port. (You're likely going to want to get a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for this one folks. Save that USB port for hooking up a portable hard drive or something like that to get additional storage and access media and whatnot. Otherwise it's "to the cloud!" with you.)
Although it bears stating that the hardware on the Chromebit isn't even on par with most Chromebooks out there at the moment. So again, this is aimed more at your relatives who you really don't trust with technology and who you'd rather not see spend more than they should on something that they'll mostly use to browse the web and minor things like that.
As for when it'll be released, well that'll be sometime this summer. (Which coincidentally is when my birthday is, although more specifically it's mid-August. Fuck. I turn 30 this year. That's really all I got for the thought of hitting thirty. I REFUSE TO BE AN ADULT! You can't make me be one! Somewhat related, aiming this at one of my friends who I know will see this. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT THAT "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies IS NOT A FUCKING AWESOME SONG! Get out of here with your nonsense!)
Onward and upward as I'm fond of saying.
HTC seems to have mostly a miss with the M9
That's not just my feelings on the matter. It seems like all the sites I check out device reviews on feel the same way. It just feels like a lackluster update, which is "no bueno" when there's some serious competition from the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge (and soon to be announced LG G4).
Don't believe me?
Feel free to read through the reviews yourself.
HTC One M9 Review: HTC's flagship feels like an afterthought via Ars Technica (and Ron Amadeo)
The byline on that one is "a design from 2013 and a heavily throttled SoC make for a disappointing update".
For those who want a Cliff Notes version of the review, check out the following screenshot.
Droid Life's review is more of the same, going so far as to write all of two actual paragraphs and a few additional lines of remarks and then linking to their M8 review. I'd say read this "review" solely for the "He doesn't know how to use the three seashells!" line from Demolition Man. Brilliant use of that line to describe what is a ridiculous design issue, one that Ron also noted and remarked upon in the Ars review as well.
Lastly I present to you Android Police's review, HTC One M9 Review: The Phone Only HTC Could Build... For The Third Time
And for the Cliff Notes version of AP's write-up please see the following.
Honestly, things do not look good for the M9. I tried holding out hope that it would be a decent phone but it's just looking worse and worse. The HTC fanboy friends I have are all already putting in their pre-orders or about to for the S6 or S6 Edge. That kinda blows my mind.
Google Photos is getting support in Google Drive
This one had been a rumor fairly recently and this week it came true. Google+ Photos, which is a great way to backup your on device photos to Google+ and save yourself some device storage space, is now getting some serious Drive integration.
Although it should be stated that it seems to be a server side roll out, which is par for the course with something like this.
After having checked my own Drive app on my phone just now I can confirm that seems to be the case.
Clicking on "Google Photos" yielded the following for me.
I'm actually okay with that, I have a ton of pictures saved from my various devices that ended up being backed up to Google+ Photos and frankly it's a, to use the technical term, shitload of pictures. Or a mess if you'd prefer the non-technical term.
For who unfamiliar with Google+ or Google+ Photos or what have you, it bears stating that you don't have to fully be down with Google+ to make use of Google+ Photos, which offers unlimited storage of your pictures (provided they aren't ridiculously sized). Any that exceed the limitations have their file size counted towards your Google Drive storage capacity. (For $10 a month that should at worst be a non-issue as you can grab an additional 1 TB of Google Drive storage for that price. I have a ton of stuff saved to Drive and I'm using maybe 95 gigs of my 1086 gigs available. (I got a lot of additional free Drive storage thanks to various Google and Motorola promotions and offers. Seriously, take advantage of those when I post about them!)
Inbox gets custom snooze times
This one is as simple and minor as it sounds. You can now set custom snooze times in Inbox.
Hooray! Or not! Whatever floats your boat.
For those still using Gmail, you too can now have a unified inbox thingy
Now thanks to the latest Gmail update (apk available here) EVERYONE can enjoy having a unified inbox, assuming they have multiple accounts setup in Gmail (and not necessarily @gmail.com accounts at that either).
There's a few other minor things in the update, namely better searching, larger attachment previews, and the ability to save items to Drive with one tap. So nothing extremely fancy or major but all still incredibly useful.
Tomb Raider drops out of nowhere into the Play Store
I am specifically talking about the OG Tomb Raider game. Yep, the original. The one that started it all. It is here and no this is not a joke on my part or on the part of Square Enix. You can get the original Tomb Raider for $0.99 in the Play Store as of today.
I remember playing this back on my original PlayStation back when it first came out. So the nostalgia factor is strong here and I'll likely be picking it up before the end of the day. I'd be an idiot not to at that price. I need more games until the next episode of Tales from the Borderlands is released!
Oh Android Police, you bastards!
Everyone at all blown away by the "news", which clearly just dropped, be sure to click on to the source.
I'll give them this, that was a genuinely well played bit of "news" to drop. I feel bad for the people who thought it was legit though.
Personally I'd have fucked up everyone's day though by going with this instead (or even this because it is just as evil to use due to its "damn, that's catchy" factor) as the source. I am evil though and I think that would get stuck in someone's head far more readily and annoyingly than that other one.
Beyond that, ain't nothing going on.
So you all have fun today, be safe and NO BAD JOKES/PRANKS!
Which totally reminds me of this commercial here.
Which is a hilarious and evil commercial.
And that is officially all for today, kiddos!