Those cheeky wagsters at Google have certainly put some effort into their April Fools’ pranks this year, announcing a version of their Maps service for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and introducing support for morse code with Gmail Tap.
Here’s the hilarious video for NES Google Maps.
In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn’t access Google Maps on their classic hardware. Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide.
Our engineering team in Japan understood the importance of maps on retro game systems. With the power of Google’s immense data centers, and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we’re excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack.
[Google Maps blog]
‘Two buttons. Infinite possibilities’
The morse code video is equally funny, showing off a ‘simpler, faster’ keyboard featuring keys for for just a dot and a dash:
Gmail Tap takes the keyboard from 26 keys to just two. Every letter of the alphabet is represented by a simple pattern of dots and dashes, and once you know them you can type without even looking at your screen. This makes it ideal for situations where you need to discreetly send emails, such as when you’re on a date or in a meeting with your boss.
Thanks for cheering us up this morning Google. 🙂