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April Fool's Day 2019 round-up: All the major tech gags in one place
April Fool’s Day is upon us, meaning we all have to keep our guards up when reading the news until tomorrow. We’ve already covered Google’s gags, ranging from spoon bending in Gboard to Snake in Google Maps, but other tech companies have made some offbeat announcements of their own to mark the occasion.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best April Fool’s Day gags from major tech firms you’ll find online today.
dbrand sells AirPower skins
Popular smartphone customization company dBrand refuses to be put off by recent news that Apple canceled its AirPower charging mat. To mark the cancellation and April Fool’s Day, the company has decided to “sell” AirPower skins anyway.
“Stick them on your coffee table to spark conversations around your irresponsible purchase decisions. Put them on your floor vents for affordable climate control. Better yet – cover up any wall outlet to instantly make it 100 percent wireless,” reads an entry on the dBrand website.
The company also notes that the skins can be customized, and are available for the appropriate price of $4.01.
Duolingo delivers pushy notifications
The team behind language learning app Duolingo has come up with a unique way to remind users to keep learning (h/t: CNET). Who needs push notifications when you’ve got the company’s gigantic owl mascot following you, right?
Yep, the mascot will silently appear at your location whenever you dismiss the standard notification sent by Duolingo. And you have three tiers to choose from on the website, namely Encouraging Duo, Disappointed Duo, and Passive Aggressive Duo. It’s unclear if disabling Duolingo’s access to your location reduces the chances of the mascot finding you.
Nokia 9 has X-Ray vision
The Nokia 9 PureView has plenty of cameras on its back, but did you know that the black sensor isn’t a 3D ToF camera but rather an X-Ray sensor? That’s according to a cheeky tweet by HMD Global’s chief product officer Juho Sarvikas.
HMD’s executive says the X-Ray functionality will be unlocked via a new Nokia X-Ray app on the Play Store. There’s no word yet on whether the camera supports bone-keh shots, though (thanks for the pun, Scott Gordon!).
OnePlus announces an electric car
OnePlus is also jumping on the April 1 bandwagon, teasing an electric car dubbed the WarpCar. The YouTube video page also contains a link in the description to more information. So what should you expect from the WarpCar?
The Chinese brand claims it’s the fastest charging electric car (fully charged in 20 minutes), goes from zero to 60mph in three seconds, and has a 290-mile range. OnePlus also says the car can be unlocked with your OnePlus 6T.
OnePlus has collaborated with supercar maker McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition phone, but I highly doubt the partnership will go in the other direction. And knowing OnePlus, it’ll probably be a rebadged McLaren anyway.
Use your Exynos chip in a PC
Samsung’s Exynos 9820 chipset is nothing to scoff at, powering the U.S. Galaxy S10 series. But what if you could use that chip in a PC? Enter Samsung Semiconductor’s Extender, which allows you to plug the Exynos 9820 into your computer. Think of it like an SD card adapter for a microSD card.
“Simply slide the Exynos processor into the adapter and place it in the CPU socket of PC or laptop’s motherboard. That’s it. The Extender automatically adjusts the Exynos processor to be compatible with PC and laptop system,” reads an entry on Samsung’s Semiconductor website.
The Korean company says PCs can then take advantage of the neural processing unit, use the GPU to augment the existing graphics card’s capabilities, and even harness the Exynos chipset’s cellular modem. And if it still sounds like a load of hogwash to you, Samsung has a video for you.
Pocophone F1 has two dog-focused updates
The Pocophone F1 has enjoyed quite a few updates since its release, bringing a host of features and tweaks to the table. But the company claims to have two updates on offer for pet owners.
Xiaomi’s sub-brand says the first update allows you to facially scan your dog to make sure it’s indeed your pooch. The second update brings dog translation, allowing you to understand your canine friend.
T-Mobile re-purposes the phone booth
Ever tried taking a call on a busy street with honking traffic and loud pedestrians? It can be pretty distracting, so T-Mobile came up with Phone BoothE.
Phone BoothE is essentially a sound-proof phone booth, allowing you to take calls in a noisy area. The carrier says the booth unlocks with your phone, is free to use for T-Mobile customers, and lets you plug your device into a big screen.
“You know it’s real because we tacked an ‘E’ on the end of the name, wow!” says T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a video promoting the product, alluding to AT&T’s fake 5G network.
And if you want the convenience of a Phone BoothE wherever you go, the carrier is also offering a portable option (called Phone BoothE Mobile EditionE). The company acknowledges that it’s simply “a cardboard box with a hole in it.”
T-Mobile says the Phone BoothE will be available in select locations in New York City, Seattle, and Washington DC. But it also acknowledges that you could just use a normal phone booth anyway.
Xiaomi Invisible: World’s first 100% bio-degradable phone
The edgeless design of #XiaomiInvisible in action!You have to have 20/20 vision to spot the outline. RT with #NowYouSeeMi if you can! pic.twitter.com/oPhSPsaoBC— Xiaomi #48MPforEveryone (@xiaomi) April 1, 2019
Over the last several years, companies have been trying to find ways to completely eliminate bezels. Xiaomi appears to have done the unthinkable and removed all edges with the Xiaomi Invisible.
As you can see from the photos, it’s pretty much impossible to see the Invisible. In many of the images, it seems like the person isn’t even holding a phone!
Xiaomi shared a follow-up tweet that provides some of the Invisible’s core features. This includes instant connectivity, the world’s first 100 percent bio-degradable phone, no more waiting for system updates, and so much more.
Spotted any more great April Fool’s Day announcements from tech companies? Let us know in the comments!