Over the last decade Google has become renowned for its practical jokes. From job advertisements offering a research position on the moon, to ‘Scratch and Sniff’ applications that claimed to give users smells by simply clicking a button and then smelling the monitor.
One of the latest ones to do the rounds is the ‘do a barrel roll’. Whilst many of us have already seen this, you can now do this by simply activating Google Now and typing ‘do a barrel roll’ for the same effect. It’s thought that this is a reference to the Nintendo 64 game Star Fox from the nineties.
With the invention of the Android operating system, Google are now able to surprise users with ‘Easter Eggs’, as they have come to be known. Not so much practical jokes (and not in any way connected with the religious holiday), Easter eggs are surprises that come in various forms that give users a little extra entertainment in some shape or form.
For those with the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS (operating system) go to the settings, about, and then repeatedly press the Android 4.0 and before you know it you will be staring at an Ice Cream Sandwich Robot. Hold your finger on the screen and in no time you’ll have a fleet of ICS robots flying across the screen.
If your phone or tablet has the Jelly Bean 4.1 operating system, there is a way of activating another amusing Easter egg. By simply going to the ‘about’ section of the menu and tapping the Android 4.1 section half way down the screen, a smiling red jelly bean will appear on your screen. What’s more, by holding your finger on the screen for a prolonged period, you will have jelly beans popping up everywhere, jelly beans that you can control by sliding your finger across the screen and flicking out of the picture.
This isn’t anything new; Google were playing these tricks with both the Honeycomb and Gingerbread OS’. With Gingerbread Android 2.3 OS, you followed the same route and were surprised with a Gingerbread zombie piece of art (check out the zombies in the background, they’re all happily chatting away on their cell phones). With the Honeycomb it was a bee, which many believe is paying homage to the movie Tron. However, the latest two editions are a little more advanced and more fun.
The question is, when the next Google OS comes out, what will be their next Easter egg? Though if the last four are anything to go by, I suspect the clue will be in the title. However, to most people that isn’t important, what is important is getting the latest OS and finding the latest Easter egg.
Google has become famous for its variations on the Easter egg phenomenon and its only ever becoming more fun; of course, it’s not always actual eggs that you find (rarely in fact) but as an example, if you own a Samsung Galaxy SII, go to settings, then click ‘about phone’ then very quickly click on the Android version and you will find a picture pops up of a gingerbread man alongside the Android icon with zombies in the background.