Where’s Waldo? Hiding in Google Maps, of course.
The whimsical favorite character, Waldo, and friends Wenda, Wizard Whitebeard, Odlaw and Woof the dog began hiding in Google Maps for a week beginning last Saturday.
The game, based on one of Google's 2018 April Fools’ Day pranks, allows users to see the Waldo icon in a place and then tap on it. The tap brings up a page from one of the classic books.
Waldo shares his location with users on Android, iOS and desktop.
To start the search, update the app or visit google.com/maps on desktop. Then press play when you see Waldo wave from the side of your screen.
Google also integrated the game into Google Assistant for phones, the Chromebook or the Home device. On a Home device, say “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” to start.
In Israel, Google targeted hummus by saying it developed an API to determine each person’s favorite hummus dish based on their tastebuds.
And no April Fools would be complete without a joke based on Google’s technical expertise, using blockchain and artificial intelligence to detect bad jokes with a product the company calls Files Go, which frees up space on phones by deleting old media and videos. The idea: to “understand the anatomy of terrible puns” and determine the quantity of the joke to weed out the weak ones.
Google is not the only company that got an early start.
Brands started early this year because April 1 fell on Easter Sunday, which doesn’t make a good combination for pranks.
REI, for example, on March 31 introduced its prank, the REI Co-op ZipAll jumpsuit made from a “comfortable breathable fabric and intelligent zipper functionality that wicks moisture and sheds water while being breathable, lightweight and heavy duty.”
Burger King came out with the idea for a chocolate Whopper, a sandwich made entirely of chocolate and candied ingredients. The video debuted on YouTube March 30.
Houzz also jumped into the fray, enabling ecommerce shoppers to use HouzzCoinzz, the “first vertical highly-volatile cryptocurrency” to make sure all the purchases are private, secure and stored in the Houzz blockchain.
Even Sam’s Club jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon with “bulkcoin.” In a blog post, the company also announced it would explore partnership with other “coin-friendly” companies such as Chuck E. Cheese and Dave & Buster’s.