One of the areas of emphasis for Apple at the Worldwide Developers Conference this year was phone addiction. We all spend far too much time on our phones, so Apple is building a series of tools that should help iPhone owners ween themselves off of their devices for at least a little while. Dubbed “Screen Time,” the collection of new features is similar to Google’s “Digital Wellbeing,” which is one of the key components of the Android P update.
The Screen Time announcement was welcomed with open arms by most Apple fans earlier this week, but at least one late night writer’s room found the entire concept to be a bit absurd. On last night’s Conan, the talk show host debuted a commercial for a new product that goes much, much further than Screen Time.
“More time with your children,” the ad’s narration begins. “More time with your special someone. More time outdoors. More time enjoying life. More time being you. Introducing the iPhone Basic.”
No screen, no buttons, no way to even answer a phone call. You may as well just dump it in the trash. As silly as this ad is, the fact that we’re at a point where we need built-in software tools to keep us from staring at our phones all day is pretty dystopian as it is. In fact, once my iPhone 8 runs out of gas, I might upgrade to the Basic.
Conan O’Brien and his team of players had some fun with Apple’s WWDC 18 keynote and demonstration of tools to help battle tech addiction.Read More…
Google Duplex is one of the most exciting voice assistant features we’ve seen yet, although it’s still all vaporware. That’s not to say Google won’t pull it off; it’s just that the demo Google showed at I/O 2018 wasn’t live. And, when Duplex does initially launch, it’ll only be available to a limited number of users for very specific purposes.
The ability to have Google Assistant make dinner reservations and book appointments via voice is still amazing, pointing to a future where voice-based computing will really take off. But while we wait for that future, or for Duplex to become a reality, let’s check out some of the hilarious videos that mock Google’s invention.
Funny or Die came up with a useful solution for Duplex, and that’s handling your parents. “This cool new tech will help you blow off your parents like never before,” the video’s description reads, and the clip itself is amazing. If Duplex gets to be this smart, you better believe that your parents will try to use it to spy on you:
Bonus points for the clip, as the parents actually know they’re talking to your Assistant. After some backlash, Google did confirm that the people in Duplex voice calls will be told they’re not talking to a real person.
What if Duplex could handle your love life too? Would that be something of interest to you? YouTube user Adam Fierman has a video that proves Google Duplex’s possibilities are endless.
Earlier this month, Mark Zuckerberg completed Step 7 of the Tech Company Scandal Apology Tour by trekking to Capitol Hill to be interrogated by lawmakers. The public spectacle was mostly embarrassing for both sides, since Zuckerberg’s lack of human emotions were put on display, and the lawmakers proved once again that they have no idea what the interweb is or how it works.
But even better than watching that particular trainwreck is watching what can be done when you literally put words in people’s mouths. The Bad Lip Reading YouTube channel did just that, and the five-minute long video is everything you’d hope it would be.
The makers stayed impressively true to its origins. Zuckerberg is given a lot of very brusque one-line answers, while the senators mostly babble about things they don’t understand, while Lindsey Graham tries and fails to suck up to the Facebook founder. Some highlights:
I swear, it’s like he’s got a mask on
Listen kid, blink if you’re not a lampWe’d like you to make a little smile just to show that you canOh, good heavens, that’s just horrible.Stop that son!
For the rest of the day, will you not do that please?
Can we be friends later?No, I mean, we probably shouldn’tWould you say that if I lived in a treehouse? I doubt itHave you ever smelled a girl’s feet?Cuz I imagine you and me could be doing that at some pointNoWhat’s the problem, little friend?Don’t try to get in my Porsche againBut I really like you!
It’s April Fool’s Day. Again. The day when companies come up with the craziest product ideas in an effort to prank consumers. Of course most of them are so obvious that they shouldn’t even qualify as pranks anymore because we can see them coming a mile away.
The truly subtle ones are rare. But then again, no company wants to create a fake product that’s too believable, right? With that in mind, let’s see what some of the biggest names in tech, and across other industries, have planned for this year’s April Fool’s Day. There are actually a few good ones in there, and there’s even a pretty believable prank right this year, which is rare.
Google lets you find Waldo in Google Maps. And once you’ve discovered him, you’ll get more and more games to search for him over and over again. To do so, go to Google Maps online or update your iPhone and Android apps.
Google Australia decided to redesign Google and keeping it relevant. It’s not Google, actually. It’s Googz.
Google Cloud’s Hummus API matches you with your perfect Hummus. That’s something Google could do.
Google Japan made a physical Gboard that converts typing to cursive.
The Files Go team invented the bad joke detector. For April 1st. Right…
Snap may have one of the best pranks of this jokes season. It targets Facebook, of course. We’re looking at a new filter that looks exactly like the Facebook app, but the text appears to be written in Russian. That checks all the right boxes.
T-Mobile is bringing back the Sidekick as the world’s first smart shoe phone. I have to tell you that the shoes do look dope. They’re not phones, however.
What if you could play Pokemon Go in “cutting-edge” 8-bit graphics?
Need toilet insurance for your smartphone? Honor’s got you covered.
Lexus and 23andMe
Using your genetic code to select your next Lexus car? Lexus’s got you covered with the help of 23andMe. The car will then be delivered to your door in 24 hours, customized based on your DNA.
Burger King, home of the Whopper. The Chocolate Whopper. Okay, I have to say this should really be a thing.
Yes, let’s do more fake chocolate, please. Check out Reese’s adorable Easter/April Fool’s prank.
Forget the shots, Jäger Balm is supposed to treat bartender’s elbow.
Jabra’s got some shoes of its own, but they double as speakers, not smartphones.
Redbox is creating the smallest movie theaters in the world. The gist is that movies will be available on the touch screen of any Redbox kiosk once they leave the big screen.
Warby Parker and Arby’s
Fast eyewear food industry, anyone? That’s what’s WArby’s is all about.
Bacon Crisps Cereal? Oh, come on.
You probably heard of Duolingo before, the service that lets you learn a new language supposedly faster than anything else. Well for April Fool’s, they unveiled the Brewolingo, beers to help you get more fluent. Included are the Spring Season-Owl, India Pale Owl, Mad Amber Owl, and Night Owl Stout. Each one is for a different language or situation.
Man Crates is introducing a porch piracy protection service, so that porch pirates stop stealing your deliveries. Giant mouse traps does it for me.
Get into the sharing economy with the ShareBED product. It’s like Airbnb, but creepier. Also comes in a ShareBED Lite option.
SodaSoak is SodaStream’s idea of an April Fool’s joke. It’s like SodaStream, but for your bathing experience. It comes with fruit flavors and support for water beds. Oh, and The Mountain is also in this clip.
Here’s a crypto joke for you. Houzz is a site that lets you purchase home remodeling and design products. Launching a crypto coin sounds almost believable.
Peeps and Energizer
Peeps and Energizer partnered up to create energizing Peeps. You’ll get it in a minute.
Pindrop’s Tongueprinting is so ew. Lick your phone to lock and unlock the phone. It’s as gross as it sounds. And mildly funny. Check the video at this link.
The Nothing App. It’s the app that helps you doing nothing better. Seinfeld would probably be proud. Just check the clip below.
SkunkLock has been stealing bikes to show you how easy the entire thing is.
If you can imitate the sound of the engine of the car you want to buy, then CarGurus REVolution is for you. Just like a reverse Shazam, if you will, but for finding cars.
Bags without straps. That’s all you need to know.
A company called iSeeCars made a shrine to Google. Because Google dominates search, get it?
They usually make protective cases for smartphones. But on April 1st, they have a FlexChoc chocolate case for you.
Thinkgeek really overdid it this year, with a bunch of pranks for April Fool’s.
Star Trek Klingon Alphabet Magnets
4d6&Me Stat Discovery Kit
Rick and Morty Screaming Sun Alarm Clock
Jurassic World Dinosaur Detection System
The Chegg Osmosis Pillow comes with memory foam that will not only adapt to the shape of your head, but it’ll also pack your own memory with actual knowledge. Sleep on it.