Google and many other high tech firms are famous for their April Fool’s announcements. It is kind of an unofficial competition as to who really has the most creative people, not just among tech firms but within Google itself.
This year the Google April Fools announcement that is getting the most attention is Google Tap. It is a simplified mobile device keyboard that rather than trying to duplicate the entire QWERTY keyboard on a tiny screen uses only three buttons: dot, dash and space. That’s right, good old Morse Code! What makes the prank so delightful is how perfectly they deadpan the style and tone of tech industry product announcements and gently ramp up the silliness.
However more than a few people are stopping afterward and thinking that, at least in the single keyboard version, this is not a bad idea. In fact it might just be a fantastic idea.
Once the Morse code is learned well, a person using Google Tap two-fingered would likely be able to hit 20-30 words per minute easily plus being able to do it one-handed plus being able to do it accurately without looking. In other words once the Morse Code is learned, it will almost certainly be more productive to use Google Tap than a typical smartphone keyboard. And that is not even counting the potential use by the physically impaired.
Google Tap is one seriously funny idea – It is also one seriously good idea!
And by the way, in my mind the runner-up in the April Fool’s announcement contest comes from Google Australia, who announced the follow-on from Google Street View mapping of the Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon by mapping the entire Australian Outback using Google Street Roo.
In addition an honorable mention should go to the announcement of plans to enter Google’s self-driving cars in NASCAR races.
Unfortunately they stopped short of really exploring the full comic potential of the idea, most likely out of worry about touching on some of the real issues about self-driving cars.