Google Maps in 8-bit, Gmail Tap Mode for April Fools 2012
In classic tradition that is Google, today on April Fool's Day, Google converted their Google maps services into Nintendo formatting we all have grown to love. Google Maps is in 8-bit format, resembling the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) of days gone by. But that's not all that Google has offered up today. The Gmail team has also introduced something that will be sure to keep us sending emails much longer than needed or necessary today. Gmail is now available in 'Tap' format, allowing you to use tapping gestures to create messages in Gmail. Similar to morse code, this also brings us back to the old days of communication.
Here's what each team had to say for their creations, along with a couple of videos below to further illustrate the offerings from Google;
Gmail Tap takes the keyboard from 26 keys to just two. Every letter of the alphabet is represented by a simple pattern of dots and dashes, and once you know them you can type without even looking at your screen. This makes it ideal for situations where you need to discreetly send emails, such as when you’re on a date or in a meeting with your boss.
In our pursuit of new digital frontiers, we realized that we may have left behind a large number of users who couldn’t access Google Maps on their classic hardware. Surprisingly, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was unsupported, despite its tremendous popularity with over 60 million units sold worldwide. Our engineering team in Japan understood the importance of maps on retro game systems. With the power of Google’s immense data centers, and support from Nintendo and Square Enix, we were able to overcome the technical and design hurdles of developing 8-bit maps. Today, we’re excited to announce the result: a version of Google Maps for NES, with beautiful low-res graphics, simple and intuitive controls, and a timeless soundtrack.