10 Google Hangouts Easter Eggs

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss
Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

The development team at Google hides fun little Easter eggs in almost all of the company’s products and services—including Google Hangouts. Here are 10 fun tricks you can use to amuse yourself and your friends the next time you chat.

1. /corgis

If you need more dogs in your life, simply type “/corgis” into Google Hangouts and watch a short-legged pup strut across your chatbox. There are two different corgis, so keep typing the command for a chance to see each dog.

2. /ponystream

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

Are you bored at work? Type “/ponystream” (with the forward slash at the beginning) into Google Hangouts and watch a never ending stream of My Little Pony ponies prancing across your chat window. You'll notice that some have hats, sunglasses, and even flaming manes.

3. /ponies

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

If you're overwhelmed by the endless stream, type in “/ponies” and only a single pony will appear on your screen.

4. /shydino

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

Type “/shydino” into Google Hangouts and a small green dinosaur will slide onto the screen and hide behind an even smaller yellow house in the middle of the chat window. Typing it again will make it go away. "We had Hangouts users mistaking one of our emoji (the house with the tree) for a shy dinosaur hiding behind a house," Sanjay Mavinkurve, Google's Lead User Experience Designer for Hangouts, told HuffPost. "It seemed a shame to not have such an emoji, so we added the Easter egg."

5. /roll

This trick’s perfect if you’re playing any sort of online game that involves rolling dice. Simply type “/roll” into Google Hangouts, and you and whoever you’re chatting with will see a message saying you’ve rolled the die. You aren’t limited to traditional die, either. If you’re playing a virtual group game like Dungeons & Dragons that calls for a 20-sided die, type /rolld20.

6. /shruggie

If you want to respond to someone’s message with the classic ASCII shrug emoji but don’t want to type all the different characters, type /shruggie into Google Hangouts and the internet’s favorite symbol of ambivalence will appear.

7. /bikeshed

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

Are you sick of the simple white background in Google Hangouts? Type in “/bikeshed” and your chatbox will change to a random color. If the hue doesn't quite match your desktop, type it again for a new color.

8. /pitchforks

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

Angry at someone’s comment, but lack the words to say so? If you type “/pitchforks” into Google Hangouts, villagers with fire and pitchforks will run back and forth across your chat window.

9. Konami Code

Rudie Obias, Mental Floss

Google programmers love the Konami Code, which originally appeared in old school video games like Contra and Castlevania. You can tell how much they love it because they’ve included the special code in many services, including Google Hangouts. Leave your cursor open in Google Hangouts and click the following keys: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, and then hit Enter. This will change your background from dull white to a lively mountainside setting with green trees and blue skies.

The Konami Code also works with Google Now (it unlocks “unlimited free” searches), Google Chromebook Pixel (it starts an exciting light show with its LED lightstrip), and Google Play Games on a touchscreen device (it unlocks trophies).

10. /8ball

Need answers for life’s important questions, but don’t have a trusty Magic 8-Ball on hand? Type “/8ball” into Google Hangouts and see what your future holds. And, if you don’t like the answer to your question, just type “/ball” again and again until you get the response you’re looking for.

Kodak’s New Cameras Don't Just Take Photos—They Also Print Them

Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Your Instagram account wishes it had this clout.
Kodak

Snapping a photo and immediately sharing it on social media is definitely convenient, but there’s still something so satisfying about having the printed photo—like you’re actually holding the memory in your hands. Kodak’s new STEP cameras now offer the best of both worlds.

As its name implies, the Kodak STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, available for $70 on Amazon, lets you take a picture and print it out on that very same device. Not only do you get to skip the irksome process of uploading photos to your computer and printing them on your bulky, non-portable printer (or worse yet, having to wait for your local pharmacy to print them for you), but you never need to bother with ink cartridges or toner, either. The Kodak STEP comes with special 2-inch-by-3-inch printing paper inlaid with color crystals that bring your image to life. There’s also an adhesive layer on the back, so you can easily stick your photos to laptop covers, scrapbooks, or whatever else could use a little adornment.

There's a 10-second self-timer, so you don't have to ask strangers to take your group photos.Kodak

For those of you who want to give your photos some added flair, you might like the Kodak STEP Touch, available for $130 from Amazon. It’s similar to the regular Kodak STEP, but the LCD touch screen allows you to edit your photos before you print them; you can also shoot short videos and even share your content straight to social media.

If you want to print photos from your smartphone gallery, there's the Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer. This portable $80 printer connects to any iOS or Android device with Bluetooth capabilities and can print whatever photos you send to it.

The Kodak STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer connects to an app that allows you to add filters and other effects to your photos. Kodak

All three Kodak STEP devices come with some of that magical printer paper, but you can order additional refills, too—a 20-sheet set costs $8 on Amazon.

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Can You Spot All 10 Differences in These Illustrations of a Lively Park?

Scroll down for the full image.
Scroll down for the full image.
Watches2U

Head to any given park on any given sunny summer day, and you’ll likely encounter a people-watcher’s paradise. And to keep us occupied on the rainy days, online watch retailer Watches2U has turned all those sunbathers, joggers, dog-walkers, and skittery squirrels into an entertaining brainteaser.

The left and right images below are almost identical, save for 10 tiny discrepancies that you may not notice at first glance. Once you think you’ve spotted them all (or given up), scroll to the bottom to reveal the answers.

Which type of park-goer are you?Watches2U

As any good Parks and Recreation fan knows, even the smallest park can be a symbol of community and a saving grace for city-dwellers short on yard space. And national parks, like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, can be full-fledged vacation spots. They often also help protect wildlife in the region. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for example, is known as the “salamander capital of the world,” and Theodore Roosevelt National Park is home to hundreds of bison, which were once on the brink of extinction.

In the midst of the current pandemic, a visit to your local park might look a little different than it usually does. Masks and social distancing are musts, and hand sanitizer should flow freely. And if you’re road-tripping a little farther from home, here are some expert tips for doing it safely.

Answer Key

The kid riding the seesaw with no hands is a real daredevil, huh?Watches2U

[h/t Watches2U]