Google is getting aboard the Star Wars hype train this year, and is offering its users the opportunity to declare their allegiance for the Light or Dark side of the Force. The choice will provide an entirely new themes across all of Google’s most popular services.
To get started, users are asked to visit google.com/starwars and make their choice of Light or Dark side. The change is not permanent, and users are free to switch between the two just to check out what there is to offer. Once that is done, users will see some minor changes to their Google services.
Gmail will begin cycling through backgrounds featuring scenes from the new Force Awakens movie, and Chrome has an extension that will do the same when opening new tabs. The images appear to be stills from the trailers, and don’t really reveal anything new. Therefore, no spoiler alerts are needed.
Google Maps and Waze are updated with features to make traveling more entertaining as well. The tiny orange pegman used to start Street View is currently being replaced by a First Order Stormtrooper, although he functions in pretty much the same way. Google Maps navigation replaces the car icon with a either an X-wing or a TIE fighter, for that extra Star Wars flavour. Waze on the other hand is introducing audio directions from C-3PO.
Other features are being rolled out to Android Wear, Google Now, Youtube, Google Calendar, Chromecast, and Google Translate. Not all the features are working quite yet, as we are noticing a distinct lack of Star Destroyers in our Gmail. The press release has also hinted that Google Translate has added a new Star Wars language, but we have been unable to find it. Possibly because so many of the real world languages sound like their belong in a galaxy far, far away. That being said, the FAQ explains that it many take several hours before all the features appear once a user chooses a side.
One last thing to note is that Google seems to be actively taking note of the number of Light and Dark side users. And is displaying it on the landing page through a very cool “Balance of the Force” bar.