Star Wars is undoubtedly one of the most popular cultural and iconic brands on the planet, and to help celebrate the launch of the new film that hits theaters in the next few weeks, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Google has launched a website asking visitors to “awaken the force within.” Google’s brand partnership push with Disney and the Star Wars franchise allows Google users and fans of the Star Wars universe to have a little fun with various Google apps. First though, you’ll need to choose whether you support the light side, or the dark side. Once you’ve made your choice Google outfits a collection of their apps with features of the side of the Force that you’ve chosen.
Google states that it may take up to a few hours for all of the features to “awaken” in the apps you use, and as for what Google apps are included, Google lists that Gmail, Inbox, Calendar, Android Wear, Maps, YouTube, Chromecast, Chrome, Waze, Google Search, and Google Now will all have some Star Wars: The Force Awakens features integrated into them. Little by little you should start to see stuff appearing, like in the desktop app for Gmail, which shows a lightsaber handle before the loading bar, or Google Maps on desktop which shows a little character based on your chosen side for the drag and drop for street view images. For YouTube, the video progress bar and the volume slider are changed to the lightsaber color of your chosen side, and when you mouse over the volume slider it makes a lightsaber noise.
Maps on Android also has some fun stuff, like a Tie Fighter or X-Wing ship to represent the navigation arrow when you start navigation, and you’ll find various Star Wars ships located throughout the map in what appears to be random spots. While it’s early and there are still plenty of fun features to discover, more will pop up as the day goes on. Once you’ve chosen a side Google also creates an avatar for you using your Google account photo, which you can download and use as you see fit. You can also change sides at any time if you wish, and on the website Google displays a little progress bar which always shows what side is currently in the lead with more people. If you’re a Star Wars Fan and you and you want to bring a little smile to your Monday, this is sure to get the job done, plus it’ll carry over for weeks as you engage with Google apps where the features appear.