Google has gone all out and partnered with Lucasfilm and Disney to celebrate the upcoming Star Wars movie. Upon choosing the light or the dark side of the Force, users will begin to see their Google apps and services on the web, Android, and iOS become customized to reflect their pick…
According to Google, it will take a few hours for all the changes to show up. So far, I’ve seen:
- A Star Wars-themed background and backdrop in Gmail and Chromecast, respectively
- Several Star Wars-related events add themselves to Google Calendar (easily deleted)
- An X-Wing becoming the icon that marks my current location when navigating and a Stormtrooper replacing the yellow pegman in Maps
- Downloading the Star Wars app will add a Star Wars watchface to your Android Wear watch
- Opening a new tab in Chrome displays full page themed wallpaper
- The progress bar in a YouTube video becomes a lightsaber and mousing over the volume icon causes a lightsaber sound
Google also lists that changes will come to Chrome, Inbox, Google Now, Search, Translate, Waze, and YouTube. Some changes will only appear in the browser and when you are logged in with your Google account. Unfortunately, this will only work on personal accounts and not Google Apps for Work, Education or Government.
Google promises more Star Wars features between now and the opening night of The Force Awakens on December 18th. Coming soon will be a virtual reality version of the Millennium Falcon within Google Cardboard and there are apparently several easter eggs in various Google products.
The changes are pretty non-invasive and you can turn them off or switch sides by going back to google.com/starwars. The Star Wars customizations and themes will stay in effect until February 1, 2016, unless you turn them off manually before then.