For many, Dec. 1 means that Santa is getting closer, and it's time to count down the days until Christmas. The Google Santa Tracker is here to help, with the Santa Village now open.
Each year, the Google Santa Tracker brings fun adventures for the entire month of December to help pass the time until Santa finally comes to town for Christmas. Google first launched a Santa Tracker all the way back in 2004, and the service has evolved a lot in the past 12 years, adding exciting experiences each year.
This year is no different, and the Santa Tracker now opens Santa Village with fun adventures, a nice redesign and an engaging "Present Quest" reminiscent of the Pokémon GO phenomenon.
Google Santa Tracker Redesign
Google has been preparing its mobile app and website for Santa's arrival, and a complete redesign now makes the service easier to navigate so that users can find the available content with no hassle. The Santa Village gets notable visual changes, and a slew of games can help pass the time until Christmas. Google has prepared plenty of games for the mobile app, and the website version of Santa Tracker gets unique games of its own.
"As we countdown to Santa's departure, the village unlocks new games and experiences that allow visitors to practice basic coding skills, exercise their geography knowledge, learn different languages and get to know more about charitable educational organizations," says Google. "Teachers can even download lesson plans to help teach their students about holiday traditions from around the world."
Santa Tracker Present Quest
The highlight of the 2016 Santa Tracker is "Present Quest," a new game that borrows Pokémon GO-like features to have players roaming the streets in the real world and collect virtual presents to drop off at various locations. Players will be able to compete within the game to get the highest score, boosting the fun.
Those who don't feel like heading out into the cold weather to pick up and drop off presents, however, can skip the Present Quest and have fun with the other games in the Google Santa Tracker.
Countdown To Christmas Eve
The Google Santa Tracker goes live on Dec. 24, but Santa Village is open starting Dec. 1, and it already offers a number of fun games, but more will be added as we get closer to Christmas. Just like each year, eager holiday trackers will be able to pin Santa's exact location on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
The Santa Tracker app is available now for Android on Google Play and on the web.