Unsplash Wallpapers: Free wallpapers for the Mac at the touch of a menu bar

Unsplash Wallpapers Mac app screenshot

Some time ago I had the paid app "Wallpaper Wizard", which conjures up pretty wallpapers for your Mac. Today there is the free alternative, which is a bit older, but still works: Unsplash Wallpapers. Why Unsplash? Royalty-free photos are offered, so the photos for the background are of course also from their collection.

The Unsplash Wallpapers app isn't rated badly. Only the lack of support for multiple displays is a point of criticism.

The Unsplash Wallpapers app isn't rated badly. Only the lack of support for multiple displays is a point of criticism.

Difference to the paid Wallpaper Wizard

Since the Unsplash Wallpaper App is free, you shouldn't expect too much from the functions. For example, the software does not support multi-display setups. If you have an external monitor on your iMac or MacBook, both screens simply have the same desktop background. With Wallpaper Wizard you can choose a different photo for each display. But if you can cope with this limitation of Unsplash Wallpapers, nothing stands in the way of using the app.

Change: daily, weekly or manually

With Unsplash Wallpapers you can set how often the image should be changed. This can be done either daily or weekly. If you would like to decide for yourself when you want a new background image for the Finder who selects the "manual" option.

The app's options are very straightforward.

The app's options are very straightforward.

Using Unsplash Wallpapers

The app itself "lives" on the Mac in the menu bar. With a click on the symbol, the small control panel opens, via which you can select a wallpaper. With a click on the "update arrow" in the photo, the app gets a new suggestion. You can repeat this until you have found an appealing picture. In this case, click on "Set as Wallpaper" below and the photo is set as the screen background.

Here you can see the operating options of the Unsplash Wallpapers app.

Here you can see the operating options of the Unsplash Wallpapers app.

At the top right of the window there is another button for the history (blue symbol with a clock). The history shows the last suggestions that the app made. In the event that you want to select a photo afterwards, this chronological view is very helpful.

The gear symbol in the top right opens the window with the settings, which is limited to the most essential options. There you set whether the app should start up when the system is started and whether the selected desktop image should appear on all displays or only on the current one. There is also the option to choose how often the picture should change. That was it.

A specification of topics, search terms or the like would have been great, but with free software you have to live with the fact that the developers keep themselves to a minimum.

The quality of the photos

An important question with desktop wallpapers is of course the resolution of the photos offered. With Unsplash Wallpapers, the photos do not always have the same resolution.

With Photoshop I looked at the resolution of some photos from the wallpaper app.

With Photoshop I looked at the resolution of some photos from the wallpaper app.

I downloaded some photos (there is also a button for this in the app) and looked at the resolution. Here are the results of my samples:

  • 5000 x 3333 px
  • 3888 x 2592 px
  • 5184 x 3456 px
  • 4961 x 3508 px

My widescreen monitor runs with a resolution of 3440 x 1440 pixels, so that all photos tested cover this resolution. For a 5K iMac with a resolution of 5120 x 2880 Pixels, however, it is narrow in width in some photos. It may be that you get pixelated representations here if the app upscales the photos.

Conclusion: Nicely done, but pointless for me

Not everyone is as boring as I am and always wants Apple's default wallpaper on their desktop. That is why there are programs like Unsplash Wallpapers. However, in my particular case, these types of apps are pointless. On the one hand, my desktop is always full of garbage, so that file icons are lying around everywhere and, on the other hand, I have so many programs open at the same time that the whole windows cover 90% of the desktop. It doesn't make much difference to me whether there is a nice photo in the background. : D

My desktop ... no app that selects pretty desktop background images helps either. I would only see them when the Mac restarts anyway.

My desktop ... no app that selects pretty desktop background images helps either. I would only see them when the Mac restarts anyway.

But if you have a tidy desktop and only work in a small text window so that you can still see the background, you might be happy about the Unsplash Wallpaper App. The photos that were suggested to me were mostly very appealing motifs from nature photography or landscape photography.

What do you think about the desktop background? Do you have certain preferences or are you like me?

[appbox app store id1284863847]

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2 comments

  1. Froyo52 says:

    I've never seen such a "cluttered" macOS desktop, and there have been quite a few in recent years. I assume the author originally comes from the MS Windows world, but even there something like that is rare. What are the macOS tags and stacks functions for, for example, to clear up the "chaos"?

    • sir appleot says:

      No, completely wrong. Comes from VC-20, C64 and Amiga. And stacks and tags are pointless ... then I totally lose order in the chaos or have to invest so much time tagging that I could put things in order right away. My recipe is simply to create a folder "_Desktop 06/2019" with the corresponding month and year every few months and then to throw everything into it. Has worked perfectly for two decades. :)

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