Our wallpaper app gets its most requested feature

Olivier Collet
May 1 · 3 min read
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We just released an update of Wallpapers for macOS that brings the ability to select the kind of photos to use on our desktops. The app now offers a selection of curated themes, and you can even create your own! Finally!

This has been the most requested feature since we launched the app. Some people prefer black & white photos, some like to see animals, some would rather see nature-only images instead of urban ones… We understood the need, but we didn’t rush it because we wanted to do it right by our standards.

We thrive for simplicity at Unsplash. Our goal with Wallpapers for macOS is to offer a simple app that updates the wallpaper periodically with a beautiful inspiring image. We want it to be easy to use for people who aren’t tech-savvy, so we’ve always been very cautious when it comes to adding features. And to be honest, it took us a while to figure out a simple way. Looking at it now, it seems obvious, but making things simple can be a long process.

It’s actually while adding themes to our Apple TV app earlier this year that we realized we could use a similar grid interface for the macOS app. So once the Apple TV app update was released, we started working on the macOS app. One of the perks of working with the Apple environment is that we were able to reuse some of the code from the Wallpapers section in iOS app.

The result is a grid of themes that offer a variety of content. In addition to our Editorial collection, we added eight curated themes based on the most requested content, like black & white, nature, and space images. You can use one or multiple themes and the app will randomly pick photos from them.

But we didn’t stop there, as we know some people want to use their own content. So we added a way to use any public collection from unsplash.com as a source of wallpapers. It’s very simple to configure, simply visit our site and copy the URL of a public collection. Open the app and navigate to edit the custom theme, and it will automatically figure out the collection and its name.

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Setting a custom theme

Here are a few collections to give you some ideas, just copy their URL to give them a try:
Pastel
Minimal Black and White
⌘C+⌘V
Vibrant Blackouts (OLED)
Festive with blank space

We hope this update will make a lot of people happy. To get it, head over to the Mac App Store.

And as always, don’t hesitate to send us your feedback at apps@unsplash.com.

Unsplash Blog

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