macOS desktop backgrounds
Apple recently released their newest version of macOS (RIP Mac OS X) called Big Sur. You can read about the design refresh and all the cool new features on their marketing site and elsewhere on the internet. To me, the most exciting part of any macOS release are the new desktop backgrounds (aka wallpapers).
In case you are not aware, each year Apple adds a handful of new backgrounds to thematically fit with the new OS name. These backgrounds are in stunning high-resolution to look great on whatever new displays they have as well.
Last year, with the release of Catalina, Apple added dark mode along with a few backgrounds that change depending on if you are in light or dark. iOS also has a similar feature and it is pretty neat. This year, with Big Sur, they have taken things to another level. Now, you can pick background images that change throughout the day based on the lighting outside.
Below is the beautiful new default background for macOS Big Sur:
And this is what happens when you set the background to dynamic:
Anyone who has ever lived on the Central Coast of California can attest to how difficult these images must have been to get just based on weather. That is not to mention the repeated precision with which they were taken, the incredibly consistent alignment, and careful color correction.
This new approach to backgrounds really brings a magic quality to a desktop computer that makes it feel more connected to the physical world. Like most people, I am spending a lot of time in front my computer these days and seeing these images every time I wake my Mac from sleep or grab something from my desktop is really enjoyable. It is this kind of attention to detail and delight that Apple continues to excel at.
While I’m sticking with this background for a while, there are six other dynamic options including another image, four animations, and a simple color palette. I’m looking forward to seeing how this evolves over time and hope to see this come to iOS soon as well.