With the introduction of macOS Mojave came dynamic wallpaper. Instead of a static image, dynamic wallpapers change throughout the day, with many of them reflecting the time of day. Who needs a clock when you can see the angle of the sun on your desktop?
Unfortunately, macOS doesn’t ship with a bunch of dynamic wallpapers. Instead, you get two, and only one of them actually uses photos. The other just shows different color gradients to reflect the time of day. The good news is that you’re not stuck with the wallpapers Apple provides.
1. 24 Hour Wallpaper
This one’s actually a Mac app rather than a website per se, but it does have a website where you can check out many of the dynamic wallpapers that you’ll get with the app (which costs $7.99). Among the spectacular wallpapers on offer are real-time views from the International Space Station, day/night cycles of skylines in New York, San Francisco and other cities, and much more.
These wallpapers support resolutions of up to 5K, and there are over 50 to choose from in total. Many include options such as fixed camera angles and control over whether you want to view a given scene during day or night, making it one of the more versatile options in this list.
If you’ve spent any time searching for dynamic wallpapers, Dynwalls may be one of the first you stumbled across. The site has a handful of free dynamic wallpapers to use, ranging from space-based imagery to cities on Earth.
The creator of the site has a Patreon account that they say will allow them to create more wallpapers. If you like what you see on the site, you should consider contributing.
3. Dynamic Wallpaper Club
Dynamic Wallpaper Club offers an online tool for creating dynamic wallpapers. That’s cool in itself, but what you may like even more is the site’s gallery.
The gallery is where users upload their own dynamic wallpaper that they’ve created. Since they’re user created, they’re not all going to be fantastic. Still, you won’t currently find a site with more dynamic wallpapers available. The wallpapers range from a simple pixel art clock to different phases of the moon.
4. Jetson Creative
The Jenson Creative website has four dynamic wallpapers available for download. These include a 24-hour view of San Francisco, a view from the International Space Station, and a view of the High Sierras. There’s also a 24-hour view of midtown Manhattan in New York City.
The website promises fifty more wallpapers available in its 24-hour wallpaper app. That’s great, but the four on the website are worth checking out on their own.
The above sites are where you’ll find the most dynamic wallpapers. If you’re still looking for more, the GenoApps website has two available. Both are of Earth.
The first of the two is a satellite view of the Earth. The second is another satellite view, this one of the winter solstice. Both wallpapers are prepared for the American Pacific time zone so they may not line up as well anywhere else in the world.
The final site on this list only has one wallpaper available, but fortunately, it’s a very good one. This comes from a series of articles describing how Apple’s dynamic wallpapers work.
This wallpaper shows a single view of the Earth, beginning in darkness, passing through light, and returning to dark. Yes, it’s another view of the earth from space, but it’s stunning enough that it’s definitely worth adding to your collection.
Create Your Own Dynamic Wallpaper
The above websites will give you plenty of dynamic wallpapers to download, but what if they aren’t for you? If that’s the case, it’s surprisingly easy to make your own. All you need is an app called Dynaper.
The app lets you drag and drop images to create wallpapers in the HEIC format that Apple uses for dynamic wallpaper. It will use either dates and times from the filenames or in the photos EXIF data to automatically suggest which images should map to which times of the day.
You don’t have to pay a dime for the app, but it will add a watermark unless you purchase it. The price to remove the watermark is $12, but you can easily use the free version to create wallpapers until you have something you’re sure you’ll be happy with.