Technology giants copying off one another is nothing new. If anything, it is good, as it allows these companies to stay within touching distance of one another when it comes to feature sets.
Take Google and Microsoft following Apple’s lead in bringing dark styles to their own platforms.
Not only did macOS Mojave came with a systemwide Dark Mode, it also featured Dynamic Desktop, an implementation of backgrounds that change from day to night as time passes. This is something that has always fascinated Windows users, many of who love to personalize their systems.
But while official support may not be here yet, other Windows developers have stepped up their game in coding up applications that offer similar functionality.
Let’s take a look at WinDynamicDesktop, an app that ports the Dynamic Desktop feature from macOS, and brings it to Windows. It is a simple yet powerful application that does what it says on the tin. If you are one to customize your PC, then this here is your next download.
What is Dynamic Desktop Wallpaper?
Fancy marketing lingo from Apple as usual, but this is basically a dynamic wallpaper feature that the company introduced with the fifteenth major version of macOS called Mojave in September of last year.
Its premise is simple — wallpapers that changes based on time of the day.
This is a neat way to enjoy the progress of time on your computer, essentially keeping up with the location of the sun across the sky. The desktop images automatically change throughout the day, so your wallpaper always matches the time of the day of your location.
Sure, a few third-party Windows developer have dabbed their hands with something like this, along with their own realization of dark themes for the OS.
But the Apple implementation is not only more advanced, it has been very well received too. Users have praised the direction the fruity company has taken provide an alternate dark environment for its desktop platform, then amplifying it with a refined feature like Dynamic Desktop.
As expected, there is no shortage of user created Dynamic Desktops for Mojave by the Mac community. Not that hard to get them running on the Windows platform either
If only there was an app for that!
Help, this time, comes in the form of a modern app for Windows 10 that goes by the apt name of WinDynamicDesktop. This is not actually a new arrival — it has been around on the Microsoft Store for a while now. But it does provide pretty much the same Dynamic Desktop functionality that is natively available on Apple hardware, on Windows 10 devices.
It runs minimized in the tray, and changes your desktop background according to your time and location, silently and smoothly.
The user interface of this program is as simple as they come. You will find nothing fancy here. Fire it up after installing and it will ask you to input your location and then choose one of the wallpaper packs that come preinstalled.
Of course, creative ones amongst you can also create your own wallpapers from images stored locally, or download more wallpaper packs from GitHub.
If you want more images to use as dynamic wallpapers, simply search for them online, or head on over to Dynamic Wallpaper Club, a site created by three German developers that lets anyone download and create these unusual images.
Just like the macOS feature, WinDynamicDesktop makes use of your location data to do its magic. It can use either the LocationIQ API or Windows Location API to convert your current location to latitude and longitude, and uses it to determine your sunrise and sunset times as accurately as possible. The developer makes clear that your location data is anonymous and never saved without your consent, so nothing to worry about here.
Dynamic Wallpapers on Windows 10
One thing you will notice right off the bat is that WinDynamicDesktop does not give you much in the way of configuration options. This is actually a good thing, as beginners will be up and running quick with the application.
Complete the initial setup, and you will find the app running in the system tray, from where it will automatically replace your wallpapers throughout the day, based on the settings you have originally provided. You can adjust this configuration to your liking, though.
The UI is minimal, but right-click the system tray icon and you will find options to change the theme or pick a different wallpaper. It is also possible to enable the dark mode. Doing so will automatically activate the background that is supposed to be set in the evening. Great for those that prefer dark user interfaces no matter what.
It is also possible configure the app to run on boot
And you also get options to modify your location.
But the automatic location tracking is an absolute highlight of this program, as it allows WinDynamicDesktop to easily retrieve your location using the default Windows service — handy for people who travel and lot with their mobile devices like tablets and laptops.
Finally, a word about the performance of this application. Happy to report that it is a very lightweight app that runs in the background, not a resource hog. You should have no issues keeping it always running if you like what it does.
Speaking of running, worth a mention here that you do need to be running Windows 10 version 1607 or newer to be able to install this application from the Microsoft Store. Not an issue, as most Windows 10 users are running Anniversary Update and later releases of the OS.
Official support for something like this from Microsoft would have been marvellous, but a handy little app like WinDynamicDesktop does a great job bringing this feature to the platform. That it does this so well, without any messy options or UI clutter, makes it all the more brilliant.