Wallpaper Wizard is an application that, as you could have guessed, manages the wallpaper images on your Mac. It’s a fairly simple concept, but this application throws some really fun and interesting twists into the mix. Managing your wallpapers isn’t necessarily one of those “mission critical” type of things, but having a fresh, beautiful desktop image to look at can be a pleasant boost.
Wallpaper Wizard gives you access to a huge online gallery of desktop images. The application essentially pulls images from online storage to use as your wallpaper image whenever you tell it to. It’s also possible to include your own images in the mix, as well as share any especially cool images with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends.
The concept may be basic, but this application is a surprising amount of fun.
Design and Interface
The Wallpaper Wizard interface fits with the typical Mac application feel. It feels like more of an additional system preference option rather than a completely new application. This is a good thing for something like managing wallpaper images.
There are a couple of different parts to the interface; the preferences area and the wallpaper images selection area. The preferences interface feels just like any other system preference on Mac OS X. There are only a handful of options to manage, but it is easy nonetheless.
The image selection interface is the area where you’re able to manage what image libraries Wallpaper Wizard will flip through, and also where you’re able to upload your own images (more on this in a bit). As with the preferences, it is designed well and is easy to work with.
As you’ve probably guessed, this is the area where you are able to manage how Wallpaper Wizard actually works. You’re also able to manually grab a new wallpaper image here along with setting a shortcut key combo to do the same thing.
I have to say it can be a bit addictive to just sit and stare at your desktop switching to the next image, and then the next, and the next…you get the idea. There are a ton of really great images. You always want to know what the next one will be.
Here you’ll also be able to set the frequency of automatic wallpaper switches if you so choose. From every five minutes, to every day, to every time your Mac wakes up. You’ll also notice a small image of the current wallpaper that is being used.
It is possible to share that image with your Twitter followers or Facebook friends from here as well. By clicking the share button you’ll be taken to a webpage that will display the imgage along with options to share on Facebook or Twitter.
You’ll also see a direct link to the image that you can copy and share wherever you like. Not a groundbreaking feature here, but a nice touch if you come across a really great image.
The Wallpaper Selector is really the core of this application. This is the place where you’re able to actually manage what images are included as possible wallpaper images. There are over 100,000 HD images to choose from, all organized into groups of images.
Some image groups hold 20 images and some hold 400. They are all different and will have the number of images available as a note beneath the sample image.
You’re able to activate image groups by clicking on a large green plus sign. Deactivation is essentially the reverse process, except you’re clicking on an X to take that group out of the mix.
There are three main sections to this window, My Uploads, My Selection, and All Categories. All Categories is the section where you’re able to add new categories into your wallpaper image rotation.
While it is possible to remove libraries from this area as well, given the gigantic number of images available, it is much easier to deactiveate from the My Selection area as this shows only those imgae categories that you currently have active.
Upload Your Own Images
My Uploads is a welcome feature on an application like this. Being able to use images from a huge image library is certainly nice, but being able to use some of your own images is also a great feature. This area looks just like the All Categories with the exception of a button to allow you to add your own folders (and upload images to them).
For those of us that seem to flip back and forth from our own images to pro images for a wallpaper, this is perfect. Uploading images is a fairly simple process. Create the folder and then select the images from your computer which you’d like to include. The folder then shows up as another image category that you’re able to add into your selected wallpaper groups.
For those personal image groups you have selected you’ll see them along with all the others in your My Selection. The personal groups will dislplay a small “my” icon next to them. These can be managed just like all of the other groups.
It is possible to connect a Wallpaper Wizard account to multiple computers. I haven’t actually done this, but essentially you create an account with Wallpaper Wizard to connect to their image library.
Afterwards, you’re able to connect multiple computers to the same account, all of which share the same library of selected images. Not applicable for everyone, but there are some cool possiblities with it I think.
You could for example install Wallpaper Wizard on your mum’s MacBook and then everytime you add images to the Family folder you created, she’ll get fresh wallpaper images of her family without having to do a thing.
So, is Wallpaper Wizard worth $10?
First of all, you have access to over 100,000 professional images. That’s a lot. Images of this calibre are more often sold than just freely available. Granted you can’t do much with the images, but the idea here is to think about it as licensing these images. You also don’t have to store them locally.
The mangement, organization and automation is certainly worth something as well. Ultimately, you’ll never achieve the full capability of Wallpaper Wizard manually, and being able to throw your own images into that same mix is a pretty nice feature.
The bottom line is that this application is certainly a luxury rather than an essential. It’s not going to help you work faster or keep you more organised, but it will provide a simple way to keep your work environment fresh and attractive. I think that’s well worth $10.
Wallpaper Wizard is a funky application for sure, and it turns managing your wallpaper collection (and finding new ones) into a really enjoyable task.
A Wallpaper Wizard Lite version is available that will let you try out the application. You’ll only have access to a handful of free image groups (and won’t be able to upload your own images), but you’ll be able to get a feel for how the app works. The full version can either be installed via an upgrade link within the Lite app, purchased through the Mac App Store.
I’m sure there are other wallpaper switcher type applications out there, but I’ve never seen one this polished with access to such a large image collection. Although it isn’t going to make you more productive, Wallpaper Wizard does an excellent job of giving you something pretty to look at while you work!