For habitual (or obsessive) computer users, your desktop wallpaper is your home base. Not only does it signify the starting point of any task, project or undertaking, it also houses so much of your life from family photos to personal information and more. High resolution photos and artwork are great for beautifying your machine or motivating you (see: 2012 Resolutions Wallpaper), but there’s much more to your wallpaper that is just now being unlocked.
To help you liven up that desktop background, we rounded up five of the smartest and most visually captivating desktop background apps and services out there. Take a look and spruce up your digital workspace.
1. Satellite Eyes: This clever app uses the location services built into your Mac to update your desktop background to a high resolution, aerial view of your current location. Especially useful for when you find yourself in a foreign city or a strange part of town, Satellite Eyes can also help you better acquaint yourself with your current hometown.
If you ever feel like the view is too drab, switch to the artistic water color option. Still fully accurate to your current location, the watercolor feature adds a little more class to your overhead map.
2. Kuvva: Art lovers, rejoice! Kuvva brings you seven high-quality images from featured artists every week and the Kuvva app will cycle these wallpapers through on an hourly, daily, or manual basis.
Originally designed and released to jazz up tweeters' Twitter pages, Kuvva will even let you hold onto favorite art pieces to pull from at your convenience. The non-intrusive app sits in your computer’s top menu bar and gives you complete control of what image will take over as your wallpaper.
3. Wallcast: Personalization is a must when it comes to the image you see every time you open your laptop or wake up your desktop computer. Wallcast automatically puts together a wallpaper comprised of a sleek backdrop and a selection of your favorite photos (note: this isn't your parents' photo-covered fridge). Friends and family can send you photos for your wallpaper collage, too! And what would a tech innovation be without a mobile app? Wallcast’s iPhone app allows you to manage your collage and add to friends’ with just one touch.
4. Mach Desktop: The Mach Desktop launches your desktop wallpaper far into the future with enough features to make your head spin! The many “desklets” that the app includes are 100 percent customizable so your wallpaper can provide all the information you need while looking just the way you want. From an embedded RSS feed to a news runner to weather to moon cycles and everything between, Mach has it all. The app even includes twenty Quicktime movies! Now that beats the pants off the wallpaper your laptop came with. Sorry, Apple.
5. Desktop Wallpaper Construction Kit: This one is simple. If you like how your iPhone’s or iPad's app icons can be stacked with different background options but want to have the same appearance on your desktop, this is your ticket. The app comes loaded with scores of desktop shelving options sorted by style and by the amount of shelf space you need (there’s no shame in a cluttered desktop). You will, however, have to format your icons on the shelves on your own so be sure to disable the snap-to-grid feature.
Now that you’re fully equipped to give your desktop that much needed boost, what will you do? We’d love to see screenshots of your desktop. Share them with us on Twitter or Facebook, or leave us a note in the comments below.