Mac App Review

Version 1.0.1
Company: Sandwichlab
Requires: Mac OS X 10.6 or later
Price: $3.99
Mac App Store link

Desktopr is a small app that sets your Mac’s desktop image, or wallpaper, to whatever you want: photo, movie, even a web site like Facebook or Twitter. The app lives in the menu bar, and is easily customized.

Wallpapers are set through the Preference pane of Desktopr. Under the “Add” tab are some pre-chosen web sites covering news, social, lifestyle, and toys that can be added as wallpapers. The custom section is where users add their own web sites or files from their Macs. Use the “Settings” tab to enable or disable Java and JavaScript or Flash, change transparency and Quartz frame rate, and tweak a few other options.

The real action in Desktopr takes place in the “Content” tab, where all the wallpapers are shown. Here, users can choose which wallpapers they want running and for how long each should run until Desktopr changes to the next wallpaper on the list. As the image below shows, simply check a wallpaper to run it. Highlight a wallpaper to set its duration at the bottom of the screen. Set Facebook for five minutes, then switch to the New York Times for 15 minutes, for example.

In theory, Desktopr is a good idea. In practical use, however, Desktopr suffers some real problems:
• only some of my movies played as a wallpaper; there was no rhyme or reason as to why some played and others didn’t.
• YouTube videos didn’t play AT ALL, contrary to the app’s description in the Mac App Store.
• links are clickable when using a web site as wallpaper, but they only open if the link is within the same site, such as a newspaper. However, external links do not open.
• because the wallpaper is static, web sites don’t scroll. Makes it pointless to use a web site as a Desktopr wallpaper.

Desktopr has the potential to be quite a cool little app. Since it’s version 1.0.1 I’ll give them a little slack, but charging for software that’s more beta rather than finished should be addressed. Plus, the developers need to work on the unpredictability of using media as a wallpaper. Adding a short instructional help file would also be appreciated. Keep an eye out for future versions of Desktopr. Review Rating: 6 out of 10

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