Sometimes static desktop backgrounds can be boring, and you feel the need to make the desktop come alive. This is when Desktop Aquarium Free steps in, transforming the desktop into an aquarium. While the video's nice, the free version ships with a couple of annoying limitations, such as 30-second-only videos and pop-up ads. The app provides two scenes in this version: a "busy coral reef" scene, with dozens of fish species, such as Banded Clownfish, Blue Tang, and other colorful varieties, and a second "Shark paradise" scene, with the protagonists being a couple sharks, Blue Tang, and many other colorful fish.
There is a big difference between the two scenes: in the first, the fish are very agile, while the second scene (with the sharks as protagonists) is much more relaxing. The app provides some very useful customization options. For example, you can enable the "Show Desktop" functionality, which minimizes all windows to show the Aquarium after a custom inactivity period, which can be varied from 5 minutes up to an hour. Another potentially useful feature, which unfortunately doesn't work, is the Hot Corner. As most Mac owners use Hot Corners to enable desired actions, Desktop Aquarium can also make use of this. However, during our testing the app failed to launch when the mouse hit the enabled corner. What we did like was the app's ability to play Aquarium when a certain percentage of the desktop is visible, as the moving fish freeze and only become active when you reach the desired percentage of visible space on your desktop.
Overall, the app works well, and those who love to enhance their desktop background with action will love it. However, the limitations can become annoying, especially when you have to spend time looking at those colorful fish.
Desktop Aquarium shows a beautiful, REAL aquarium on your desktop. It features:
- Beautiful Coral Reef and Shark Paradise scenes
- Real videos, no fake computer animated fish
- Shows Desktop after a preset period of inactivity (moves all windows out of view)
- Hot corner support to "Show Desktop"*
- Scenes can be set to start based on how much desktop area is covered.
- Both dock icon and menubar icon can be hidden.