The screen saver is usually an afterthought for most people when customizing their Mac. macOS has plenty of built-in screensavers, from album art to the classic “hello” that references the original Macintosh, but they pale in comparison to the overhead screensavers on an Apple TV.
Luckily, it’s possible to download similar aerial screensavers to use on your Mac.
Apple TV screen savers
Apple TV offers the ability to display a unique screen saver which is not available on macOS by default. If you’re unfamiliar with Apple TV, check out our primer on how Apple TV works to understand the basics. Essentially, Apple TVs deliver aerial video from destinations around the world to act as stunning 4K screensavers.
The videos are professionally made and perfect for running in the background when you’re not watching something. If that’s okay with you, there’s a way to get the same videos on your Mac.
What is an Air Companion?
Although there are already several ways to personalize your Mac, Aerial Companion can help you improve your macOS screensavers. Aerial Companion is an application that allows you to set aerial videos as a screensaver on your Mac. The app provides videos from places around the world, including well-known cities, the sea, and even space videos.
You can also get the same videos used in tvOS 15, tvOS 13, and tvOS 10. In addition to these, there are community videos you can download.
How to Install Air Companion
You can download Aerial Companion from the Aerial page on GitHub. The app is free to download. Once on the website:
- Click on Download antennathen click Allow.
- Open Searcher and go to your Downloads case.
- Open AerialCompanion.dmg and drag the Air companion app in your Apps case.
- Open your Applications Folderthen click on the Air companion application.
- Click on Openthen click Next.
- You can choose to sign up for beta versions. After making your selection, click Next.
- You can also select the app update mode. After making your decision, click Next.
- Click on close. The aerial screensaver will now be ready to use.
How to Enable Airline Screensavers in System Preferences
Now that you have Aerial Companion installed, you will need to manually switch your screensaver to the aerial screensaver. You can do this through System Preferences on your Mac. Just follow these steps:
- Open the System Preferences.
- Go to Desktop and Screen Saver > Screen Saver.
- Scroll down and select Air.
How to Customize Your Mac’s Air Screensavers
After activating the Aerial Companion app, you can configure various settings to customize the screensavers exactly to your liking.
Maximize video resolution
By default, videos are loaded on your computer in 1080p, H.264 format. If your Mac has a 4K or 5K display, you’ll want to enable the 4K resolution video format. This way you get the best video quality during playback. To change the video format:
- In the desktop and screen saver preferences, click Screen saver options below Air.
- Scroll down and click Advanced.
- Click on video sizethen select 4KHEVC.
- A pop-up window will appear telling you that the currently installed videos will be deleted. Click on Change format and delete videos.
4K versions of videos will now start downloading in the background. You can continue to use your Mac normally. If you have an external monitor that supports HDR, you can select the 4K HDR format instead.
Organize certain destinations
With Aerial Companion, you can select the videos you want to play during the screen saver. If you only want to see videos from space, for example, you can uncheck other videos to select only videos from space. To do this:
- In Screen saver options in Bird’s Eye View, click Now Playing.
- Click on Unselect all.
- Scroll down and click Space.
- Click on close.
Now the only videos that will play as a screensaver will be space videos. If you want to add more videos to the mix, you can also download additional videos from tvOS 15 in the Browse Videos tongue. Under this tab is the More videos where you can choose to download screensavers from previous versions of tvOS and videos from the community.
More ways to customize your screensavers
In addition to being able to select the videos you want for your screen saver, you can also change the overlay information on the videos. You can add information such as the time, weather, and battery percentage of your MacBook. In Screen saver optionsyou can select Overlays and you will be presented with several options.
You can add your Mac’s battery status, message, clock, location, countdown, timer, and more. Another way to customize screensavers is to adjust the vibrancy of videos. Vividness adjustment changes the colors of videos to make them stand out more. It is important to note that this option is not available for HDR videos.
If you want the videos to change based on the time of day, you can do that too. You can play videos based on your location, whether you have light or dark mode enabled, or by macOS Night Shift calculations. You will need to be running macOS Mojave or later for the videos to change based on light or dark mode.
After setting up your screen savers, you may find that you would like to have some sort of live wallpaper on your Mac desktop. Luckily, there are several ways to get live wallpapers on your Mac.
Now you can enjoy the view from your Mac screen
Changing the screen saver on your Mac is a simple yet unique way to customize it to your liking. After the setup process, you can enjoy great aerial videos of your favorite places on your Mac, just like on an Apple TV. It’s a creative and artistic way to personalize your Mac and give it a more aesthetic presence in the room.