Aerial 3 Screen Saver for Mac Gains Redesigned UI, New Video Overlay and Storage Options, and More

Aerial, the popular open-source screen saver that lets you play Apple TV screen saver videos on Mac, has received an annual update that brings some notable new features and possibilities opened up by macOS Monterey.

macbookpro aerial
First up, Aerial 3 brings full support for all the videos that tvOS 15 brought to Apple TV, including Grand Canyon and Patagonia, but also the latest Iceland and Scotland videos that Apple released a few weeks back.

In addition, Aerial 3 introduces an overhauled interface to simplify previously complex tasks. At the center of this redesign is a new "Now Playing" menu that lets users easily make playback selections based on location, favorites, times, scenes, and sources.

mainui
Staying on the topic of sources, thanks to improvements made by Apple in macOS Monterey, Aerial 3 also includes perhaps its most-awaited feature – the ability to store downloaded videos in a custom location, whether that's an internal drive, an external drive, or even a network-shared storage device. In the latter scenario, multiple users on the same machine can also share the same cache.

Meanwhile, there are several improvements to custom video overlays, including more options for weather forecasts (with support for wind and humidity), more formats for clocks and dates, and perhaps most notably, support for Apple Music and Spotify to show which track is playing in the background.

aerial music
Lastly, among other improvements, this version adds support for vertical displays and the ability to slow down or speed up videos.

In conjunction with Aerial 3's release, Josh Michael and Hal Bergman, who gifted 20 videos to the project last year, have released over four hours of video filmed in Monterey, New York and around American Southwest for purchase. The production process was reworked so that the content fits with Apple's official aerials, making them slower-paced and longer so they feel just right.

You can download Aerial 3 for free from the Aerial webpage, or use the direct download option on Github.

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Top Rated Comments

orbital~debris Avatar
32 months ago
Nice, and great to have as an option, but this really should be official Apple and part of macOS.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cwizou Avatar
32 months ago

What exactly is the new functionality in macOS 12 that allows Aerial to store cached data in custom locations?
Author of Aerial here, it's a long story but to make it short/simple, Apple used to block screen savers from accessing most locations.

They added the ability in Monterey for screen saver developers to "securely" ask for those, so that's the new feature I'm using to make this work.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blazerunner Avatar
32 months ago

Some of us use older displays! One of my 30" apple cinema displays has some image burn if I leave it for 30 minutes or so, static. So a screensaver still works, in 2022! amazing
Some of us just like to see the world. The images are beautiful.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
guzhogi Avatar
32 months ago
Bring back Flying Toasters! Damn I miss After Dark ('https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_Dark_(software)')! So many cool screensavers!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamjackson Avatar
32 months ago
I love Aerial and this is fantastic. I just sent a tip to the developer for their hard work since they are not charging for this great screen saver - https://ko-fi.com/glouel
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
applicious84 Avatar
32 months ago
I haven't used a screen saver since screens stopped needing to be saved
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)