EarthDesk goes 4.0

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: News

EarthdeskThere is a huge new update to the award-winning application EarthDesk. EarthDesk is a program that lets you replace your normal desktop with a 3D map of the world that shows current sun, moon, and city illumination as well as real-time global cloud coverage. This software is sort of like having a screensaver for your desktop background combined with Google Earth. With this latest update of EarthDesk it becomes a Cocoa application and has moved from being a stand-alone application to a Preference Pane. It has an icon in the menu bar for quick and easy control of EarthDesk and the user interface has received a complete overhaul. EarthDesk is $19.95 and can be found at Upgrades are either $9.95 or $12.95 depending on which version you have.

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  1. John Patterson | Jan 25 2007 - 10:57

    Well, I’m a little upset at how difficult it has been trying to delete this software. Usually it’s not a problem to install something and dump it if I don’t like it. Not the case with this one. Currently the software is frozen, and since it is running in the background, I’ve had to go to the activity monitor in order to end the program. Very frustrating and I wish you’d never suggested it…

  2. David Neuland | Jan 25 2007 - 04:24

    I had the same problem with the software freezing; Xeric has released 4.0.1 which seems to fix the problem, at least for me.

  3. Bruce Nordeen | Jan 25 2007 - 09:33

    A donate-ware alternative is OSX Planet (

    As I understand it, it was written by a high school student…very customizable and it works great

  4. Xeric Design | Jan 26 2007 - 02:13

    There was a bug in 4.0 that affected about 1 in 2000 users causing a hang, but 4.0.1 fixes it. Please update to 4.0.1 and you should have no issues.

    Sorry for the bug! We were never able to reproduce it here, and it affects a very small minority, but I understand it was frustrating… for us too!

  5. David Sonshine | Dec 03 2007 - 05:27

    I was wondering, is this real-time coverage? Or is it an accumulation of different satellite images, all of the earth lit, with darkness moving across the map depending on the time? Otherwise, how could you produce an image of the entire world lit if a portion of it is always in the dark? I thought it was real-time everything–if a huge meteor crashed into the ocean, once i refreshed the background, I’d see the impact–although I fear it is just real-time with respect to clouds, probably obtain using a weather satellite… :-/ please confirm/refute my fears! Thanks.

  6. Xeric Design | Dec 04 2007 - 11:07

    The clouds are real time (well, every three hours), and the images are NASA photography composited together based on the current time. The only people that have any access at all to real time photography are employees of the CIA, NSA or similar organizations.

    If you upgrade to EarthDesk Pro, ($70 billion) we will arrange to have more satellites launched which you will have full control over. ;-)