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Apple's stunning new wallpaper is surprisingly smart

Apple's Unity Lights wallpaper
(Image credit: Apple)

As part of Black History Month this February, Apple has announced a bunch of new Apple Watch gear, including a new Solo Loop and Watch Face. But it isn't just Watch users who can get in on the action – hidden on the Apple website is a set of delightful new wallpapers for iPhone, iPad and Mac.

Titled 'Unity Lights',  the Afrofuturism-inspired wallpapers feature the vibrant red and green colours of the Pan-African flag. And the Apple Watch version is particularly cool, featuring "never before used" technology to simulate light and shadow. Want to experience it in the flesh? Check out the best Apple Watch Series 7 prices.

Unity Lights watch face on Apple Watch

The Unity Lights logo on Apple Watch uses 2D ray-tracing (Image credit: Apple)

Using 2D ray tracing, Apple says the Unity Lights Apple Watch face "simulates the light and shadow falling across it and the movement of the clock hands simultaneously reveal and hide the light, changing dynamically throughout the day".

The wallpapers were designed by "members and allies of the Black creative community at Apple," and are made to complement the new Black Unity Braided Solo Loop (above).

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The wallpapers are going down a storm online, not only because of how cool they look – it's also rare for Apple to unexpectedly drop new wallpapers (they usually accompany new hardware or software). But the real star of the show is that Apple Watch version and its real-time ray-tracing – the likes of which was previously limited to high-end games. As one of the designers explains (below), to see such tech on a tiny Watch face is pretty incredible.

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So how do you get hold of the wallpapers? If your Apple Watch is up to date, Unity Lights should automatically appear under New Watch Faces in the Face Gallery. And if you're using an iPhone, Mac or iPad, all you have to do is select 'Find out more' on the Apple Watch web page (opens in new tab)

Apple Unity Lights wallpaper on Mac, iPhone and iPad

The Mac, iPhone and iPad versions of the wallpaper (Image credit: Apple)

While we're super excited for new hardware like the iPhone 14 and 2022 MacBook Air, it's always nice when Apple drops a free treat for all users – and especially when it's for such a good cause. Speaking of which, take a look at Yahoo's awesome new logo for Black History Month.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).