The Breakroom

Linea Works Great with the New iPad Pro

June 28, 2017

By Ged Maheux

Linea Demo running on new iPad Pro hardware

Apple’s recent iPad Pro updates have hit stores and critics are raving about their power, speed and amazing displays. If you spend long stretches sketching on your iPad, you’ll really appreciate the new 120Hz refresh rate, Wide Color and the increased screen sizes.

All this means drawing in apps like our very own simple sketcher, Linea, is even more of a joy than before. Today we’ve released an update to Linea that accounts for the new resolution of the new 10.5″ iPad Pro, improves tilt shading of the technical pencil, and more.

If you’ve always wanted to give Linea a try before buying, now you can! We’re pleased to announce a demo version of Linea is now available at retail outlets that feature Apple hardware like Target and Best Buy. Simply walk in, grab an Apple Pencil and a new demo iPad Pro and check out just how easy it is to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in Linea. Linea is available via the App Store, but first be sure to visit the Linea website to learn more.

Linea + iCloud: Your Sketches, Everywhere You Need Them

May 30, 2017

By Ged Maheux

Artist sketching the iCloud logo in Linea

We’re pleased to announce that Linea, our elegant digital sketchbook, has been updated to version 1.1 and offers a range of new features including support for Apple’s iCloud.

After launching the new version, Linea presents you with the option of enabling iCloud for your drawings. When enabled, sketches and projects become available across all of your devices. New and updated files are synced automatically and you can use iCloud Drive to copy, backup, and inspect your creations. Linea’s new iCloud support means your work is always up-to-date and where you need it.

But that’s not all: the update also brings an improved Canvas Compass, a new quick-pinch gesture to reset the canvas to its default position, and more isometric grid choices. You’ll also appreciate better palm rejection and smoother gesture handling.

Introducing Linea Link

Linea Link's App Store Icon

Since your artwork’s final destination is often the desktop, today we’re also announcing the release of Linea Link. This new app is the easiest way to get sketches drawn on your iPad onto your Mac. Using iCloud sync, your work is instantly available for use in your favorite macOS applications.

Start a new Photoshop document using Linea’s layers. Reference a quick design idea while working in Xcode. Transcribe meeting notes into a Pages document. Or just tap the spacebar to preview Linea documents using Quick Look. Linea on iOS works great to get an idea started, and Linea Link on macOS lets you take the next step toward making it a reality.

Linea Link's User Interface on the Mac

Linea Link supports the following third-party image editors:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Affinity Designer & Photo
  • Pixelmator
  • Sketch
  • Acorn

No matter which apps you use in your workflow, Linea Link makes the journey from a rough sketch to final artwork quicker and easier than ever.

We encourage you to explore the new features in version 1.1 or download Linea for iOS. Then be sure to head over to the Mac App Store to download the new Linea Link for macOS. You’ll quickly see how this power duo makes sketching even more fun and effortless. Enjoy!

Twemoji Update Brings Mythical Beings & More

May 24, 2017

By Webmaster

Twitter Twemoji Unicode 10 examples - Zombie, Elf, Zebra and more

Twitter has updated their ever-expanding suite of custom emoji called Twemoji to include new entries that we helped create for social network’s website. This round of emoji were particularly fun to design since many of new items are centered around mythical beings such as wizards, elves and even zombies.

Other examples of the new Unicode 10 emoji include foods like the dumpling and pretzel, new animals like the zebra and hedgehog and new smilies like the exploding head and face vomiting. Twitter is among the first to publicly support these new emoji for its users.

The Iconfactory is pleased to be called upon to help Twitter bring these new additions to their social networking service. We’re also grateful to have the opportunity help craft the visual evolution of emoji in use around the world. We hope you enjoy exploring what’s new over at Emojipedia. You can also download the entire Twemoji suite via GitHub where all of Twitter’s emoji are available via an open source project or explore our previous Twitter emoji work over on our portfolio. Have fun emoji’ing!

Twitterrific 5.17 for iOS Brings Twitter’s New Reply Structure & More

April 28, 2017

By Ged Maheux

A reply showing the new structure of listing multiple recipients under the author name

Today’s update to Twitterrific for iOS brings some important changes to how replies and mentions are displayed in the timeline. Recently Twitter changed the interface guidelines for these kinds of tweets so that the characters in usernames would no longer count against the 140 total count when replying. In accordance with these new guidelines, Twitterrific now lists the recipients of a reply on the line directly under the Tweet author & specifies the total number of users in the reply chain. This new meta data can be tapped on (or previewed with 3D Touch) to open the conversation thread directly. We painstakingly designed the new replies so they were easy to spot when scanning the timeline. We also took care not to make tweets taller than necessary, we hope you like the results.

In addition, when composing a reply to one or many people, Twitterrific 5.17 now includes a new interface for choosing the recipients of the tweet. Unlike the official client’s implementation, Twitterrific’s allows you to quickly remove all extra people cc’d on the reply with a single tap or backspace. Once removed, you can also quickly re-add recipients back to the thread as a group as well as typing a new @username in the body of the tweet.

Twitterrific 5.17 also improves how quoted tweets are displayed, adds new keyboard commands to navigate direct message threads more easily, improves scrolling and auto complete performance of hashtags and usernames. Twitterrific 5.17 is free to try via the App Store and is universal for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod touch. Advanced features such as tweet translation, ad removal, and more are available via in-app purchase. Visit Twitterrific’s version history page for the complete list of new features, improvements and bug fixes.

Talking Accessibility & Project Phoenix on the iAccess VO Podcast

April 10, 2017

By Webmaster

Our own Ged Maheux was a guest on the iAccessVO podcast recently to discuss accessibility in Twitterrific and the upcoming Project Phoenix for the Mac. Hosts Brian Fischler and Ed Plumacher’s podcast is a great resource for the blind and those with vision loss that answers questions about how to use VoiceOver on your iPhone, iPad and Mac. In episode 39 of iAccess, Ged talked about the current state of VoiceOver support in Twitterrific for iOS and our plans for accessibility support in the reboot of Twitterrific for Mac codenamed Phoenix. The Twitterrific section of the broadcast starts around the 24 minute mark, be sure to check it out!

Iconfactory’s Stickers Featured in New Apple Commercial

March 22, 2017

By Ged Maheux

Last week Apple released a new TV commercial touting stickers in iMessage. Two of the (many) stickers featured in the spot are from the Iconfactory’s very own Route 66 sticker pack we released late last year. The commercial takes a fun, energetic approach to the world of stickers and shows people running and slapping stickers on other folks as a real-life metaphor for how stickers are used in virtual chats.

You can see the two stickers (Chinese Food & Neon Hearts) from Route 66 that were included at the 0:29 and 0:50 marks respectively, just be quick with the pause button! We’re pleased Apple invited us to be included in Sticker Fight! along with so many other talented sticker artists. Apple has put together a promotional page on the App Store featuring all 50 sticker sets from the commercial. Be sure to check it out and visit our sticker home page to browse and download all of our fun sticker sets for Apple’s iMessage.

Project Phoenix’s Home Stretch

March 2, 2017

By Ged Maheux

Project popover showing the new

If you’ve been following Project Phoenix then you know we now have less than $8k to go before the Kickstarter is officially funded! Ollie is so excited he’s started to root around the forest floor for food. (He wants to bulk up his wing muscles.)

The Phoenix team got together this week to go over the design of a rough prototype Craig put together. We want to be ready when we cross the funding line so that beta 1 will be that much closer to showing up in backer’s inboxes. While the current prototype is non-functional, it has been helpful to visualize how the structure of a modern macOS Twitter app could work.

We’re using this prototype as a baseline to compare and contrast approaches to interacting with accounts, timelines, specific actions and more. Once we have that analysis in hand, we can use it to wireframe the final user experience of Twitterrific Phoenix for the Mac.

There’s much work awaiting us and the road to success will be riddled with unforeseen challenges, but we’re more confident than ever Phoenix has the potential to be the best, most exciting way to interact with Twitter on the desktop. The prospect of developing for the latest and greatest version of macOS, combined with all the elements that make Twitterrific easy to use has Ollie itching to leap out of his nest but we’re not there yet. With your help he’ll soar again, and when he does we’ll be ready to fly with him!

Linea Adds Tilt Support for Apple Pencil & More

February 24, 2017

By Ged Maheux

Linea portrait of Motoko by David A. Brasgalla

Today we’re pleased to announce an important update to Linea, our new simplified sketching application for the iPad. Version 1.0.2 adds several awesome new features, chief among them is tilt support for the Apple Pencil while drawing with any of the tools, including the eraser. By tilting the pencil towards the drawing surface, you can achieve some stunning results. Here’s a quick rundown of how tilt support affects each of Linea’s tools:

  • Technical Pencil – A smooth, faded stroke along the edge of hard lead
  • Art Pencil – Soft, wide shading that varies with both size settings & pressure
  • Pen – Flat nib great for hard edges or calligraphic writing
  • Marker – Wide flat stroke perfect for coloring large areas of the screen
  • Eraser – Flat oval instead of a round tip for erasing

Linea pencil strokes

We’ve worked hard to make Linea’s tilt support work as well as (or better than) Apple Notes and we hope you’ll be pleased with the results. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or an aspiring novice, you’ll find drawing and shading in Linea is both fun and inspiring.

Project popover showing the new

The new version also adds several other important improvements such as the ability to move sketches from one project folder to another. Simply long-press on a drawing in the Project view and tap Move… to re-assign it to a different folder or select multiple drawings and move them all at once.

You can also create a new sketch directly from within the canvas without having to leave your current drawing. Just tap the More Actions icon (…) at the upper left of the canvas and then tap New Sketch. This action creates a new, blank canvas that is preset with your current grid and background settings. It’s very handy when storyboarding or doing interface work!

Other improvements include hexagonal grid templates and the ability to double-tap the eraser as a shortcut to clear the current layer.

Finally, Linea now has a presentation mode that can be used with AirPlay in Control Center or a Lightning-to-HDMI adapter. This lets you display the current sketch full screen without tool palettes, zoom, and rotation. It’s perfect for showing off your work or for educators in the classroom.

We invite you to download Linea 1.0.2 for the iPad today and explore the creative possibilities of sketching simply. Enjoy!

Twitterrific for Mac: Project Phoenix

February 14, 2017

By Sean Heber

Ollie as a burning Phoenix with the Project Phoenix logo

We’ve been missing Twitterrific on our Macs for a long time and we know we’re not alone. Today we’re announcing a plan to bring it back: Project Phoenix.

After much consideration, we decided that the best way forward was to go back to the beginning. Rather than bending the long-neglected Twitterrific for Mac into a new shape, we will borrow what we can from iOS and use it to build a modern new macOS app.

To achieve such a large undertaking in a reasonable timeframe, we’ll start small: Our goal is to deliver a minimal Twitter client much like the original Twitterrific for Mac, but with a feature set that fits how we use Twitter in 2017 instead of how we thought we wanted to use it back in 2007.

We’re confident that we can do this, but we need your help! Please check out our Kickstarter page, watch the video and study the plan. There are many different funding levels including regular access to beta builds all through Phoenix’s lifespan. If you’re the kind of person who loves to see software evolve through it’s development, or just want to start using a new Twitterrific on your desktop sooner rather than later, this one is for you.

This is our first Kickstarter project and a new way for us to fund our software development. The main reason the Mac app languished is because we aren’t sure that there’s a market for a desktop social networking product (it’s easy to make a case that all our social activities have moved to mobile.) For our small software company, the risk of recouping development costs was just too high. Kickstarter removes this unpredictability and gives us an exact budget to work against.

Together, we can make a new Twitterrific for Mac a reality. Make a pledge, and with luck, we can get started soon!

Linea in the Wild

February 2, 2017

By Webmaster

We’ve been floored by the overwhelming response to Linea, our new sketching app for the iPad. Reviews from across the web have been wonderful, but even better than all the positive feedback is seeing what people have been creating with it.

Artists such as Eric Merced, Audra Furuichi and Fredo Houben have been posting some amazing drawings and sketches that show what can be done when you have the right set of tools in front of you. We’ve started an Instagram account to showcase what people have been creating, from professional artists, to hobbyists, to people who just love to doodle. Check out Linea on Instagram to take a look.

One of the highlights for us this week is Serenity Caldwell’s animated review of Linea she created for iMore. Serenity sketches her way through the Linea interface, giving a grand tour of Linea’s powerful simplicity. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but Serenity’s incredible review left us speechless.

Download Linea for the iPad today from the App Store.