The Breakroom

Stick-Or-Treat!

October 17, 2017

By Ged Maheux

A spooky selection of our iMessage sticker packs and wallpapers

That’s right, it’s our favorite time of the year once again. Time when the air turns crisp, night time takes on a eerie vibe and the ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties come out to play. To celebrate, we’ve summoned the spooky Iconfactory design from its long slumber, complete with links to some of our favorite freeware icon sets and desktop wallpapers. If you’re looking to get in the creepy holiday spirit, look no further!

We’ve also resurrected last year’s Halloween iMessage sticker packs for iOS and placed them back up for sale on the App Store. They’re the perfect way to send a fun, Halloween hello to a friend or family member. Grab your candlestick and explore the dark halls of Ravenswood Mannor or share a sticky-sweet treat with the Spook On sticker set. Want to really scare the pants off your friends? Then the Macabre sticker pack may be just what the demented doctor ordered! Finally, carve up your own iMessage virtual Jack-O-Lanterns with the Iconfactory’s own Hack-O-Lantern sticker set. All the fun of pumpkin carving without any of the mess! Don’t forget about our other spooky sticker sets too like Lore and Bone Headz – they’re eager to join in the haunted fun!

We hope you have a very special, spooky and safe Halloween this year and invite you to join in the annual fun with our incredibly creepy tricks-or-treats for your screens this holiday season. Enjoy and… boo!

Introducing Twitterrific for macOS

October 10, 2017

By Webmaster

Today we’re pleased to announce the all-new Twitterrific for macOS. Over 9 months in development, it’s the latest and greatest version of the third-party Twitter app that started it all. The app has been re-imagined from the ground up to be both fast and friendly, and is chock full of modern features that make Twitter fun to use. Here are just some of the ways the new release makes Twitter terrific:

Twitter Your Way

Twitterrific accounts icon

Twitterrific for macOS features a clean, uncluttered timeline displaying just the content you care about. There are no advertisements, promoted tweets, or “while you were away” updates getting in the way of the stuff you care about most. In addition, tweets are presented in chronological order and other people’s likes aren’t cluttering up your timeline.

Designed for macOS

You’ll quickly see the new version feels right at home on the Mac. The app supports Notification Center for mentions and direct messages, and provides built-in sharing for Mail, Messages, or social media services like Facebook. The app also sports beautiful animations, full-screen mode, and more. And all of it designed for Apple’s gorgeous high resolution Retina displays.

Twitterrific's sharing panel showing Facebook highlighted

Mutli-Timeline Support

Take control of your tweets with multiple windows for a single or multiple accounts, all neatly organized on your Mac’s desktop. Twitterrific’s new Media Viewer lets you easily browse multiple images or watch videos. Media and popover windows can be detached from a timeline for easy reference or tracking conversations.

Full Accessibility

macOS Accessibility icon

Twitterrific’s award-winning accessibility on iOS has come to the Mac, making it the most accessible Twitter client available anywhere. Navigate your timelines, compose tweets, and even attach image descriptions quickly and easily using VoiceOver. Image descriptions included in a tweet are also read along with the rest of the text. Users with vision difficulties can use the appearance panel described below to improve readability.

Tweet In Style

Twitterrific’s appearance panel supports dark and light themes, lets you customize fonts and type sizes, and even control how media appears in the timeline. Media thumbnails can be large for easy viewing, minimized for fewer distractions, or hidden altogether: it’s your choice.

Twitterrific timeline windows displayed in the dark theme via the Appearance tab in preferences

Read Anywhere

Whether you use Twitterrific on your iPhone, iPad, or another Mac, the app automatically syncs your reading position for a seamless Twitter experience. Catch up on your latest tweets on mobile, then pick up right where you left off when you’re back at your desktop, just like magic! Twitterrific also syncs your muffles and mutes from iOS to help you avoid spoilers and unwanted tweets on your Mac’s desktop.

There are also a host of other features that you’re sure to enjoy while using Twitterrific. Here are just a few:

• Quickly delete and edit your own tweets
• Quick access to Emoji when composing new tweets and messages
• Support for tweet storms and chained tweet threads
• Translate tweets to your native language
• View user profiles complete with past tweets, likes, and mentions
• Block and report spammers with a single click from their profile
• Robust keyboard control

The new Twitterrific for macOS joins our venerable iOS app in creating a wonderful Twitter experience regardless of platform. Designed for ease of use, accessibility, and the modern macOS desktop, the app is a stylish companion to keep up with what’s happening on Twitter. Twitterrific for macOS is available today from the Mac App Store. Enjoy!

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!