The Breakroom

2016 Wasn’t All Bad

December 16, 2016

By Webmaster

Animation of snow falling behind an dangling red Iconfactory Christmas ornament

It’s been a hell of a year, no matter how you look at it. Luckily, it hasn’t been all bad and we’ve done some great things at the Iconfactory over the past 12 months!

You might be tempted to call this the Year of Emoji, but to us, every year is the Year of Emoji. We started off 2016 with a major update to Twitter’s open source Emoji suite: Twemoji. That was soon followed by complete visual refresh for the Emoji used in Facebook’s Messenger app. To finish out the year, there were Twemoji updates for Unicode 9 and gendered occupations. In summary, that’s 3,396 images to give your favorite messages more personality!

And speaking of Twitter, our terrific app got a lot of love this year. Every couple of months there were updates for direct messaging, timeline search, discussions and retweeting, replies and today view, quoting and new fonts, and a great new feature called Center Stage. We were also thrilled to be inducted into the AppleVis Hall-of-Fame for our VoiceOver work in Twitterrific.

This year was also a big milestone for us: it was our 20th year as a company! Our retrospective was a great reminder of how far we’ve come over the years. And we couldn’t have done it without you (don’t worry, we’re not going to blame you for the gray hairs).

The celebrations also included two new apps for iOS: Exify and BitCam. Both celebrated the fantastic camera we all carry in our pockets: one was modern, and the other, well, it wasn’t.

Every good party ends with cake, and ours was no exception. Our beloved foreman got the chance to combine his two favorite things: cooking and smileys. We were all thrilled to watch Ged judge the Emoji episode of the Food Network’s Cake Wars.

After we recovered from all this merriment and sugar shock it was time to head back to our roots: creating images that were just plain fun to use! We used to call them custom icons, but now they’re Stickers. If you haven’t tried them out yet, get with it!

We also talked more about our business this year. We shared our recipe for launching successful apps, how to use Stickers for brand awareness, and what it takes to build meaningful experiences in products.

Our last release of the year was something completely different: a book on color. The most basic part of our work has been changing thanks to improvement in display technologies. This affects both our client work and the apps we build. Craig’s effort takes a difficult topic and makes it accessible: check it out!

As we begin our annual holiday break, we’d like to wish all of you the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year. We’re looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store and we hope you’ll join us as we move forward. Always remember there can be good things in this world if you work hard to make them a reality.