The Breakroom

Year in Review, 2018

December 13, 2018

By Webmaster

Iconfactory 2018 holiday illustration - the factory set against a snowy hill with Ollie the Twitterrific bird ice skating in the foreground

Our 22nd year in business was a good one for both us and our clients, and included some important anniversaries of key events in the factory’s growth. First, we paid tribute to the ten year anniversary of the iPhone SDK in March, and then the App Store a few months later. Twitterrific has been there since the very beginning of this revolutionary new kind of software!

You Can’t Keep a Good Bird Down

We started off the year celebrating the first anniversary of Project Phoenix which brought Twitterrific back to the Mac in style. It wasn’t long however until our beloved Ollie ran afoul of some major changes at Twitter.

Back in April we saw looming problems that would affect all third-party Twitter apps and in July we were forced to start removing features from both the iOS and macOS apps. In August, Twitter removed streaming and our ability to send push notifications.

Ollie's Goldfinch custom app icon

When Halloween rolled around it seemed fitting to cut the poor bird in half to help celebrate the spooky season.

Despite all of these setbacks, we’re still adding new features and fixing bugs. In November we introduced you to Ollie’s extended family, a fun set of custom app icons you can use to give your desktop or home screen a makeover!

A Busy Year for Sketches

Another one of our favorite products had an amazing year. It all started in March when we released the second major version of Linea Sketch.

This update introduced moving and transforming parts of your sketch, image import, and added an innovative feature called ZipLine. We also integrated with all the latest iOS features to support portrait orientation, split screen mode, and drag & drop. Then in May we added ways to manage the colors in your sketches and projects while retaining Linea’s famous simplicity.

We didn’t stop there, though. Oh no.

In September we were excited to launch Linea Go for the iPhone with all the power and ease of use of Linea Sketch in a fun-sized app that fits in your pocket.

Linea Go for the iPhone

To finish up the year, we updated the whole Linea product line with powerful new fill and blend tools. We also expanded our wildly popular ZipLine feature so it can recognize geometric shapes. iCloud version history and support for the latest iPads and Pencils were also included in these comprehensive releases.

If you love what we’re doing with Linea, please take a moment and leave us a tip. This kind of rapid development comes at a cost, and the only other alternative we have to pay for this work are app subscriptions.

Public Service Announcements

Dark Sky animated windmill icon

Of course there’s more to our digital lives than just making wonderful apps. Our client work challenges our design chops and keeps the conveyor belts humming right along. Projects for the Dark Sky weather app and a fun, custom version of Apollo for iOS were two of this year’s standout clients.

We also like to keep abreast of the latest developments for macOS and iOS including Safari so we were thrilled when a new kind of “favicon” was introduced a few years ago. And even more thrilled when those same icons came to all our tabs in 2018!

In October, Craig took a deep-dive on how Safari is changing to support “dark mode”. Currently, this is limited to macOS, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this change makes its way to iOS in the coming year.

Accessibility is another topic that’s near and dear to our hearts. Making products that anyone can use is something we strive for. Back in July we posted about the importance of making your tweets more accessible by explaining how VoiceOver works with emoji and Unicode. The article is a big help for people with visual disabilities and has been shared thousands of times.

Peace Out

When we started this business back in 1996 we would never have guessed we’d still be here twenty-two years later, doing all the things we love. It’s only possible thanks to the generous support of our loyal fans, our clients both big and small and all the users around the world who purchase and love our apps. All of us here at the factory send our thanks and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!