The Breakroom

The Year In Review for 2023

December 13, 2023

By Ged Maheux

A red car travels down a long road over green hills driven by Twitterrific's blue bird Ollie. DoBot from Frenzic is the passenger with Wally from Wallaroo and InfoBot in the backseats.

What a year! Right off the bat, we could tell that the new year wouldn’t be pulling any punches as one of our most beloved and important applications, Twitterrific, was forced into early retirement by Elon Musk. Last January seems like a lifetime ago, but the sting of having to shutter Ollie, and the revenue that sustained our company, still hurts to this day. Perhaps the only thing worse than discontinuing the app has been watching helplessly as Twitter, or rather X, has mutated into a dark shadow of its former self.

Focusing On the Future

Early in 2023 we decided to no longer be an active part of Twitter, and made the move to Mastodon for connecting with our fans and clients. That was a great decision and we’ve enjoyed watching the community on Mastodon grow and flourish. We invite you to follow us on Mastodon, but we also have a presence on Threads as well. Needless to say you can also find us on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Patreon

Of course, we couldn’t let all that drama distract us from bringing fun goodies to your screens this year. Here’s what else we’ve been up to:

Linea Love

Let’s start with Linea, our pick-up-and-draw digital sketchbook for the iPad. In January we released v4.2, offering fun new features like Organic Ink to give your drawings a more rustic appearance. We followed that up with the more recent v4.3 update that added easy textures, custom thumbnails, and more.

The year also brought new Linea Sketch videos, including Ged’s pixel-clicking tutorial to help you get your feet wet creating retro pixel-clicked icons and artwork. Head over to Linea’s YouTube channel to check them out and subscribe for future videos.

The Name of the Game

Back in May, we treated fans of our fast-paced puzzler Frenzic: Overtime to a chapter filled with all-new challenges and strategies while (once again) attempting to save the world for human and robot kind. We’re currently working on the final installment on Apple Arcade, and boy you won’t want to miss this one!

Frenzic wasn’t the only game in town this year. In August we released Ollie’s Arcade, a collection of retro-inspired hand-held games that charmed players with its seriously mindless fun.

The app comes with Ollie Soars as a free-to-play game, with Snake and Tranquility Touchdown as one-time purchases. There are no subscriptions, no ads, and no in-game coins to buy. We hope to add new games to Ollie’s Arcade in the future, so be sure to show your support and download on the App Store today!

Triode Gets A Tune-Up

September’s release of Triode 2 was a great update to our easy-to-use cross-platform Internet radio app. We introduced a host of new OS features including interactive widgets to control the app from your Home Screen, support for Standby Mode, full support for Shortcuts, improved integration with Apple Music, a convenient sleep timer, and more.

Using Triode with CarPlay is now easier than ever.

The release’s visual improvements were notable and included new music category icons, a richer and more vibrant appearance, improved CarPlay layout, and controls to identify steaming music with Shazam. If you love music, be sure to get the free download of Triode on your platform of choice and see what everyone’s been listening to.

Of Widgets and Wallpapers

Wallaroo 1.4 launched in September with cool and customizable Home Screen widgets. We also improved Wallaroo’s handy shortcut for setting wallpapers to work without muss or fuss.

App Store and Patreon subscribers have enjoyed tons of amazing new wallpapers every week in 2023. Some highlights include Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Mercury by Anthony Piraino, Sprout by guest artist Max Rudberg, and the iMac 25th Anniversary icon set from Talos Tsui. 

We lovingly create every wallpaper by hand, fine tune them for each platform, and often create multiple variants. Subscribe to Wallaroo to join in on fun, or even better, join our Patreon for bonus wallpapers, sneak peeks, Discord access, and more exclusive goodies!

The Next Adventure

The year ahead promises to bring some amazing new offerings.

We’re putting the finishing touches on an all new version of the Iconfactory website, with a focus on our design and development services. The new site is the latest in a long line that will bolster the services side of our business and introduce us to new clients.

A Kickstarter is also in the works for an innovative new product that we hope will surprise and delight you. We can’t say much yet, but with your support, we hope it becomes our next big thing. Be sure to follow us here and on social media for a heads up when it launches early in 2024!

In the meantime, we’re off to rest up and recharge our batteries. We’ll be spending time with family and friends, watching our favorite movies and TV shows, and wishing all of you the best this life has to offer. We’ve been blessed and honored to serve you all for over 25 years and we honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Stay tuned, be safe, and Happy Holidays!