The Breakroom

Welcome to the New

January 9, 2024

By Webmaster

We are terrible at tooting our own horn.

Someone recently was excited to learn we offered design services to clients – something we’ve been doing for over 25 years and is a significant part of our business. It was clearly time for a refresh of so we could highlight that aspect of our work. 

In tackling the redesign, we started with the very same process we use with clients and our own apps – design first, code later. This approach lets us experiment with the design quickly and easily before a single line of code is written. Throughout the entire process we kept in mind that the site needed to be responsive and work well on a wide range of devices.

The new Iconfactory has a singular focus. We’ve been leaders in the design industry for decades and the new site puts our attention to detail, our award-winning apps, and our extensive development services at center stage. In short, we want to help you build the best apps you can, and whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, or an indie developer like us, we’re here for you. The new site explains why we’re the ones you should call on, and it does it with plain language and gorgeous examples.

We can’t wait to help you ship your amazing app, develop a memorable brand, or even create striking graphics for an App Store feature with a tight deadline.

So, this is us, tooting our own horn. We invite you to explore the all-new and see what we have to offer. No other company has been helping designers and developers as long we have. Isn’t it time we worked together?

Unlock A World of Stunning Wallpapers with Wallaroo’s Anniversary Sale

January 3, 2024

By Ged Maheux

It’s been a little over a year since we launched Wallaroo and to celebrate we’re offering a special discount for new customers. Taking advantage of this sale is easy. Just head to the App Store by opening this link on your iPhone or iPad to receive a 35% discount off the annual subscription price. And don’t wait – this offer is only good until January 19th!

In 2023, Wallaroo subscribers received hundreds of new wallpapers, each designed specifically for iPhone, iPad, and macOS. These joined hundreds of others from previous years with no ads or sketchy schemes – just great wallpapers.

There’s never been a better way to customize your screens than Wallaroo. We hope you’ll discover the fun as we bring new and exciting wallpapers to screens near you throughout 2024!

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!

Happy Anniversary, xScope!

November 14, 2023

By Webmaster

xScope 20 years!

Twenty years ago today, we released a new product.

To say that product has been a success would be an understatement. It’s been an essential part of a workflow for tens of thousands of folks. It’s also an app that has evolved with our desktop environments over the years: it predates responsive web design, Retina displays, deep color spaces, and even the iPhone with mobile design. A lot has changed over the years.

Back in 2002, the Iconfactory was a huge fan of Wolfgang Ante’s Screen Tools. As people who fretted over pixel level details, we relied heavily on this suite of utilities. And, of course, we wanted the tools to do more. It made sense for us to combine forces and come up with a new product: we entered into a partnership where ARTIS Software would handle the development and the Iconfactory would do the design, documentation, and marketing.

ARTIS Software got to work during the winter of 2003 in a beautiful place: a sunny apartment in the south of France where the balcony door was always open. Yes, it was Nice.

Wolfgang was joined by his brother Joachim who was building a game engine for a new Mac OS X title. The Ante brothers worked side-by-side on their respective projects while collaborating with colleagues in Copenhagen, Iceland, California, and North Carolina. An early example of how remote work changed everything.

It also turned out that both of them were working on tools for designers and developers, because that winter’s work produced a tool called Unity in addition to xScope.

xScope blossomed in this creative environment. These screenshots of the Loupe show the transformation that took place during 2003:

xScope Loupe in January (left) and November (right) of 2003.

The pinstripes were gone and replaced by a sleek new interface. It’s not often that you revisit a design from the distant past and think it looks good and modern. We are all still extremely proud of this work.

The next step was to give this new product a name. After several weeks of trial and error we landed on “xScope”. The “X” worked for both the operating system and the “examination” done by the tool. All the assets and websites were put in place and we got ready to launch with our unique tool with a unique name.

And then this little company from Cupertino decided to rename their Project Builder tool. Our unique name wasn’t so unique anymore: at least we used a lowercase “x”!

The Loupe tool from xScope v4 running on macOS Sonoma's desktop  - magnifying the xScope App icon
xScope Loupe running on macOS Sonoma in 2023.

As we mentioned above the functionality of xScope has evolved over the years. The screenshot above shows what the Loupe looks like in the version we’re currently working on (with improvements for macOS Sonoma and beyond).

The app’s icon has also changed considerably. Many of these variations were driven by the desktop’s own evolution. xScope has been through macOS’s pinstripe, brushed metal, translucency, and flat phases. You can probably guess the era for each one shown below:

The evolution of the xScope icon on the desktop from a bulbous white X to a sleek silver metallic form to two pieces of bacon and a fried egg to arrive at the current version, a sleek, light X in white and blue
xScope icons for versions 1.0 through 4.0, and a tasty breakfast.

And if you’re having trouble picking the era for “Eggscope”, don’t worry, you didn’t miss macOS’s awkward teenage years. It’s a long-time Easter egg (hold down the Option key until the Preferences Settings window opens, then pick EGGSCOPE DUH).

To celebrate this anniversary, we’re putting xScope on sale for a week. Use the promo code 20FOR20 to get the app for only $20 (a whopping 60% discount!). If you’re a professional developer or designer, and don’t have these tools at your disposal, now’s the perfect time to fix that!

If there’s still a macOS desktop in 2043, we all hope that xScope will be running on it. Here’s to the future! 🍻

Announcing Linea Sketch 4.3

November 7, 2023

By Ged Maheux

The latest update to Linea Sketch is now available! From textures to thumbnail cropping, version 4.3 is packed with clever new features to make sketching on your iPad easier and more fun than ever.

Textures Have Never Been Easier

We’ve created a variety of pre-defined seamless textures to let you quickly add visual interest and depth to your artwork. Open the options panel on any layer and tap the Textures icon to get going. Select from a range of choices including abstract patterns, architectural materials, crosshatching, and more. Then simply draw or paint a color into the layer with any tool. It’s as easy as that.

Side-shade a texture with the Pencil Tool or use the Watercolor Brush for weathered, rustic effects. Or use Clear Ink to erase the selected texture from your artwork. The Textures feature is super flexible and even works with Transparency Masking or the Fill Tool.

If you want to learn more about how to use textures in Linea Sketch, be sure to head on over to our YouTube channel. We’ve created a Textures Basics tutorial that gets you up and running quickly with Textures in Linea and covers what kinds of things are possible with this great new feature. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel while you’re there!

Canvas Resizing

You can now change the overall size and aspect ratio of existing sketches. Open any sketch, then tap More Actions (⋯) and Edit Canvas Size. Adjust the canvas based on screen size, aspect ratio, or use a custom setting to set whatever proportions you need. This comes in really handy when you want to continue working on a sketch on the iPad that was originally created on iPhone or vice versa.

Thumbnail Framing

With Linea Sketch 4.3 you’re no longer stuck with a thumbnail of your entire sketch. Now you can easily customize each sketch’s appearance in the Project view. Simply open a sketch and zoom into the portion of the drawing you want to focus on. Once you close the sketch, the thumbnail in the Project View will reflect this new framing for the sketch. It’s great for showing detail or highlighting a particular portion of a sketch in the Project View. Creating custom thumbnails enables you to decide how your work should appear and let’s you highlight the parts that are important.

Get Linea and Get Sketching!

Linea Sketch 4.3 includes many other improvements and fixes, including smoother results with the Blending Tool, improved autosave functionality, and more. Visit Linea’s version history page for the complete list of what’s new, and then head on over to the App Store and grab the FREE download of Linea Sketch. It’s where your ideas begin!

Beware: xScope & macOS Sonoma

November 1, 2023

By Craig Hockenberry

We’ve been working on a compatibility update for xScope on macOS Sonoma for the past few weeks. The current version has been fine through the beta release, so we’ve been making minor tweaks and adding some performance improvements – certainly nothing urgent.

With last week’s release of macOS Sonoma 14.1 (on October 25th) things changed significantly. A new bug in the window server causes clicks in some of xScope’s tools to be “flipped”. This affects the Rulers, Guides, and Frames tools.

For example, when you click on the measurement arm of the Ruler, nothing is reported to xScope. Only clicking in the empty space below the arm will generate events. And since these events are “in the void” the app doesn’t know what to do with them.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a workaround for this issue. It’s a low-level bug and window server optimizations aren’t telling us about the clicks because it thinks we don’t need them.

If you are currently running macOS 14.0 or earlier (including Ventura), things are fine. If xScope is an important part of your workflow, DO NOT UPDATE to macOS Sonoma 14.1. (See below.)

If you have already updated, the only thing you can do at the moment is wait it out. We have submitted a bug report (FB13320473) with a sample project that should help Apple’s engineers get to the bottom of the problem quickly.

We’ll update this blog post as we learn more.

Please help us spread the word about this issue. If you know someone else who uses xScope, please give them the heads up. Thanks!

Updated November 1, 2023: This bug also affects Photoshop. If you turn off the application frame, clicks go through the toolbar. This video shows the behavior. Developers at Adobe are aware of the issue.

Updated November 8, 2023: The bug is fixed in the macOS Sonoma 14.1.1 release. All tools in xScope are fully functional and the issues in Photoshop have been resolved.

Triode 2.1 – Conjuring Magic

October 10, 2023

By Craig Hockenberry

Hot on the heels of a major new release, there’s a new version of Triode with two big new improvements. Our Internet radio app just keeps getting more perfect with Shazam and data management!

Triode does its best to figure out what song is playing, but if you’ve ever been listening to a station without metadata, you might have used the Shazam app to identify a track. But doing so was awkward and didn’t work all the time (AirPods!)

We’re happy to announce that Triode now has Shazam built-in. On iOS, macOS, and tvOS, there is a button in the Now Playing view that lets you start song identification. Any matches are displayed and added to your track history for later reference. Super easy, and super quick!

A reorganized control panel on iOS lets you Shazam, start a sleep timer, or view a track history.

Also new in this release is the ability to manage your data. Triode has always put the customer first with our focus on keeping your data private. We’re now extending that philosophy with tools that let you take charge of your favorite stations and track history.

In the iOS settings, you’ll see a new Manage Your Data button that lets you extract the data. On macOS, you use the File and Station in the menu bar to perform the same operations. (This feature isn’t supported on tvOS because there’s no sharing or file management.)

The exported data uses a standard JSON format that can be processed by Shortcuts, scripts, or other applications. The export file can also be used to restore your favorites if something goes wrong with iCloud.

There are many other minor fixes and improvements in this release. See the product website for a full list of changes. And if this is the first time you’re hearing of Triode, check out the website and get your free download for iOS, macOS, and tvOS. Rock on!

WorldWideWeb 2.1

October 3, 2023

By Craig Hockenberry

Our simple web server for developers continues to improve with version 2.1. In this update, we’ve implemented two new features that are often requested by PRO users.

On macOS, we added support for a reverse proxy. This lets you use WorldWideWeb as a frontend web server for a backend development environment. In simpler terms, this lets you use the auto refresh feature with code written in Ruby, PHP, or whatever framework you’re using.

We’ve used it for development on our own sites, and it’s pretty great to edit some code, hit Save, and have the browser automatically refresh and run that new code.

Every development environment is different, so make sure to check out the Proxy Configuration section of the app’s documentation (click the ? button on the main window). There are a bunch of recommendations and tips that will help you get the most out of this new feature.

On iOS, we added some Advanced Settings that were previously only available on macOS. This includes the ability to adjust the sound level while in the background (it can now be quiet or turned off completely). No more beeping while showing off your work on the iPad!

To make these changes, look for “WorldWideWeb” in the System Settings app. The app’s documentation explains how these advanced settings can be used (About > Product Manual > About WorldWideWeb).

Get your updates for iOS or macOS today. To learn more about the product, and how auto refresh makes working with the web so much more pleasant, check out the WorldWideWeb website.

Sketch Fearlessly This Inktober With Linea

September 26, 2023

By Ged Maheux

October rears its spooky, pumpkin-spiced head once again and with it comes our favorite way to flex our creative muscles – Inktober. The annual event encourages artists, both amateur and professional alike, to pick up a pencil, brush or stylus and channel their creativity each day in the month of October. It’s a great way to express and challenge yourself as we doodle and sketch our way through the official list of prompts.

This will be the fifth year we’ve contributed to the cause by creating a set of handy templates for Linea Sketch that outlines the prompts for each of the 31 days in Inktober. This year’s list of templates is ready for download and broken out by page numbers that contain the prompt for that day’s drawing. The templates are perfect for those who like to have a uniform set of sketches for the entire month or who want to stay tight and focused on their daily creations.

As they are every year, Linea’s Inktober 2023 templates are completely free, easy to set up, and should quickly get you on your artistic way. A few years ago we created a short video tutorial on how to get the templates into Linea Sketch for the iPad that will help guide you through the process this year as well. Be sure to check it out

Be sure to tag your posts on social media with #LineaSketch – we always share our favorite drawings over on Linea’s Instagram during the month of October so it’s a great way to step into the lime light! Apply new screen protectors and charge those Apple Pencils because October will be here before you know it!

Welcome, Wallaroo Widgets!

September 26, 2023

By Ged Maheux

With Interactive Widgets, Wallaroo 1.4 brings a whole new way to customize your home screens on the latest versions of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS! There are also a handful of fixes and improvements that make using and enjoying your favorite wallpapers easier than ever.

Wallpaper Widget

Thanks to the new interactive widget, you’re no longer limited to seeing just one wallpaper at a time. Now you can customize each page of your home screen with even more of your favorite Wallaroo artwork by adding one or more Wallpaper widgets.

Decorate your Home Screen with Wallaroo’s widgets, or quickly change it with the built-in shortcut.

You can set each widget to show random wallpapers from any of Wallaroo’s categories such as Comics, Fantasy, Nature, Sci-Fi, and more. Or you can configure a widget to just cycle between all of your Favorites.

You’re not limited to only seeing the default version for each wallpaper, either – the widget can randomly choose any of the many variants available for each release. And when you’re feeling like changing the mood, tap the interactive refresh button to get a new wallpaper right away.

If you want more control, you can even configure the widget to display one specific wallpaper!


Each of Wallaroo’s wallpapers is really a complete set of artwork tailor-made for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Many releases also include multiple variants to cater to a wide variety of tastes. Every image in a wallpaper pack has portrait, square, and landscape versions which are all carefully designed for each device.

Previously, Wallaroo only used the size appropriate for the device you were using, but starting in version 1.4 you can view them all and pick the one you want with the new size selector. Now you can use the wallpaper orientation that works best for your setup. (It’s especially handy when you have a portrait display connected to your desktop!)

Screenshot of the screen size selector being activated on the Mac showing four choices: Default, Landscape, Portrait and Square.
Choose the aspect ratio that works best with Wallaroo’s new Size Selector.

While viewing a wallpaper on iOS or iPadOS, tap the name of the wallpaper in the top toolbar and choose which orientation you want to use. On macOS, the same menu is located in the upper right next to the “Set Wallpaper” button on the toolbar.

Better Shortcut

Wallaroo makes it easy to change your wallpaper by using a custom shortcut. Recent changes in iOS and iPadOS have made the shortcut a bit less reliable than we liked, so we’ve improved it.

The first time you set a wallpaper using Wallaroo 1.4, you’ll be asked to update the shortcut. Follow the prompts and replace your existing shortcut with the new one and you’ll be back in business.

The new shortcut detects situations where the wallpaper cannot be set (such as when a built-in dynamic one like Astronomy is being used). It’s also more reliable when setting the individual Home or Lock screens. And as an added bonus, using the Home Screen option will now set the wallpaper without blurring it.

And More!

We’ve also added a few quality-of-life improvements including a “Latest” category that makes it easy to see which releases have been recently added or updated, a trackpad gesture for swiping between wallpapers on macOS Sonoma, the ability to save wallpapers at full resolution on macOS, and a total count of wallpapers and variants displayed at the end of each gallery category. And, of course, we fixed some pesky bugs.

Be sure to get the latest version of Wallaroo today for both iOS and macOS. Check out the website to learn more about the product or view the details about what’s changed in the release.