For many of us on the Bear team, it’s that time of year again. Leaves change color and fall, winter jackets come out of hibernation, and Bear turns a year older! Bear is now three years old, and what a year it’s been.
Quite a lot has changed since last November. Our team has grown to 15 people across Italy, Ireland, the UK, and the United States. Speaking of Ireland, our first-ever office space in TAG, Dublin has worked out quite well. We love the space and Dublin as a city. A number of us work there regularly, while others in the region swing by often for in-person team time and occasional Nintendo Switch shenanigans.
Overall, 2019 has been a year of major projects for us. Some are already available, others made big strides.
The ability to encrypt Bear notes has been one of the most requested features since our original betas on Product Hunt in 2016. It took a little more time to polish than we had hoped, but we wanted to get it right.
After working with an independent security firm to solidify our code, we shipped Individual Note Encryption for Bear Pro users in August. It’s been a big hit.
Another big step this year towards making Bear even more private was the option to lock Bear with a passcode and Face/Touch ID. Many users keep sensitive information in Bear, so the options to encrypt notes and lock Bear will help keep it safe.
An official Dark Mode
Bear has always kiiinda had Dark Mode, if you consider dark themes available to both free and pro users. But the Mac got automatic Dark Mode last year, and now it’s finally come to the iPad and iPhone.
Naturally, we were happy to add automatic support for Apple’s mobile devices. We even created a new dark theme for Pro users to celebrate!
Multi-window support on iPad
The iPad may be a different kind of platform. But many iPad users, including us, have wanted some kind of a way to work in multiple documents or ‘windows’ of an app, like macOS and others have supported for quite some time.
Apple delivered with the newly named iPadOS, so we wanted to be ready. You can work in one Bear note in Split View next to Safari, and have a different Bear note open next to Slack or Apple Books.
We have more in the works for multi-window support on iPad, including the ability to drag a note straight out of the app and into its own new Split View. Stay tuned!
In Bear 1.7, we shipped another big request: annotations on PDF and JPEG attachments. We’re working on more in this department, too.
The store is back
To celebrate the third Bearthday, we reopened the store with a new shirt design! It’ll stay open until the end of 2019, so you don’t have to run, but we also don’t recommend you walk. Maybe jog, or skip. Or consider perhaps a brisk mosey.
We presented at Pragma Conference
Last month, we had the opportunity to present at Pragma Conference 2019 in Bologna, Italy. Pragma is an international developer conference dedicated to Apple’s platforms. We were invited to talk about our experience as independent developers and the pros and cons of building the tools we need versus using existing options.
Here’s to another year
We thank all of you for supporting Bear these last few years, because we wouldn’t be here without you. There’s plenty more on the way for Bear, and we always love to hear your thoughts on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.