For many people, this first week of November is often known as a time of new iPhones, the first dog orbited the earth, or national blog posting, novel writing, and academic writing month. This week also marks when abolitionist, doctor, and inventor Thomas Elkin patented an early version of the refrigerator in the late 1870s (he patented an early version of the toilet, too. Apparently he thought a lot about the life cycle of food).
For us, this week also marks Bear’s anniversary—it’s turned the big 4! While it’s still far too young to have a beer or pay taxes, it has grown quite a bit over the past year.
The Bear pack continues to grow
Bear started as a scrappy side project between three designer-developers. This year the team is up to 17 members across a handful of continents although, given the pandemic, we’ve all been working from home this year.
Our focus over the last couple of years has been on bringing in more developers and designers to expand efforts on Bear for web and the Editor 2.0 project. We’ve also expanded the marketing and customer support teams to better help our customers and manage social media.
We’re definitely putting more time into our social media these days. We’ve expanded with series like #BearTip, #SimpleShortcuts and, most recently, hopping on the #FridayFAQ train. It’s been a great way to help educate our users and get invaluable feedback.
As for our adventures this past year, these are the highlights that stand out.
- Widgets for iOS 14 on iPhone and iPad (coming to Mac soon!)
- Wiki links for note headers
- HTML export for wiki links
- 2 new Pro themes
- Participated in the Indie Sticker Pack
- Support for the Magic Keyboard and external mice
- Launched the Panda alpha—read on for that one!
Panda, the future of Bear
Panda is the not-so-secret code name of our current major project to reengineer the foundation of Bear: the Editor, where all your magic happens. It will also be a vital component of the Bear web app that’s in the works.
This is a massive project, which is why it’s taking a while. However, we did reach a milestone earlier this year with the launch of an early Panda alpha test. Now, this isn’t the full app yet—it’s a standalone prototype of just the editor to test some of your most requested features such as tables, nested styles, links and styles in headings, footnotes, right to left languages, and even animated GIFs!
Feedback has been great so far, and we are steadily adding features to test.
Panda is an early test of just the Editor, separate from the full Bear app. It doesn’t include major features like the Note List or a Sidebar of tags. This is absolutely not ready for any day-to-day Bear work.
We love that our users have developed such an affinity for the Bear mascot. This year, we embraced the art of the Bear to share their adventures in wallpaper form.
So far, Bear has explored the cosmos, celebrated the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, and saluted the past and present of Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. For Bear’s fourth birthday wallpaper, we explored a theme of growth with A November to Remember. The four flowers are Chrysanthemums, the November birth flower.
Who knows what’s on Bear’s itinerary next year?
(Seriously, Bear is terrible at sharing their travel schedule with the team.)
The next year for Bear
Bear has come a long way in a short four years and, as always, we thank you all for getting us here. We’re working on some incredible stuff for you, and we’re excited to show you when it’s ready for the spotlight.
Thanks again for everything. We always love to hear from you on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.