Bear has made another trip around the sun, so it’s time to look back on what was fortunately a very fuzzy year for us! We had a great team meetup in Dublin, launched the largest major update in Bear’s history, made it to an indie developer conference, and now we have some great new features on the way. We also have a new release to celebrate Bear turning 7!
Yes it’s still called ‘Bear 2.’ Think of it like dog years.
To kick off 2023, the Bear team got together at our top-secret headquarters in Dublin, Ireland in the last week of January. Many delicious meals were had, along with a few glasses of wine and some friendly Nintendo Switch competition. This is where we also planned the final push to Bear 2, including the major features that would make the cut.
The largest update
Of course, we launched Bear 2 in July this year, and there was much rejoicing (especially in our team Slack since the community management team could finally stop fielding ‘when will it launch?’ questions). We also had a fantastic launch on Product Hunt, the place that effectively put the original Bear on the map all those years ago.
This truly was our largest update ever, with over 20 major new features including tables, Markdown hiding, the all-new Info Panel, Backlinks, content folding, custom font support, OCR search, and much more.
Bear 2 has been a huge hit, and we have since released over a dozen updates with refinements across the app. Speaking of new stuff, we have some cool features coming in the near future. More on that in a bit.
In early October, some of our co-founders and core developers attended Pragma Conference in Bologna, Italy. Being indie developers, we love to meet up with our peers and learn new things about this craft. We always leave events like this with new ideas, and this was a great opportunity all around.
Anniversary update out now
To celebrate Bear turning 7, we have a small update out with some new cosmetics for Pro subscribers and more options for everyone when creating new notes (you can now choose H2, H3, and H4).
As for the Pro cosmetics, we have six new icons: Basic, Alfred, Rasp Bearry, Jade, Arctic and Blues. There are also two new themes: Nord Light and Atom. The updates are gradually rolling out to everyone over the next few days, so keep an eye on the App Store and Mac App Store for it to appear.
Basic is anything but
If you aren’t familiar with Basic Apple Guy, you should be! He’s an indie blogger in the community with a flair for creating gorgeous wallpapers, icons, and other designs of Apple fandom nature.
We decided we just had to add a piece of his art to Bear, so we worked on this new icon with him.
On the way
We don’t usually talk about new stuff until it is at least ready for beta testing. But we’ll make a rare exception today for a couple things we have in the works.
Quick Open (in progress)
A popular request from users, we are working on a Quick Open UI on the Mac. This will be a fast way to search all your notes and tags from within Bear, then quickly navigate to your destination. We’ll say more about this feature once it gets closer to release.
Forum revamp and expansion
Leading up to the Bear 2 release, we utilized our forum more than ever before to solicit feedback and bug reports from testers. It was a great success as a general tool and a direct communication platform between us and you wonderful folks. So great, in fact, that we are in the process of doubling down.
Our community management team is working on expanding the forum into an all-purpose place for Bear users to discuss the app, give us feedback, share ideas and Shortcuts, and even other stuff on your mind. One important addition will be the option to quickly sign up with various login options such as Sign in with Apple (and probably other options). For now, it is a work in progress, so we’ll make a full announcement once we get closer to launch.
Thanks for 7 years
We’ll wrap up this anniversary post by thanking you, yes you. We couldn’t make Bear without our users, so we are grateful every day for you. We’re working on a variety of new stuff not mentioned here today, and we can’t wit to say more about it. As always, we’d love to hear from you on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.