Bear Newsletter - June 2019

That time of the year is right around the corner again! Next week, Apple developers from around the globe will gather in San Jose to get their hands on the next major iterations of Apple’s operating systems and, if we’re lucky, maybe even some hardware.

We have a great June newsletter for you. It goes a little something like this:

  • We’re going to WWDC! We're bringing swag
  • New Bear shirts are also on sale for a limited time to celebrate WWDC!
  • Bear 1.7 is getting close
  • See a couple features in action!
  • We hope to do a beta by the end of June
  • New features and Bear Pro
  • A Super Serious Note about encrypting individual notes in Bear 1.7
  • Roundup of recent blog posts

Get Bear for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch!

We’re going to WWDC! (again!)

As with the last couple years, some of the Bear team will be on-site! In San Jose! We’ll be there, eager to download some new betas and hand out a fresh batch of swag! Follow Matteo Rattotti (Twitter), Danilo Bonardi (Instagram), and Konstantin Erohkin (Twitter) because we're free spirits. And because keeping our social team in the loop on every place we'll go is a pain in the butt. 😄

Track us down to share some thoughts on Bear, the universe, or everything, and grab some Bear merch! While supplies last, of course.

New Bear shirts are on sale for a limited time!

To celebrate WWDC, we reopened the Bear merch store for a limited time! This logo variant is available in a few different options, but move quickly. We plan to keep it open for the week of WWDC but probably not much longer.

Note: we currently run our store through Redbubble for a variety of reasons, a big one being reasonable international shipping rates. However, we're still working on a way to sell quality stickers and pins, which have proven surprisingly difficult to conveniently manufacture and sell for our wonderfully global community. But we're working on it!

Bear 1.7 is getting close

A note in Bear 1.7 can be on a need-to-know
basis—you need to know the password!

The next major, free update to Bear is pretty close to a beta. Barring any major disruptive announcements at WWDC, we hope to launch a beta by the end of June.

If you are: 

  • not afraid of beta software
  • good at creating backups of your current data
  • interested in helping us test Bear 1.7, and
  • good at providing bug reports and feedback
sign up for our beta list and we'll be in touch once a beta is ready.


We understand Bear 1.7 has taken a little longer than we hoped. Also but: it's for a good reason.

Most of the new features are free to all Bear users. However, because of the new features that focus on security—locking Bear with Face/Touch ID and encrypting individual notes—we decided to enlist a code review from a third-party security firm.

We wanted to take every reasonable step we could to get this right. But code reviews simply take time. The good news is that, with this extra time involved, we were able to pack in a few more surprises for you.

While we will save most of the new features for the release, we can preview another one now: Emoji Autocomplete!

Watch how the majestic list of emoji options appears after typing a colon + a couple letters!

This may surprise some of you, but we’ve heard from a lot of people who use emoji in Bear for all kinds of creative scenarios—marking key parts of a daily journal, helping certain tasks and appointments stand out, reviewing drafts of blog posts and papers, and much more.

Pro Tip: Bear search supports emoji

Those comments often include a request to make searching and typing emoji easier, especially on iOS (which lacks the search option from macOS).

Since we use and enjoy emoji autocomplete in Slack, we realized a similar implementation in Bear would be a great fit. Lo and behold, Emoji Autocomplete is coming in Bear 1.7 for Mac and iOS devices.

Locking, encryption, and Bear Pro

The ability to lock Bear and encrypt individual notes are serious features for both us and our customers. Because of that, they will become our latest additions to Bear Pro. That means our low monthly or yearly subscription now includes:

  • Fast iCloud sync
  • Advanced export options to PDF, HTML, DocX, and JPG
  • A growing library of beautiful themes that will reach 15 in Bear 1.7 (yep—two new Pro themes are coming!)
  • Lock Bear with Face/Touch ID
  • Lock and encrypt individual notes with a password you set

Our general approach is to expand Bear’s features and keep most of it free. We also want to regularly expand Bear Pro’s usefulness to make it a better value and, of course, keep the igloo lights on.

We hope this upgraded set of Bear Pro features displays our commitment to making Bear a powerful tool for flexible notes and beautiful writing.

A Super Serious Note on encrypted notes

Security experts often say that the practice is a balance between security and convenience.

We designed Bear so that we cannot see any of your notes, tags, or other data, even if you have Bear Pro for sync. Bear and your devices sync directly with iCloud, not any servers we control. 

This means your Bear notes are safe from us and, soon with Bear 1.7 locking and encryption, safe from pesky friends, family, coworkers, and even household pets.

This also means that we cannot manage or reset passwords you use for encrypting individual notes. If you encrypt a note and later forget its password, we cannot retrieve the note or your password. It’s gone.

If you plan to use this feature, we highly recommend including some kind of security backup or redundancy. One idea is to store your Bear note password(s) in something like 1Password, an excellent password manager and form filler. Another option is to simply write these passwords down on paper and store them in a safe or other secure location.

Whichever route you take, we encourage you to take just a few minutes to make a plan and stick to it. You’ll thank yourself, and possibly even us, later.

From the blog

We regularly publish all kinds of great stuff to Bear Notes & Prose, our blog. Here’s a roundup of the recent stuff that'll make you a hit at parties.

The Super Big List of Tips for working with tags and Bear notes

Introducing a new way to publish Bear notes to WordPress on iPad and iPhone

Bear With Us: An interview with Michael Lopp from Slack

Thanks for reading

It will be amazing to hang out with the Apple community again next week and to get a Bear 1.7 beta in your hands soon. We hope this will make Bear Pro an even greater value for you, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on TwitterReddit, and Facebook.

Copyright © 2019 Shiny Frog, All rights reserved.

Shiny Frog - 60-63 Dawson St. Dublin, Ireland

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