WSJ profiles app developer responsible for inventing/popularizing pull-to-refresh and other GUI innovations

Loren-Brichter
pull-to-refreshThe Wall Street Journal published a piece last night that profiled influential app developer Loren Brichter of Atebits and Tweetie fame. The 28-year-old developer is the man behind several apps that were first to implement or help popularize well-known gestures and UI features that have since become design standards for many popular apps and developers. Perhaps the best example is “pull-to-refresh”—a feature that Brichter built into his Tweetie app before selling to Twitter:

Mr. Brichter got his start in the mobile industry while at Apple from 2006 to 2007 as part of a five-person group working out early kinks in technology that made the iPhone’s graphics hardware and software communicate… In 2008, Mr. Brichter built Tweetie to have a better way to use Twitter and eventually included the “pull-to-refresh” feature. After selling the app to Twitter for what he says was “single digit millions” in 2010, he stayed on at Twitter working remotely on the company’s apps for about a year and a half. He left to keep experimenting.

Other features Brichter helped to popularize include the slide-out panels that we see in apps such as Facebook and a feature described as “cell swipe” that’s popular in Twitter apps for revealing lists of hidden functions by swiping. WSJ was quick to point out that Brichter has filed for a patent on at least the “pull-to-refresh” gesture (now owned by Twitter), but Brichter explained that he allows most developers to implement the features freely: Read more

Atebits’ mystery iOS app, iTunes Connect Mobile, Modern Combat 4, Netflix, more

On top of our usual list of apps and updates hitting the App Store today, we also get word from Tweetie/Twitter for Mac developer Atebits that it has version 1.0 of a new app currently in review. We don’t know yet what it is, but we’ll certainly keep you updated when it hits the App Store. Atebits made the announcement on its Twitter account:

Modern Combat 4 Zero Hour: Gameloft’s much anticipated Modern Combat 4 Zero Hour is coming to iOS with full iPhone 5 support this fall, and today we get another look at the Havok engine-powered title in the above dev diary.

iTunes Connect Mobile version 2.0.2: 

-Minor bug fix for push notifications.
-Adds support for iPhone 5.

Netflix version 2.4.1:

- Added support for Swedish language.
- Bug fixes and General performance improvements.

Skype version 4.1.1:

-Fix for iPhone 5 and iOS 6 calling and video issues

Circa News for iPhone: Launching today as a free app for iPhone and iPod touch, Circa News is an interesting news reader for Circa’s political coverage that presents articles as a “collection of details about a story: the facts, stats, quotes, pictures, maps, and more.”

eBay Fashion version 1.8.0: 

-Redesigned navigation to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for!
-The App now supports only iOS 5 and above
-Bug fixes

iOS App Sales:  Read more

Loren Brichter leaves Twitter

In 2007, Loren Brichter built Tweetie, a lovely (and award-winning) Twitter client for both the Mac and iOS.  So lovely in fact that in April of last year, Twitter bought his company, Atebits and turned Tweetie into the official native Twitter clients for Mac and iOS.

Today via, yes…wait for it…Twitter, Brichter announced he was leaving the company to discover the next big thing.

Want to build an iOS app like Tweetie and sell your company to Twitter?  Check Brichter’s half hour Stanford developing iOS apps lesson, below… Read more