The iMore Hall of Fame recognizes the apps and creators that have advanced and inspired the community through the insanely great application of Apple technologies.
25 years are required, following a recording's debut, before it can qualify for the rock and roll hall of fame. Five years are required, following a player's retirement, before they can qualify for the baseball hall of fame. And only a handful are inducted each year.
The iMore Hall of Fame is modeled similarly. Apps have to be on the market for at least five years before they, and their creators, can be inducted, and we've limited our selections to a maximum of ten inductees per year, including both OS X and iOS.
Last year we began playing catch-up with the Mac, inducting for both 2012 and 2013. This year we complete that process, inducting for both 2014 and 2015. Half a decade post-launch, we also get to include our first generation of iPad apps and creators as well.
This is the iMore Hall of Fame.
Lisa Bettany, John Casasanta, Jorge Llubia, Pedro Cuenca, and Wolfgang Bartleme
Camera+ brought together the photography acumen of Lisa Bettany, the app-crafting skills of Tap Tap Tap, and the design sensibilities of Wolfgang Bartleme. At a time when Apple had begun to get serious about the iPhone camera, but was focusing on simplicity and everyday photography, Camera+ took picture taking to another level.
If there is no higher compliment than having your features assimilated by the system, Camera+ has been complimented at least twice: Apple has adopted the app's use of the volume buttons to trigger the shutter and the display to simulate a front-facing flash.
Today, Camera+ offers full-on manual controls, a host of post-processing features and effects, and has recently added a free version with in-app purchasing options, making it accessible to those who want to try before they buy.
Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, Uri Levine
iOS 4 brought limited background access to the App Store, including turn-by-turn navigation. Many apps considered that enough. For Waze, founded by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar, Uri Levine, it was only the beginning. With novel crowdsourcing that combined aspects of social networking and gamification, they assured Waze always had not just the latest information but typically the most useful.
Waze was sold to Google in 2013, reportedly for $1.3 billion. It continues to support both iPhone and iPad, and commuters everywhere rely on the app to get them where they're going—and to avoid any and all possible issues while getting there.
iWork for iPad:
Roger Rosner and team
When Apple introduced the original iPad, the company introduced versions of the iWork suite to go with it: Keynote for presentations, Numbers for spreadsheets, and Pages for word processing. All of them were, at the time, a revelation. After decades of tablet PC productivity software, nothing approaching mobile- or touch-friendly had been achieved. Yet the iWork team, under vice-president Roger Rosner, delivered it in year one.
The iWork for iOS engine eventually made its way back to the Mac and the web, laying the foundation for truly cross-platform and cloud-capable apps. iPad versions of the company's iLife apps followed shortly thereafter: GarageBand for music and iMovie for videos. All set the bar for generations of iPad apps to come.
Mike McCue and Evan Doll
On a traditional computer, powering through news was all about RSS feeds, robust reader apps, and killer keyboard shortcuts. With the advent of iOS and social networks, however, news became about follows and friends, mobility and immersive multitouch gestures—in other words, Flipboard. Founded by Mike McCue and Evan Doll,
You could still add RSS but you could also add your Twitter and Facebook accounts and carefully curated topics as well. Then you simply swiped your way across the screen and watched the news unfold before your eyes.
Flipboard called itself the world's first social magazine, but it was more than that: It was news reimagined for the modern age.
Matt Comi and Neven Mrgan
The Incident was the first collaboration between developer Matt Comi and Panic designer Neven Mrgan. It featured everything that makes indie games great, including delightful 8-bit art, immersive game play, and amazing music and sound effects. But Comi and Mrgan didn't stop there. They also pushed the boundaries of iOS gameplay by enabling AirPlay and letting you use your iPad as a controller. The look might have been retro, but the implementation was ahead of its time.
Comi and Mrgan now have a second game on the iPhone and iPad, Space Age, and just launched it on the new Apple TV as well. And yes, it's every bit as delightful.
In-app purchases. Freemium. Free-to-play. Consumables. Today, for good or for ill, those are the games that live atop the App Store charts. And it was Zynga and the work of its former iPhone lead, Amanda Wixted that played a huge role in making it so. Live Poker, Mafia Wars, Street Racing, Vampire Wars, and Farmville all launched for iOS under Wixted's watch. Prior to that, at Namco, so did the iOS versions of PAC-MAN and Ms PAC-MAN.
The original versions of Farmville and many of the others have long since been retired, but their sequels and the many games inspired by them still own the App Store and a ridiculous amount of our time. Wixsted currently runs her own consultancy, Meteor Grove Software, where she's helped shipped titles including Maze Crusade, W.E.L.D.E.R, National Geographic's DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, and more.
Gus and Kirstin Mueller
For years, the Mac community hoped Apple would make a competitor to Adobe's Photoshop. Instead, the comany built frameworks like CoreGraphics that enabled indie developers to make their own competitors. Some took a very Photoshop-like approach, while Gus Mueller's Acorn did something different. Billed as an image editor for humans, it was integrated, focused, and most importantly—approachable. It gave Mac users a real alternative.
Mueller has passed on custody of his personal Wiki app, VoodooPad, but continues work on Acorn with his wife, Kirstin, handling support, finance, and the rest of the business. Now in its fifth major version, Acorn has added more powerful layers, filters, and effects, vector graphics and pro tools, but it's never lost sight of its identity or its focus.
While John Gruber is best known within the Apple community for his webite, Daring Fireball, his "text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers," Markdown, has been no less influential. By making formatted text almost as legible as plain text, Gruber made the web almost as easy to write—and return to re-write—as it is to read.
Numerous publications and innumerable articles are written in it across the internet every day, including our own here at iMore. And although Markdown is not an app, there are dozens of Markdown and Markdown-enabled apps across many platforms. There's even a Swift version now in Apple's own Xcode.
Marc Edwards and team
iStat Pro was released in mid-2005. iStat Menus in May of 2007. iStat Menus 3—the first paid version—in April 2010. In that time it's gone from Dashboard widget to Menubar item, from being localized on the Mac to remotely accessible via iOS devices, from being marketed under the iSlayer name to unified under the Bjango banner. And all that time, through all those incarnations, in all those incredibly convenient places, iStat has been under the careful, design-focused guidance of Marc Edwards. Edwards doesn't just design software, of course: He also has written many acclaimed articles on designing for Apple's platform.
While he's spearheaded many other apps and games for the Mac and iOS over the years as well, they've all been shelved as he and his team work on their Pieta: an interface design app named Skala. (Coming soonish.)
Toni Trujillo Vian and team
Once upon a time CodeWarrior was how developers made apps for Apple's platform. But then NeXT bought Apple and concerted effort was made to turn WebObjects' Project Builder tab in Interface Builder into something more.—into what became Xcode. Lead by Toni Trujillo Vian, then director of interactive tools, the first version, which launched in the fall of 2003, had an updated interface, distributed build support, Code Sense indexing, and features like Zero Link and Fix & Continue, which were championed by then incoming vice president of tools and technologies, Ted Goldstein.
Thanks to continuous, concerted development, Apple giving it away for free, the switch to Intel, and constant support from developer relations, evangelism, and others, it was the only IDE left standing. Today, Xcode development is lead by Chris Lattner of LLVM fame, and is how developers make apps not only for the Mac but for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV as well.
Sophia Teutschler doesn't just make apps—she crafts them. While Cover Sutra for the Mac is a classic, it's the work she did for the iPhone and iPad that helped inform and inspire the very first generation of mobile application development. Teutschler co-founded tap tap tap and founded Sophiestication Software; her On this day…, Tipulator, Groceries, the Apple Design Award-winning Articles, and Magical Weather are all examples of thoughtful design, delightful interaction, and what can be achieved through focus and dedication.
Teutschler is currently working at Apple where her sensibilities will no doubt influence many more developers and designers for many more years to come.
Paul Haddad and Mark Jardine
Paul Haddad and Mark Jardine met at Oakley, where they decided to try their hand at making an iPhone app. From there, Haddad's code and Jardine's designs became Weightbot. Their incredible mix of finely honed functionality and personality-infused design made it both enjoyable and unmistakable. Convertbot, Pastebot, Calcbot, Weightbot and Tweetbot all followed. Each a character in their robot-themed world. And much like Buffy's acclaimed Hush episode did for dialog, Tweetbot 3 showed their skills were far more than heavy-design deep.
Haddad, Jardine, along with Todd Thomas continue to work on Calcbot, recently releasing the Mac version, on Tweetbot for iPhone and Mac, and on whatever comes next.
Rob Murray's studio, Firemint, made mobile games for years, and even did some contract work for the iPhone in the early days. Then Murray decided to take some time for himself. And the result was Flight Control, one of the first very simple, very addictive casual games for the iPhone. Next came Real Racing, a racing game so powerful it pushed the platform to the limits. Every time Apple released a new iPhone, Firemint would make Real Racing faster, more in depth, and more extensible. Long before the big gaming engines hit, Real Racing was the state of the art of mobile gaming. And they won Apple Design Awards for both apps along the way.
MLB At Bat
At WWDC 2008 Jeremy Schoenherr showed off something that seemed miraculous — live baseball brought straight to the iPhone in the form of updates and video highlights. It was called MLB at Bat. In 2009, they added audio and won an Apple Design Award, but they also won the hearts of everyone who loved the game.
Now, MLB at Bat brings streaming video from multiple games to a nationwide audience and they do it so well companies like HBO have sought them out to help jump-start their own online efforts.
Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen, Kim Dikert, Mikael Hed
Rovio, originally Relude, was founded in 2003 by Niklas Hed, Jarno Väkeväinen, Kim Dikert, and Mikael Hed. They changed their name in 2005 but they didn't sling-shot themselves to fame until 2009, when they released a Crush the Castle-style game called Angry Birds. It created not only a franchise but a new global brand, including cartoons and toys. Oh. So. Many. Toys.
Brent and Sheila Simmons
NetNewsWire was created by the husband and wife team of Brent Simmons and Sheila Simmons for their company, Ranchero Software. It launched in 2002 and quickly became the way to power through RSS feeds on the Mac. More than that, it became the way the industry discovered and shared news and opinions within the community. If someone wrote it on the internet, everyone saw it in NetNewsWire.
NewsGator bought NetNewsWire in 2005 and Simmons kept working on it there, launching iPhone and iPad versions of the app to coincide with the release of Apple's new hardware. In 2011 BlackPixel took over both ownership of and development on NetNewsWire and shipped version 4.0 earlier this year.
Daniel Counsell started Realmac Software in 2002 and in 2004 released RapidWeaver, a template-based website editor for the Mac. RapidWeaver has been in continuous development ever since, outlasting even Apple's iWeb.
Today, RealMac also develops Clear, a to-do list organizer available on Mac and iOS; Ember, a digital scrapbooking app that enables you to capture and organize images and web pages that inspire you; and most recently, Typed, a minimal text editor that helps remove distractions so you can focus on typing.
Music has been a part of the Mac and iPhone for years, with iTunes and the iPod (and later Music) app bringing songs and instrumentals to our ears no matter where we roamed. But what about learning your favorite tunes? SuperMegaUltraGroovy's Capo, crafted by Chris Liscio, sought to let anyone figure out how to play songs from their libraries. Liscio's brilliant usage of the OS X SDKs let users adjust song pitch and tempo without changing the inherent tone of the song—slow down a White Stripes song by 50 percent, and the notes and chords stayed the same.
From its humble 2009 Mac beginnings (2010 for iOS), Capo has grown and evolved, adding automatic chord transcription, EQ, and—in 2015—a revamped isolation engine for both platforms called Neptune. It enters 2016 not only as one of the absolute best apps for learning music by ear, but an absolute master class in pushing your OS X and iOS apps to the limits—and beyond.
It just works, and it works well. For backup software, that's some of the highest praise we can give, and we're happy to give it to Dave Nanian's SuperDuper. The app made waves on the Mac in 2004 for being a great backup utility, but also the perfect one for tinkerers. Long before OS X's sandboxing came into play, there was the SuperDuper backup Sandbox; it let you create a barebones boot drive which you could then use to test new software and other utilities without risking your main system installation.
In the years since, SuperDuper has added fantastic feature after feature, making the backup process simple and effective. It works seamlessly alongside OS X's built-in Time Machine utility to give users more flexibility with their backups—and offers a fully-bootable backup option, to boot. (Some pun intended.)
How does a blog-editor traverse the Mac development community, build a name for itself, and rise to greatness in the span of a decade? MarsEdit's success and stability has its developers and fans to thank. It began with Brent Simmons as NetNewsWire's tiny blog utility buddy, was worked on by Gus Mueller for a time, and in 2007 found its home—and lots of love—with Red Sweater Software and Daniel Jalkut.
Jalkut has built MarsEdit into one of the strongest editors on the platform, offering integration with Wordpress and social media sites, WYSIWYG editing, a new look, and so much more. Today, anyone who's ever lost work due to a browser crash has quickly found, and found solace in, MarsEdit.
Marco Arment first gained fame from Instapaper. Both before Instapaper, as the back-end architect behind the social blogging platform Tumblr, and after, as the founder of The Magazine, Arment's skills as a developer, and his thoughtfulness when it comes to interactivity, helped shape the modern form of text-based content on mobile.
Dr. Ge Wang, Jeannie Yang, and Prerna Gupta
Smule was created by Dr. Ge Wang of Stanford and Jeff Smith in 2008 with the goal of making music both social and mobile. That first hit was Ocarina, which let iPhone owners blow music around the world. They continued with Magic Guitar, Magic Piano, and brought autotune to the iPhone with I am T-Pain.
In 2011 Smule acquired Khush, a company co-founded by Prerna Gupta, who became Smule's chief product officer before leaving in 2013. Dr. Wang left Smule in 2013 to return to Stanford. Jeannie Yang is currently chief product and design officer at Smule and the company continues to develop for Apple's platforms, including the new Apple TV App Store.
Loren Brichter seemingly came out of nowhere to make Tweetie, a Twitter app that looked and worked as though Apple themselves had made it. Perhaps that's because Brichter had previously been secreted away on the original iPhone team. With Tweetie, Brichter created pull-to-refresh, which was later integrated into iOS, and overlapping panels, which influenced a generation of iPad apps.
In 2010 Twitter bought Tweetie and hired Brichter. The Atebits apps became the official Twitter apps for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Brichter stayed at Twitter until 2011 when he resurrected Atebits and went on to create a second phenomenon: Letterpress.
Early in his career, Joe Hewitt worked on Firebug for Firefox. He joined Facebook in 2007 and released an interface framework for iPhone webapps called iUI. In 2009, he followed it up with a native framework, Three20. Between the two, he managed to capture an incredible amount of Facebook's social power and put it into an iPhone app — an iPhone app that went on to become the most popular in history.
Ngmoco was founded in 2008 by former Electronic Arts executive Neil Young. They rose to fame on the App Store thanks to iPhone-centric titles like the Apple Design Award winning Topple 2, the widely-acclaimed Rolando 2, Star Defense, Eliminate, and more. In the days before Game Center, they created their own network called PlusPlus. They also began to experiment with an in-app purchase-based business models, helping start a trend that now dominates the App Store.
Ngmoco was acquired by DeNA in 2010 and folded into their mobile platform system.
Roustem Karimov and Dave Teare
In 2005 Roustem Karimov and Dave Teare founded Agile Web Solutions and in 2006 they launched 1Password, which managed to make web logins on the Mac both more convenient and more secure. In 2010 they bought the Knox from Marko Karppinen & Co. Together, the two products provide for top-notch Mac security: secure and easy to use data encryption; and a "21st century digital wallet" that stores all your passwords so you don't have to remember them.
Agile Web Solutions rebranded as AgileBits in 2011, and while they continue to produce world-class Mac software, they've also brought 1Password to iOS, Windows Phone, and Android as well.
Philip Goward, Greg Scown, and Jean MacDonald
Philip Goward, founder of OnMyMac, and Greg Scown, founder of Smile, joined forces in 2003 to create SmileOnMyMac and create renowned business and productivity apps, including PDFpen, TextExpander, and DiscLabel. With former partner Jean MacDonald, they also helped set the standard for Apple community support and sponsorship.
Though they rebranded to Smile Software in 2011 to better reflect their expansion into iOS apps, they remain dedicated to the Mac and to the Apple community.
The Omni Group:
Ken Case, Wil Shipley, and Tim Wood
Omni Development was originally founded by Wil Shipley, Ken Case, and Tim Woods in 1989. They started by creating database software for NeXTStep. After Apple acquired NeXT and made NeXTStep the basis of OS X, Omni started writing Mac software.
Shipley left with Mike Matas to form Delicious Monster in 2004, but Wood and Case continue to steward the company forward, developing software like OmniOutliner, its outlining software; OmniGraffle, its diagramming software; task management tool OmniFocus and project management app OmniPlan. And in the process they've won 5 Apple Design Awards and an honorable mention.
Michael Rogers and Ted Staloch
Brothers-in-law Michael Rogers and Ted Staloch started Aspyr in 1996 in a living room. Porting the original Tomb Raider game to the Mac put Aspyr on the map as a publisher of A-list games on the Mac, and making deals with leading PC game companies has kept it there ever since — The Sims wouldn't have come to the Mac if not for Aspyr, along with the Civilization series and countless other big hits. Aspyr's most recent releases include Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.
In 2008, Aspyr won an Apple Design Award for Guitar Hero III. And, to this day, when you see a hot new game hit the Mac, even odds are Aspyr brought it there.
Al Dion and Larry Davis were already working for Apple when the Macintosh came out, so they understood the power of the platform and how to get the most out of it. That's one way to build a business that's lasted 30 years. Al's been on his own for many years, and his business publishes the gold standard for Mac disk recovery: DiskWarrior.
In 16 years, DiskWarrior has saved countless Mac users from heartache, not to mention the system administrators, techs and others responsible for keeping those Macs working. Thirty years later, Alsoft's just come out with DiskWarrior 5. The new version of the venerable data recovery and optimization utility has been completely rewritten to take advantage of newer Mac APIs, which should give it another 16 years of life at least.
Craig Hockenberry and Gedeon Maheux
Twitterrific, in addition to being the first native Twitter app for iPhone, was the first native Twitter client for Mac, and one of the first on the iPad. It was the first to use a bird icon in association with Twitter, the first to describe a Twitter post as a Tweet. It was first to provide a character counter, the first to support @replies (now @mentions) and conversations. And, while still in beta, Twitterrific won an Apple Design Award. The list goes on and on.
iPhone Web Apps
The first official way to develop for the iPhone was web apps, and Google was born of the web. So, it made complete sense that, in December of 2007, Google took their best-in-class desktop web apps — Google Search, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Reader — and made them best-in-class experiences for the iPhone as well. All you had to do was go to google.com on your iPhone, and a unified interface made everything else easy to get to and easy to use. It was what the web on the iPhone was supposed to be.
Today Google still makes sure their web apps work great with the iPhone but, recognizing that most people prefer apps on mobile, they've also created a full suite of iOS apps as well.
Lucas Newman and Adam Betts
Lights Off was the first native game for the iPhone. It launched in August of 2007, only two months after the original iPhone went on sale, and 10 months before the official App Store launched. Created by Lucas Newman, a developer at Delicious Monster at the time, and designer Adam Betts, it was built in 3 days as part of the C-4 Iron Coder event.
Newman later went to work at Apple. Betts continues to work in interface and graphics design. And Lights Off is now under the care of High Caffeine Content
Tap Tap Revolution:
Nate True, Guy English, and Louie Mantia
Tap Tap Revolution, created by Nate True and later renamed Tap Tap Revenge by Tapulous and rearchitected by Guy English and Louie Mantia, it went on to become the first blockbuster gaming franchise on the iPhone.
Don Melton, Richard Williamson, Darin Adler, Adele Peterson, and teams
WebKit and Safari, forked from Konquerer/KHTML, were developed for Apple by Don Melton and his team under the codename Alexander. Thanks to its small footprint and high-performance, it not only gave Apple a browser for the Mac, but due to the efforts of Richard Williamson and his team, the first real mobile browser as well in Safari for iPhone. Apple also had the foresight to dedicate an evangelist, Vicki Murley, to help increase its adoption.
Today, the team is led by Darin Adler, with Maciej Stachowiak heading WebKit and Adele Peterson heading Mobile Safari. That Google, Palm, BlackBerry, and others all eventually turned to Apple's web technologies for their own browsers—and even operating systems—is the highest compliment that can be paid to the project and the team behind it.
Bare Bones Software:
Rich Siegel first released BBEdit in 1992 as a freeware text editor for the Mac when he was still an engineer at printer maker GCC Technologies. Two years and several iterations of BBEdit later, Siegel founded Bare Bones Software with Patrick Woolsey and Michael Fryar. The history of BBEdit is the history of the Mac. From Classic to Carbon to Cocoa, from the web to the Mac App Store and back. Two decades later, and BBedit remains what countless Mac and web developers — and writers — depend on it to make sense of their code.
Bare Bones continues to develop BBEdit and also makes Yojimbo, a powerful information organization tool available for Mac and iPad, and TextWrangler, a freeware text editor that incorporates some of the same powerful features as BBEdit.
Steven Frank and Cabel Sasser
Steven Frank and Cabel Sasser teamed up to create Panic in 1998. Together, they created an enduring hit: Transmit, an FTP client for Mac as well designed as it was engineered. Over the years they expanded their repertoire with Audion, an MP3 player that gave Mac customers easy access to digital music before Apple released iTunes; Unison, a Usenet newsreader; and Coda, a powerful integrated web-development environment. For their work, they've won the Apple Design Award four times and been runner up twice.
This year, Unison's hit the end of the road, but that doesn't mean Panic killed it: They released it for free following a big update that added the most asked-for feature. That sort of loyalty to its customers is why Panic is so beloved by the Mac community.
Paul Kafasis, Alex Lagutin, and Quentin Carnicelli
Alex Lagutin and Paul Kafasis began working together in 1998 at @soft Software, developers of a Mac MP3 player called MacAMP. When they left, they acquired the MacAMP name and, joined by Quentin Carnicelli, they released a new MP3 player with a plug-in architecture. Lagutin had the idea that a MacAMP plug-in could capture audio from other Mac applications, and the concept of Audio Hijack was born. Lagutin, Carnicelli, and Kafasis started Rogue Amoeba in 2002 with the release of Audio Hijack (achieving its Ultimate Form as Audio Hijack Pro), and Rogue Amoeba has been creating amazing Mac audio software ever since.
Their current apps include Fission, for fast, lossless audio editing; AirFoil, which lets you transmit any audio from your Mac to remote devices including Apple TV and AirPlay speakers; Internet radio station broadcasting tool Nicecast and Piezo, which lets you record audio from Mac apps easily; and more. Most recently the company released Audio Hijack 3, with an all-new, even more accessible interface by designer Christa Mrgan.
After a career that included a stint at game giant Sega, David Stephen started Feral in 1996. He saw a Mac market that was desperate for A-list gaming and, today, there's no part of that market Feral doesn't touch: If you want a LEGO game the entire family can enjoy, Feral has you covered (more than a dozen to date). Strategy games? Feral has everything from Black and White 2 to XCOM Enemy Unknown, the Total War series, and more. Racing games? How about Grid 2 Reloaded Edition and F1 2013. And the list goes on and on. In 2012 they won the Apple Design Award for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Thanks to Feral, Mac owners don't have to look longingly at the games on other platforms. They're too busy playing them on the Mac.