Planetary, Version 2

We’re proud to announce that version 2.0 of Planetary, our celestial music player for iPad, is now available for download in the iTunes App Store!

Bloom Planetary 2 screenshot

To learn more about how Planetary was made, check-out Robert’s in-depth behind-the-scenes post and the extra notes on his personal portfolio site, or read on for a summary of “What’s New”:

Planetary 2.0 features a full graphical update: new galaxy detail, solar flares, eclipses, atmospheric glow, accretion disks and much more fine detail at planet and moon level. Additional detail is available for iPad 2.

To address your most popular feature requests we’ve added in-app support for playlist selection and shuffle/repeat modes.

Other new features include optional automatic camera motion (great for long playlists!), gyroscope support for iPad 2 and scale and speed sliders to adjust the universe to your tastes.

Several small bugs with version one are also fixed and Planetary 2.0 has much better interactive performance, especially when flying between planets and when interacting with the playhead slider.

Many thanks for all the feedback and kind words we received about version 1 – keep it coming!

Beginnings and Endings

This second release of Planetary also marks the departure of our colleague Robert Hodgin. You might remember that we announced Robert had joined us as Creative Director earlier this year. With hindsight we realize it would have been more appropriate for him to join us as artist in residence for the duration of the Planetary project. In practice that’s what his role has been, and he’s made the choice to step away at this point.

Robert returns to pursuing his own projects and plans to increase his contributions to the Cinder library. We’ll continue to use Cinder in future Bloom projects too so we’re very excited about this and wish him well in all his future endeavors. Thanks Robert, it’s been a fantastic journey!

What Next?

We hope to play host to more artists-in-residence in future, without blending that process with a more traditional production role unless that’s the right thing to do. If you’re an ambitious digital artist interesed in working with Bloom in this capacity, and helping us define it, please get in touch.

We’re also considering creating a more traditional Creative Director role within our team, if you’re interested in helping us define this role please get in touch.

As with all our openings, we’re not interested in hearing from recruiters or agencies at this time.

Bloom is Hiring

Bloom is a growing start-up based in mid-Market in San Francisco, funded by Betaworks and OATV. Our long term vision is to produce a suite of apps across different devices that combine motion graphics, game design and data visualization to deliver new ways of seeing what’s important. Our current focus is on app development for iOS; our first iPad app Planetary was released last month.

Are you our Design Technologist or Creative Coder?

Do you have recurring dreams involving emergent patterns that make sense out of data in your environment? Maybe that’s just us. Can you imagine playing an instrument that helps you understand and organize information? How about a physics simulation of your social graph? Do you play where others work? Do you aspire to a world where tools take beauty seriously? If you can imagine what we’re describing, you might belong here.


Explore/Create – we’re delivering novel experiences: sometimes we have to discover them first. You should be comfortable operating in uncharted territory: choosing from a broad selection of possibilities, starting from scratch, evaluating what works and what doesn’t, pressing on if things seem promising, turning back if a path turns out to be uninteresting.

Improve/Adapt – after you, our software is our biggest asset. We want to take advantage of the momentum we gather when launching new work to learn from our audience and adapt our products accordingly.

Deliver – we like to play and experiment and we’re also in the business of shipping things. We want people to see our work, preferably sooner rather than later. We’re doing our best to ship early and ship often!


You’ve worked on software that people use. You’ve been paid for your work. You can show us code that you wrote, or interfaces you designed, or preferably both.

If you’re a programming specialist, you’ve worked closely with designers before and know how to ask for help with things and how to work with a visual designer’s direction. You’re not afraid of Photoshop or Illustrator but you don’t mind if someone else takes the lead in that area.

If you’re a visual design specialist, you’ve worked closely with programmers before and you know when to specify things carefully and when to let a programmer do what they do best. You’re not afraid of code but you don’t mind if someone else takes the lead in that area.

If you’re a rare blend of designer and coder, you’re ready to work alongside other folks (specialists and hybrids alike) to achieve results that are greater than you could achieve alone.

If you’re adept at networked application development and technology integration, we want to hear from you too. We hope you love reading esoteric network specifications and reverse engineering protocols and building tools to help data flow. You wonder how systems might scale and how to design those systems for unexpected behaviors and serendipitous discoveries. You’re ready to help us deliver wide streams of data through thin straws and separate the meaningful raw material from the unnecessary noise.


  • designing, prototyping and ideally building complex, interactive, data-driven graphical interfaces
  • experience with one or more of Objective-C, C++, Java, C#, Python, Ruby, Javascript, Lua, Actionscript (or equivalent) and one or more of iOS, Android, Cinder, Processing, OpenFrameworks, XNA, OpenGL, DirectX (or equivalent)
  • portfolio, showreel or links to completed work


  • experience with HTML/CSS/Javascript
  • experience with a server-side language and web stack (Ruby e.g. Rails, Python e.g. Django, Node.js e.g. Express)
  • other fun things: knowledge of OpenGL shaders (GLSL), WebGL, physics simulations, etc.
  • experience with version control, ideally git

Big Bonus Points:

  • completed and shipped an app for iOS or Android, ideally using 3D OpenGL
  • shipped a game to any platform implementing high-end graphics and physics engines
  • good writing skills, for internal documentation but also for blogging, tweeting, press etc.
  • experience with 3D software, motion graphics, video editing, special effects
  • deep network experience (HTTP, sockets, zeroconf, TCP, UDP, etc.)
  • managed complex collaborative projects with git, xcode, etc.
  • surprise us!

OK, Really, Enough Words… That’s Me!

Email us and tell us about yourself (no recruiters or agencies please). Be sure to show us your work (videos are good) and attach a resume if available (LinkedIn does a nice PDF export if it’s been a while). Go for it!


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