Federico Viticci

7662 posts on MacStories since April 2009

Federico is the founder and editor-in-chief of MacStories, where he writes about Apple with a focus on apps, developers, and mobile software. He can also be found in the iBooks Store and on his two podcasts, Connected and Virtual.


The iPad Introduction, Five Years Later

Five years later, Federico, Myke and Stephen re-visit Steve Jobs’ announcement of the original iPad.

On January 27, 2010, Steve Jobs introduced the iPad. Five years later, the iPad has sold over 200 million units and it has become my main computer. So, obviously, we'd have a special episode of Connected to revisit the keynote and its message after five years.

I'm very happy about how this turned out. We put a lot of work into it – don't miss the rumor section before the actual keynote – and it's been fun to look back at the origin of the device I now use every day. You can listen to the episode here.

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Andy Baio on The Internet Archive

Andy Baio writes about a topic that is dear to me: The Internet Archive and software preservation.

The Internet Archive is a chaotic, beautiful mess. It’s not well-organized, and its tools for browsing and searching the wealth of material on there are still rudimentary, but getting better.

But this software emulation project feels to me, like the kind of thing Google would have tried in 2003. Big, bold, technically challenging, and for the greater good.

Read the post, then go listen back to episode 13 of Connected if you missed it.


Slack to Add Voice, Video, and Screen Sharing

Today, Slack announced they have acquired Screenhero, a real-time collaboration service with support for video and audio. Their technology will allow Slack to integrate voice, video, and screen sharing in the main Slack apps.

Around the same time we started building Slack, another team began building their vision; a service specializing in voice, video and screen sharing that would allow people working remotely to work as if they were in the same room, and people in the same room to work better than ever.

That team was Screenhero. And the more we got to know them, the more we liked the cut of their jib.

We use Slack at Relay, and, like many others, I like its integration with other services and apps. I always wondered if Slack would ever take on Skype, and I'm curious to see if what they're building could be a possible solution for podcasters who are forced to use Skype today.

See also: The Verge and TechCrunch on today's news, and Mat Honan's profile of Slack founder Stewart Butterfield from last year.


Spotify Gestures and History

For the past couple of months, I've been using Spotify again (I moved from Beats Music) because my girlfriend and I were looking for a Family subscription that wasn't Rdio and I was interested in Spotify's iPad app. Beats Music is still extremely dear to my heart, but I'm missing the ability to create a Family account and I find their iPad app to be inferior in terms of navigation and presentation to Spotify's. When Apple fixes these aspects, I expect to reconsider a switch.

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Apple Q1 2015 Results: $74.6 Billion Revenue, 74.5 Million iPhones, 21.4 Million iPads Sold

Apple has published their Q1 2015 financial results for the quarter that ended in December 2014. The company posted revenue of $74.6 billion. The company sold 21.4 million iPads, 74.5 million iPhones, and 5.5 million Macs, earning a quarterly net profit of $18 billion.

“We’d like to thank our customers for an incredible quarter, which saw demand for Apple products soar to an all-time high,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Our revenue grew 30 percent over last year to $74.6 billion, and the execution by our teams to achieve these results was simply phenomenal.”

The quarter sets a new record for Apple: before today's results, the company's record was $57.6 billion revenue reported for Q1 2014.

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iOS 8.1.3, OS X 10.10.2 Released

Apple today released software updates for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, bringing bug fixes and stability improvements alongside some welcome enhancements to the iOS update process and Yosemite's iCloud Drive.

In the iOS 8.1.3 changelog (pictured above), Apple notes that they have reduced the amount of storage required to perform a software update. This is an important change as Apple has been criticized for releasing OTA (over-the-air) software updates for iPhones and iPads that required users to free up too much storage on their devices. Notably, iOS 8.1.3 also includes fixes for Spotlight, which often failed to find results for apps previously downloaded and installed.

In OS X Yosemite, Apple resolved a series of issues with WiFi connections, slow performance in loading webpages, and a security issue with loading remote Mail content in Spotlight. iCloud Drive content can now be browsed in Time Machine, the company's local backup solution for OS X.

Both iOS 8.1.3 and OS X 10.10.2 are now available in Software Update.

Alfred Remote

Very nice addition to Alfred for Mac released today: Alfred Remote lets you control Alfred and even trigger workflows from an iOS device. I've been testing the app and, while not for me (I work on my iOS devices), I think it's a great solution for those who get work done at a Mac and wouldn't mind keeping an iPhone or iPad next to it to offload some shortcuts.

The app is easy to use, with large touch targets and a page-based UI to organize and launch shortcuts. Besides files and folders, I like how you can trigger workflows from an iPhone – nice, say, to wake up in the morning and prepare your Mac for work before you sit down.

Now this is where things get really fun! Add a “Remote Trigger” to a workflow to allow you to launch it from your Remote. A single tap can launch multiple things; For example the “Morning tasks” action launches all of my essential websites and apps to start the day at once.

Alfred Remote is $4.99 on the App Store and requires Alfred 2.6 for Mac.


Vine Is a Window

Speaking of video on Twitter, Mat Honan has an excellent take on two years of Vine:

That’s not to say there isn’t a performance element to most of the year’s best. There very much is. Vine’s best is still largely dominated by dancing and singing and sports and music and gags. And I would argue that the best stuff on there is still mostly people performing.

But increasingly the popular clips have a documentary element; a human element. I’m guessing there will be quite a few really beautiful Vines of the Juno snowstorm, and part of what will be so gorgeous about them will be the futility of man in the face of nature.

You can find the best Vines of 2014 here.