Federico Viticci

7718 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.

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Apple Highlights Final Cut X Usage in Hollywood Film ‘Focus’

Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY:

Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is finally ready for its big close-up.

The software, derided by many professional video editors when it launched in 2011, was just used for the first time in a big Hollywood production: Focus, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie.

This is an important showcase for Apple's FCPX (which had a problematic debut in 2011) and the company has launched a dedicated mini-site with a lot of photos and details on the production.

Apple writes:

Using Light Iron’s Live Play app, the production team could view same-day H.264 versions of the dailies on iPad from anywhere on set. And editing began just hours after the camera rolled. Metadata markers allowed the edit crew to quickly find and use the best shots. “When you’re cutting a movie, it’s a struggle for clarity,” says Requa. “You get fatigued and you get really tired of your footage, and you need access to a new point of view. A lot of times, the metadata provided an insight into what we were thinking when we shot it.”

Between Focus and Modern Family, Apple seems to be getting momentum back among professionals in the entertainment industry (at least in terms of public acknowledgment). Check out Apple's website for links to the gear and plugins used in Focus, and watch the trailer with footage from the movie below.

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How Modern Family Filmed an Episode Entirely with iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks

Last week, ABC announced that today's episode of Modern Family has been entirely recorded using iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. BuzzFeed has the details on how it was done, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and an interview with show co-creator and executive producer Steve Levitan. I won't spoil it, so go watch the video here.

This bit was interesting:

And while the episode many seem to stray from the show’s traditional format, Levitan explains that over the ABC comedy’s six seasons, certain scenes have been shot on iPhones for a variety of reasons, but viewers most likely didn’t notice the difference between something shot with a sophisticated digital camera and an iPhone camera. For example, “there was a scene where Manny (Rico Rodriguez) was dressed as a mascot at a basketball game, so rather than recreating a whole basketball game, I quickly shot my son’s basketball game on my iPhone,” Levitan told BuzzFeed News in an email. “Then we filmed Rico against a green screen, and inserted the shot into the episode.”

Pretty incredible that TV shows can be shot using a phone and you won't even notice.

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Origami 2.0 and Origami Live

Facebook's mobile prototyping tool, Origami, has been updated to version 2.0 with plenty of new features that include code export, Sketch integration, and an iOS app. Called Origami Live and available for free on the App Store, Origami Live lets designers try prototypes in real time on iOS devices with interactions and animations.

Facebook's Brandon Walkin writes on Medium:

Origami Live has changed how we design products at Facebook. It lets us interact with our prototypes on an iPhone or iPad while we edit them live. We can quickly try new ideas — using multitouch, device sensors, etc. — and fine-tune them with ease, without writing any code. Then we hand over our device to team members or users and have them try out a high-fidelity prototype that looks and feels like a final product.

And about the new presentation mode in Origami 2.0:

You’re able to go into full screen, show off your prototype in a phone with a hand and a touch point in front of beautiful backgrounds — like a mountain top, subway station, or even a Beyoncé concert. Personally, I’m fond of the one where you’re using your phone on a canoe (but somehow also paddling?). This gets presented all while you’re controlling the prototype with an iPhone or iPad running Origami Live or with your trackpad. If you want to show someone a multitouch or phone rotation interaction, they can use it on the device and the screen will be mirrored live on the TV to the rest of the room so others can see what’s going on.

You can check out Origami here and browse the new examples here.

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Arq for Mac Adds Support for Dropbox Backups

Arq 4.8 is now available, and it includes support for backing up to your own Dropbox account!

If you already have a Dropbox with 1TB of space, now you can use that space for your Arq backups. The Arq backups go into the folder /Apps/Arq in your Dropbox account.

I've always wanted to try Arq and use the space I have in my Dropbox account. The latest Arq adds support for Dropbox backups and it even lets you combine multiple destinations (such as Dropbox + Google Drive or Dropbox + Amazon S3) to have specific files in locations you choose. Version 4.8 is a free update for existing customers.

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Twitter’s Dilemma

Twitter is two things. It is a concept — everyone in the world connected in real time — that’s so obvious in retrospect that it is impossible to imagine it not existing. It is also a product that has had a rough time living up to that concept.

A good piece by Matthew Panzarino on Twitter's recent launches and struggles to establish a product that makes sense to new users and investors. I'm curious to see where Twitter takes the service in 2015 – Panzarino mentions a redesign, which could be interesting (especially on iOS).

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Paperless Expenses and Evernote Scannable

I was in the process of finalizing my taxes for the past year last week, and, much to my chagrin, I realized that I had a drawer full of printed invoices for purchases that I hadn't converted to PDF and sent to my accountant. It was the perfect excuse to properly test Evernote's Scannable app in a real-life scenario alongside the iPhone 6 Plus I'm trying for the next couple of weeks.

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Virtual: I Was Sad for the Lack of a Horse

This week Federico tells his story of setting up his 3DS, Myke bemoans Pokemon Shuffle and they both discuss Majora's Mask 3D and Alto's Adventure.

A good show on last week's Virtual. If you haven't read it, check out my review of Alto's Adventure here (and expect more this week). You can listen to the episode here.

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Igloo: An Intranet You’ll Actually Like [Sponsor]

Why invest in the latest, sleekest devices if you are going to use them to stare at an intranet website that looks like it was built in the 90’s?

Not only can Igloo be customized to look exactly like your brand, but with its responsive design, it’s automatically optimized for almost any device you’re using, including the latest iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. And just like your favourite Apple devices, Igloo helps you do your best work.

Share files, coordinate calendars, provide status updates and manage projects. Igloo’s not just for your traditional intranet stuff like HR policies and expense forms. It also lets you work better together with your teams. And it keeps getting better.

Our latest upgrade, Viking, gives you more control over how you interact with documents, gather feedback and make changes. We’ve even added the ability to track who has read critical information (like read receipts in your email, but less annoying) to keep everyone on the same page.

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Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.


How Japan’s Line App Became a Pop Culture Phenomenon

When the young people of Tokyo want to go shopping, they head for Harajuku. A fabled wellspring of youth culture, the neighborhood offers international retail chains on its main streets and tiny purveyors of bleeding-edge fashion in its back alleys. On this Saturday morning in mid-December, a throng of extremely excited twentysomething men and women crowd into the grand opening of a 1,700-square-foot shop located across the street from H&M and Forever 21. As they enter the store, they're greeted by two costumed characters: a deadpan bear and an exuberant

I've wanted to understand Line for a while now, and Harry McCracken published an in-depth look at the company today. Fascinating story and impressive ability to turn something “simple” like messaging into wholly different monetization routes.

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