Federico Viticci

7372 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.


Desire and Purpose

I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s announcement of the Apple Watch. Like WWDC ’14, it’s a lot to process in a single day – you’re looking at years worth of design and product vision condensed in two hours of video and a massive website update. I’m not sure I’ll fully grasp the potential of Apple’s wearable even after its release.

But I noticed this: I didn’t feel the same impact of the original iPhone and iPad keynotes. I’m not referring to the product, the pace of Apple executives on stage, or Steve Jobs. I’m talking about the message that I was left with and the explanations that Apple gave to demonstrate their new watch and how it can fit in people’s everyday life. It felt different.

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Apple Watch: Our Complete Overview

At a media event held earlier today at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California, Apple officially unveiled the Apple Watch, the company’s highly anticipated wearable device.

Starting at $349 and launching in early 2015, Apple Watch was introduced as Apple’s “most personal device ever created”, aiming to blend style and function, complex tech and self-expression by offering a mix of traditional timekeeping with a variety of health and fitness-related features, apps, integration with iPhone, and a brand new input method called Digital Crown.

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Apple Asks Developers to Start Submitting iOS 8 Apps

Following a media event in Cupertino and an official release date for iOS 8, Apple has now begun notifying registered developers that App Store submissions are open for iOS 8 apps.

Starting today, developers will be able to send their iOS 8-ready apps to Apple for approval; in addition, Apple has also confirmed that developers will be able to start using TestFlight for beta testing (at the moment, only for internal teams), create App Previews, and collect multiple apps in Bundles.

Make sure your apps take advantage of all the great new features in iOS 8, which will soon be available to hundreds of millions of customers around the world.

To prepare your apps for the App Store, download and build with the iOS 8 and Xcode 6 GM seeds from the iOS Dev Center. With these latest seeds, Swift is now final and you can submit your iOS apps written with Swift to the App Store.

iOS 8 adds hundreds of new features such as extensions, custom keyboards, iCloud Photo Library, new group messaging options, and a new Health app. It will be released next week on Wednesday, September 17th.

For more coverage, check out our September 9 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.

Apple Announces iOS 8 Launching on September 17

As widely expected, Apple has today confirmed the official release date of iOS 8 at a media event held at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California. iOS 8 will be released on Wednesday, September 17th, for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Announced at WWDC in June, iOS 8 builds upon last year's redesign of iOS adding major new features such as extensions, custom keyboards, iCloud Photo Library, new group messaging options, and a new Health app. In extending iOS through user customization and developer APIs that let apps reach beyond their sandbox, iOS 8 will focus on offering new powerful functionalities that will create an opportunity for developers to build innovative, more flexible apps.

Apple hasn't announced a Golden Master seed of iOS 8 yet, but it will presumably be released to developers today. Typically the last developer release before a public launch, the GM seed will allow developers to make final preparations to their iOS 8-ready apps and submit them to the App Store.

For more coverage, check out our September 9 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.

Square Enix Announces Game Streaming Service for iOS, Includes Final Fantasy VII and XIII

Square Enix announced their new video game streaming service earlier today, coming next month as an app for iOS and Android. Dive In, slated to launch on October 9th in Japan, will allow iOS users to play Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XIII by streaming them from the company's cloud, for a fee.

Kotaku writes about the games that will be added after the initial rollout:

In November, Final Fantasy VIII and The Last Remnant will be added. December will see Final Fantasy XIII-2, while Lightning Returns Final Fantasy XIII is slated for 2015.

Dive In will let gamers try out the titles in a thirty minute demo, free of charge. Streaming blocks of three days, ten days, thirty days, and 365 days, however, will require a fee—a fee which can vary from game to game.

Prices will vary from around $2 dollars for a three days' worth of streaming to $12 for thirty days. According to the Dive In website, the app will run on both phones and tablets, with a 3Mbps WiFi connection required to stream and play games (6Mbps recommended).

In screenshots posted by Inside Games, Final Fantasy VII and XIII are shown with on-screen controls to make up for the lack of physical input on iOS and Android; at this point, it's not clear whether Dive In will support iOS game controllers or if the app will eventually expand to OS X.

Last month, Square Enix confirmed that they would continue to port older titles in Dragon Quest series to mobile devices. Dive In appears to be part of the company's Project Flare, a technology first announced in November 2013 and set to power several of the company's future initiatives in cloud gaming.

MailRoute: Secure, Hosted Email Filtering [Sponsor]

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With a low false-positive rate, adaptive blacklists, rule-based content filtering, and instant backup to your server, MailRoute is packed with advanced options for users and organizations who need full control of their email. With MailRoute, you'll get 90+% reduction in traffic on your server, lower CPU and memory resource needs, 15 days of storage if your server goes down, and an API with unique functionality for account management including user lists and billing.

MailRoute doesn’t think you should waste your time and resources by accepting a bunch of garbage on your mail server. Check out MailRoute and start your 15-day free trial today.

Our thanks to MailRoute for sponsoring MacStories this week.

iOS 8 App Marketing Checklist

Is your app ready for iOS 8? Have you updated it and added all the great functionality iOS 8 provides? That sounds great, but what should you do next? There are a few helpful (I hope) tips that I’m going to share.

Solid series of tips by Readdle's Denys Zhadanov.

I'll add these:

  • Use Tokens for promo codes;
  • Get in touch with the press early to give them (us) time to properly test apps and prepare coverage;
  • Consider Vine videos as a way to create easily shareable and digestible previews of new features in your app (see);
  • If you're working on iOS 8 extensions, get in touch with other developers and try to figure out possible bugs together.

The Hidden Structure of the Apple Keynote

One of Apple’s most successful products—which rarely gets recognized as such—is made not of aluminum and glass, but of words and pictures. The Apple keynote is the tool the company uses a few times a year to unveil its other products to millions of people.

To understand their hidden structure, Quartz reviewed more than a dozen Apple keynotes, logging and analyzing key elements. Here’s what we found.

Dan Frommer collected interesting data about Apple keynotes over at Quartz. Good preparation for tomorrow.