Federico Viticci

7421 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.


Evernote 5.6 for Mac

Evernote released version 5.6 of their Mac app today. Hidden behind a seemingly minor update is a series of important changes to the desktop app that make it faster to sync and that bring welcome new features not available in Evernote for iOS.

The Evernote blog has the details, but, to sum up, I've found Evernote 5.6 (public beta testing started a few months ago) to be faster and more reliable than before both in terms of sync and startup times. I've seen less conflicted copies of notes (they used to be a problem in shared notebooks) and there's a ton of other fixes and improvements in the note editor. For instance, images can now be resized and checkboxes are larger and easier to click.

Two of my favorite changes include an easier way to create tables inside notes…

…and the ability to look for specific notes with Spotlight. Here's how an Evernote search looks like in Yosemite:

Combined with version 7.5 for iOS (which added a great share extension), it's been a good month for Evernote on Apple platforms. I like that the company is making good on their promise of improving their apps throughout 2014.


iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for One-Handed Use

Georgia and Rene have made the best video about one-handed use for the new iPhones I've seen to date. Short, practical examples (replace the Starbucks cup with an espresso in my case), and I've finally seen what Reachability looks like in motion.

For someone with relatively big hands, this gives me hope:

The iPhone 6 holds up relatively well. Even with my tiny hands I can still walk, type, and drink effectively. I do have to alter my grip slightly, in the same way I had to alter it when I went from the iPhone 4s to iPhone 5, but it remains extremely doable. Part of that is the thinner, rounder body, which is larger than the iPhone 5 but lighter even than the iPhone 4s. So, it might take some getting used to, and you might have to give your brain a few days to wire in new habits, but you you be just fine.


Igloo: An intranet that actually works on your phone [Sponsor]

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Our thanks to Igloo for sponsoring MacStories this week.

Serenity Caldwell’s iPhone 6 Camera Test

Serenity Caldwell has a great overview of the capabilities of the new iPhone 6 camera.

I’m mostly going to let the demo video I took (starring Hayley Contagious of the Boston Derby Dames) speak for itself. We shot, cut, and posted this in under two hours, using only an iPhone 6—no tripod, no Steadicam, no accessories. In fact, every shot you see in that video was with me running around in boots following Hayley’s motion—I wasn’t even on skates to try and stabilize the camera.

I'm particularly glad that Serenity published several photos and videos shot on the iPhone 6 (not the Plus) in real-life scenarios (dance floor photos? Very welcome example). These give me confidence that I'm making the right decision this weekend.


Businessweek’s Profile on Tim Cook’s Apple

There are a few interesting tidbits about Tim Cook and the Apple Watch in Businessweek's profile from last week, including this one:

The watch team included hundreds of engineers, designers, and marketing people and was the kind of cross-company interdisciplinary team now common under Cook. Apple, which has more than 1,000 chip designers, built the new S1 processor that powers the watch. Metallurgists responsible for the casing for Macs and iPhones devised a stronger gold alloy for the premium model of the watch, and Apple’s algorithm scientists studied how to improve the accuracy of the watch’s heart rate sensor.


iOS 8 Extensions and Widgets I’m Trying This Weekend

A lot of new and updated apps have landed on the App Store since the launch of iOS 8 earlier this week. While we tried to be as prepared as possible by covering notable releases here at MacStories, we couldn’t possibly hope to always have articles for every single new app we like. Therefore, I’ve decided to run down a few personal picks for new iOS 8 extensions and widgets I’m going to try over the weekend.

Due to the abundance of widgets, extensions, and custom keyboards that have been launched this week, I don’t expect all of these apps to stick around on my devices forever. Developers of apps I use every day still haven’t finalized their iOS 8 updates; others are still figuring out the best ways to implement new iOS 8 technologies.

Still, I’ve been having fun browsing the App Store for new apps. You can find the list below.

And if you’re looking for our in-depth coverage that we prepared ahead of iOS 8, you can find all our articles and reviews here, and my thoughts on iOS 8 here.

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The iPhone 6 Plus Is Not an iPad nano

Jason Snell, writing at his new website, Six Colors:

When Apple announced the iPhone 6 Plus on Sept. 9, I entertained the idea that it might be a replacement for my iPad mini. At last, the promise of a single device small enough to fit in my pocket, but big enough to satisfy my productivity needs.

Then I used the iPhone 6 Plus. And while it will have its fans—in fact, I’ll wager that the iPhone 6 Plus will have rabid fans—it’s just not for me, because I wasn’t seeking a bigger iPhone. I was seeking an iPad nano, and that’s not something the iPhone 6 Plus is willing to be.

I saw a lot of iPhone 6 Plus reviews suggest that the device can be an iPad mini replacement, and I'm glad that Jason pointed out actual issues with that idea.

I do wonder why iPads aren't getting that special 6 Plus keyboard, though. I would love to be able to customize the keys that show up on my iPad's keyboard (sort of like the latest PCalc for iOS).