Federico Viticci

7395 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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iOS 8 Changed How I Work on My iPhone and iPad

When I reviewed iOS 7 last year, I took a different approach and tried to consider Apple's redesigned OS from the perspective of someone who uses iPhones and iPads for work and personal tasks on a daily basis. I noted that a new structure enabled developers to make more powerful apps, and I concluded hoping that Apple would “consider revamping interoperability and communication between apps in the future”.

With today's release of iOS 8, Apple isn't merely improving upon iOS 7 with minor app updates and feature additions. They're also not backtracking on the design language launched last year, which has been refined and optimized with subtle tweaks, but not fundamentally changed since its debut in June 2013.

Apple is reinventing iOS. The way apps communicate with each other and exchange functionality through extensions. How status awareness is being brought to iPhones, iPads, and Macs with Handoff and Continuity. Swift and TestFlight, giving developers new tools to build and test their apps. Custom keyboards and interactive notifications.

There are hundreds of new features in iOS 8 and the ecosystem surrounding it that signal a far-reaching reimagination of what iOS apps should be capable of, the extent of user customization on an iPhone and iPad, or the amount of usage data that app developers can collect to craft better software.

Seven years into iOS, a new beginning is afoot for Apple's mobile OS, and, months from now, there will still be plenty to discuss. But, today, I want to elaborate on my experience with iOS 8 in a story that can be summed up with:

iOS 8 has completely changed how I work on my iPhone and iPad.

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Evernote Brings Widget, Share Extension to iOS 8

I save everything into Evernote. While I’m almost religious about plain text and Markdown for my articles, anything else goes into Evernote: PDFs, screenshots, photos with GPS information, my shared shopping list, and any other note that has a visual component (such as formatting or hyperlinks).

I started using Evernote in 2009, and it’s become an external brain where I archive everything that I need to remember but not store in my own brain. Evernote suffered in its transition to iOS devices as it couldn’t be as flexible as the Mac app: Evernote is only as good as the ways it gives you to create notes, and the iOS app couldn’t use the best one – the clipper.

This is changing today with Evernote 7.5, which adds extensions for iOS 8 to let you save anything from anywhere with just two taps.

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MyFitnessPal Adds HealthKit Support, Bringing Its Data to iOS 8′s Health App

Popular food tracker and calorie counter MyFitnessPal, available for free on the iPhone, iPad, web, and other platforms, has today introduced an update for iOS 8 users that adds support for Apple’s new Health app. I’ve been testing the updated MyFitnessPal, and I believe that Health integration has the potential to be a great way to let the app integrate with other services on iOS 8.

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VARIDESK Adjustable Standing Desk [Sponsor]

It’s no longer a question, it’s a fact: sitting all day is bad for your health. The VARIDESK is a height adjustable standing desk that sits on top of your existing furniture, and allows you to raise from a seated to standing position in just 3 seconds.

It ships fully assembled, and is ready to use right out of the box. There are 4 models to choose from for single and dual monitors starting at just $275; VARIDESK has no fixed installation, there's a risk free 30-day guarantee, and there's even a desktop app to set the times you wish to sit and stand during the day.

You can learn more at VARIDESK.com.

Our thanks to VARIDESK for sponsoring MacStories this week.



The First Ferrari FF with CarPlay in Italy

Ferrari:

The first FF equipped with the Apple CarPlay system has gone to an Italian client. Deliveries of the Ferraris sporting the innovative integrated Apple technology commenced over the last few days and the cars are now arriving at their final destinations and will hit the road all over the world. In Europe, they are bound for Germany, Great Britain, France and Switzerland while others have been dispatched to the United States and Japan.

We didn't get any mention of CarPlay by Apple this week. I think the demo in Ferrari's video looks pretty good. I wish I had that car to review it.

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A Watch Guy’s Thoughts On The Apple Watch

The Apple Watch can take an integrated strap or bracelet, or one with wire lugs. It totally changes the look of the watch, and swapping them couldn't be any easier. Changing straps is one thing, but the attention to detail on the straps and bracelets themselves is downright incredible, and when I mentioned above that nothing comes close in this price range, it is very visible when talking about straps.

I've argued that the Apple Watch is first and foremost a watch. Benjamin Clymer has a great analysis of Apple's announcement from the perspective of a “watch guy” with a deep expertise in this field.

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