Federico Viticci

7486 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 8.1 and Apple Pay Launching Next Week

Earlier today, Apple confirmed that Apple Pay – the company's new payment system based on Touch ID – will be launching on Monday alongside iOS 8.1.

From the press release:

Apple Pay will be available in the US starting Monday, October 20 with iOS 8.1. For shopping in stores, Apple Pay will work with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and with Apple Watch, upon availability. For online shopping within apps, Apple Pay is available on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Users should contact their bank to determine their card’s eligibility, some banks may not support all card types. Apple Pay will be available in select retailers and apps in 2014.

Apple also announced that more than 500 new banks from across the US have signed up for Apple Pay, which will also work with the following apps:

Apps with the ability to use Apple Pay at launch include: Apple Store app, Chairish, Fancy, Groupon, HotelTonight, Houzz, Instacart, Lyft, OpenTable, Panera Bread, Spring, Staples, Target and Uber. Many more will support Apple Pay by the end of this year with popular apps such as Airbnb, Disney Store, Eventbrite, JackThreads, Levi’s Stadium by VenueNext, Sephora, Starbucks, StubHub, Ticketmaster and Tickets.com, among others.

During the keynote, Apple's Craig Federighi noted that Apple uses the release of major iOS updates such as iOS 8 to collect “feedback” (with literal air quotes from Federighi – read: criticism) and quickly improve upon them.

iOS 8 has been criticized for its various bugs and inconsistencies, but, as I noted in my article, I don't believe its technical problems were as severe as iOS 7 last year. Still, iOS 8.1 will bring various design refinements, extension and HealthKit fixes, and it'll see the return of the Camera Roll in the Photos app.

For more on Apple Pay, you can read our original overview.

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OS X Yosemite Apps I’ve Been Trying

OS X Yosemite, first announced at WWDC in June and released today by Apple, brings a major redesign of OS X and a variety of new features such as widgets, extensions, Handoff, and Continuity. While I don’t use OS X as much as I did a few years ago, I still rely on the system for tasks that I can’t complete on iOS alone.

Below, you’ll find a roundup of the third-party Yosemite apps I’ve been testing over the past couple of weeks, which should give you a good idea of the design changes and new functionalities Yosemite is bringing to OS X.

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iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3: Our Complete Overview

At a media event held earlier today in Cupertino, Apple unveiled the latest entries to the iPad family: the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3. Building upon last year’s launch of the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina display, the new iPads brings iterative improvements over the last generation, but it should be noted that, this year, Apple has drawn a clear line between the iPad mini and the full-sized iPad Air.

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OS X Yosemite: Tips, Tricks, and Details

At MacStories, we believe in knowing all the little features and details of the software we use every day. We enjoy finding all the tweaks and hidden tricks that Apple ships with OS X and iOS every year, we love to round them up in a comprehensive collection. In this post, you’ll find over 60 tips, tricks, and details of OS X Yosemite that we’ve collected throughout the summer since the first beta release of Apple’s major redesign of OS X.

The release of OS X Yosemite was announced today at Apple’s media event in Cupertino, and the new OS is available now as a free upgrade on the Mac App Store. Yosemite – version 10.10 of OS X – brings a radical redesign, better integration with iOS thanks to Continuity and iCloud, and several changes to apps like Safari, Mail, and even the Finder.

We will have more articles on Yosemite today and throughout the week in our Yosemite hub on MacStories. In the meantime, you can enjoy our collection of tips and tricks to get the most out of OS X Yosemite below.

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The Numbers From Apple’s October 16 Event

Photo courtesy of Jason Snell at Six Colors.

Every year, Apple kicks off their product presentations with a “state of the business” introduction that, with various numbers and facts, reveals how the company is doing in several areas such as retail, the App Store, iOS device sales and software upgrades, and Mac sales.

At today’s media event in Cupertino, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared only a few details about the launch of new iPhones, but the company still revealed some interesting numbers and statistics throughout the keynote.

  • 48% of customers have already updated to iOS 8 after 4 weeks; 46% of them remain on iOS 7, and 6% on "other" versions of iOS.
  • Another 500 banks have confirmed they will support Apple Pay.
  • More than a million members of the Mac community signed up for the Yosemite public beta.
  • 225 million iPads have been sold to date.
  • 675,000 apps have been created specifically for the iPad.
  • The new iPad Air 2 is 6.1 mm thin; 18% thinner than the first iPad Air.
  • The new A8X chip of the iPad Air 2 has a 40% faster CPU, 2.5x faster GPU.
  • The Mac's line has been growing 18% year-over-year.
  • The iMac's new Retina 5K display has 67% more pixels than 4K.

For more coverage, check out our October 16 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.


Apple Updates the Mac mini with Faster Processors, Thunderbolt Ports

Photo courtesy of Jason Snell at Six Colors.

At its media event held earlier today in Cupertino, Apple announced an update to its Mac mini line.

“People love Mac mini. It’s a great first Mac or addition to your home network, and the new Mac mini is a nice upgrade packed into an incredibly compact design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With the latest CPU and graphics, faster Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt 2 ports, OS X Yosemite, and starting at just $499, the new Mac mini is the best value ever.”

Described by Phil Schiller's as "the world's most efficient" desktop computer, the new Mac mini comes with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, new fourth generation Intel Core processors,  and 802.11ac WiFi. Packing an "entire Mac experience" in a small  7.7-inch-square frame, the new Mac mini will come pre-installed with OS X Yosemite and also offer four USB 3 ports.

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Apple Announces OS X Yosemite Launching Today

At a media event held in Cupertino, California, Apple announced that the next major version of OS X, Yosemite, will be released later today.

Introduced at WWDC in June, OS X Yosemite (version 10.10 of Apple's desktop operating system) brings a complete redesign, updates to core apps such as Safari and Mail, and better integration with iOS devices thanks to Handoff and Continuity. Alongside an elegant design that prioritizes content, Yosemite will feature an updated Spotlight with rich inline previews, a revamped Notification Center with widgets (also available in iOS 8) and iCloud Drive, a new unified folder to manage all documents stored in iCloud.

OS X Yosemite will be a free update and available through the Mac App Store.

For more coverage, check out our October 16 news hub and follow @macstoriesnet on Twitter.