Federico Viticci

8654 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 on his two podcasts – Connected and Virtual.

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Connected, Episode 105: What Does Done Mean?

Federico’s back, so the power of The Prompt Curse has been restored. Picturelife is dead, Ping is in headlines and iOS 10 is closer than ever.

On this week's episode of Connected, I check back on the status of my iOS 10 review as we move closer to September. You can listen here.

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Try a Mac Server with MacStadium [Sponsor]

MacStadium is the premier Mac hosting company that provides dedicated Mac hardware and private cloud. They have thousands of Macs in multiple data centers where your hardware is secure, always available, and supported by a full team of Mac experts.

In addition to an established Atlanta location, MacStadium has recently opened data centers in Dublin, Ireland and Las Vegas, NV. You might be familiar with Mac hosting in Las Vegas thanks to Macminicolo, which has been operating in that location for over a decade. MacStadium and Macminicolo merged earlier this year, joining forces as a single Mac hosting company with excellent uptime and technical support.

MacStories has been hosted on Macminicolo's hardware for years now, and I can personally vouch for this service. It's one of the best decisions I ever made for this website.

The best part is – MacStadium continues to find ways to improve their offerings, like their recently patented Mac Pro chassis sleds. Or if you don't want to rent Mac hardware but send your own, you can do that too. There are plenty of use cases for Mac hardware as a remote server – whether it's for personal backups, automation, continuos integration, or services like Plex.

The folks at MacStadium are running a new promo you can sign up for until August 28. You can trial a Mac mini in their data center for a full month at no cost. On the signup page for rental Mac minis you just choose the location, the hardware, and signup for the trial using coupon code “SPREADTHEWORD” and you’ll be all set.

You can go check out MacStadium's latest promo here.

Our thanks to MacStadium for sponsoring MacStories this week.



Logitech Announces ‘Pop’ Switch for Smart Home Devices

The latest announcement from Logitech sounds like a good idea: Pop is a physical switch with support for third-party smart home devices that can turn them on individually or trigger scenes.

Pop is a simple switch for controlling Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled smart devices, including products from LIFX, Phillips Hue, Lutron, and INSTEON, Smart Things and more. Plus, it works with IFTTT for control of a broader range of products.

Each switch can be used to trigger three different custom commands. For instance, use a single press to turn all the lights in a room on or off. Or, use a double press at dinner time to dim the lights and turn on your favorite Sonos jazz station. And since it works with Logitech’s Harmony hub-based remotes, you could even set a long press to start Movie Time in the living room.

Over the past year, I've bought a few home automation devices to bring more convenience into my life. Sometimes, I miss the ability to press a physical switch instead of fumbling with an app or a widget. The upcoming HomeKit card of Control Center in iOS 10 has improved this aspect, but it doesn't support IFTTT or Sonos.

With the Logitech switch, I could create a recipe to turn off my lights and start recording with Manything as soon as I leave my house with one press. I'm intrigued, but I can't find a European release date on Logitech's website.

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IFTTT Launches Developer Platform for App Integrations

Interesting move from IFTTT: the company has launched a developer platform to let third-parties enable recipe-building functionality into their apps.

We’ve worked closely with a select group of partners to add IFTTT directly into their apps. Users will be able to discover and activate IFTTT Recipes without having to leave a partner’s app. These native experiences make IFTTT more accessible than ever.

Our partners all have one thing in common: the desire to add value and enable a more seamless experience for their users.

Explaining IFTTT's web automation is probably the biggest hurdle to get started with the service. Having a streamlined recipe interface inside multiple native apps could help.

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Connected, Episode 103: No Such Thing as a Sticker Emergency

Before Federico heads to the beach for many months of vacation, the guys talk about iPad keyboards, Dropbox Paper and Instagram Stories before answering listener questions.

I wasn't expecting to discuss Instagram Stories this week, but, as it turns out, I'm a fan. You can listen here.

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