Federico Viticci

9318 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, iPad, and iOS productivity. He founded MacStories in April 2009 and has been writing about Apple since. Federico is also the co-host of AppStories, a weekly podcast exploring the world of apps, and Dialog, a show where creativity meets technology.

He can also be found on his three other podcasts on Relay FM – Connected, Adapt, and Remaster.

| Instagram: @viticci |

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Twitter Rolling Out Redesigned iPad Interface

Chance Miller, writing for 9to5Mac:

Twitter is rolling out an update to the official Twitter for iPad app that brings a much-needed interface redesign. With today’s update, Twitter for iPad now better takes advantage of the added screen real estate available on the iPad.

As first noted by _Applesfera_, Twitter for iPad now features a multi-column view that allows you to see quite a bit more information. Up until now, Twitter for iPad featured a single timeline of content, surrounded by white space on either side. This led to a lot of wasted space, particularly in landscape mode.

With this redesign, Twitter for iPad now looks and behaves more like the Twitter web app. The menu bar has moved from the bottom to the side of your timeline. On the other side of the timeline, you’ll now find trending topics and other dynamic content.

I’m intrigued by this redesign because, for the past several years, the Twitter app for iPad has offered one of the worst designs on the platform, with an oversized iPhone layout that took no advantage of the extra screen real estate provided by the iPad Pro.

Looking at these early screenshots, I don’t love that Twitter is using the additional column for trends and search options – I’d rather have a customizable column (à la Tweetdeck) to display any kind of Twitter content. It would be great if the extra column could also show tweets from search results: for the past several months, I’ve been using a saved search to check out a complete timeline of my mentions; in theory, I should be be able to view my timeline and mentions at the same time by virtue of having two columns on iPad. Unfortunately, I think Twitter is just going to replicate the web app’s layout and use the additional column for search filters and trends (example) – tweets will always be displayed in the main timeline. If you compare the current Twitter web app running in Safari for iPadOS to the screenshots of the iPad app’s redesign, you’ll notice that they’re essentially using the same layout.

It looks like Twitter is A/B testing this redesign for now, and I don’t have it yet. I’m going to reserve judgement until I can actually play around with it, but if my interpretation is correct, this won’t bring true multi-column support to Twitter for iPad. Sadly, the original, groundbreaking, Loren Brichter-designed Twitter for iPad is still a distant memory.

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Connected, Episode 274: 2019 in Review: The Date of November Came in September

On this week’s episode of Connected:

2019 was a wild year, complete with the death of AirPower, the announcement of iPadOS, the release of the iPhone 11 and the return of the Mac Pro. This week, Stephen, Federico and Myke revisit the headlines that made this year so hectic.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

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01:52:11

Connected, Episode 274

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Introducing MusicBot: The All-in-One Apple Music Assistant, Powered by Shortcuts

For the past several months, I’ve been working on a shortcut designed to be the ultimate assistant for Apple Music. Called MusicBot, the shortcut encompasses dozens of different features and aims to be an all-in-one assistant that helps you listen to music more quickly, generate intelligent mixes based on your tastes, rediscover music from your library, control playback on AirPlay 2 speakers, and much more. I poured hundreds of hours of work into MusicBot, which has gained a permanent spot on my Home screen. Best of all, MusicBot is available to everyone for free.

I’m a happy Apple Music subscriber, and I love the direction Apple has taken with the service: fewer exclusive deals, more human curation, artist spotlights, and playlists updated daily. However, I believe the Music app for iPhone and iPad leaves much to be desired in terms of navigation and fast access to your favorite music. While Music gets the job done as a gateway to a streaming catalog, I find its interactions somewhat slow when it comes to playing my favorite playlists on shuffle or getting to albums I frequently listen to. Some of Music’s most interesting mixes are only available by asking Siri; additionally, getting to certain sections of the app or tweaking specific settings often takes far too many taps for my taste.

I created MusicBot for two reasons: I wanted to speed up common interactions with the Music app by using custom actions in the Shortcuts app; and I also wanted to build a series of “utilities” for Apple Music that could be bundled in a single, all-in-one shortcut instead of dozens of smaller, standalone ones.

The result is, by far, the most complex shortcut I’ve ever ever created (MusicBot spans 750+ actions in the Shortcuts app), but that’s not the point. MusicBot matters to me because, as I’ve shared before, music plays an essential role in my life, and MusicBot lets me enjoy my music more. This is why I spent so much time working on MusicBot, and why I wanted to share it publicly with everyone for free: I genuinely believe MusicBot offers useful enhancements for the Apple Music experience on iOS and iPadOS, providing tools that can help you rediscover lost gems in your library or find your next music obsession.

Let’s dive in.

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Connected, Episode 273: Come on, Guys, Let’s Go to the Station

On this week’s episode of Connected:

Stephen and Myke are joined by John Voorhees to talk about the new Mac Pro, then Federico reflects on the 5th anniversary of Shortcuts.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

0:00
01:35:31

Connected, Episode 273

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Connected, Episode 272: If the Issue Persists, Contact Apple

On last week’s episode of Connected:

Apple is handing out awards, and Myke is dealing with the fallout of his TV purchase. Stephen is aware that musicians exist and Federico wants all the 2020 rumors to be true.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

0:00
01:30:58

Connected, Episode 272

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Connected, Episode 271: You Have a Police Record

On this week’s episode of Connected:

There are a lot of iPhone cases to talk about, as well as new information about HomeKit Secure Video and Deep Fusion. One of us bought a TV, but no one here is ordering a Cybertruck.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here).

0:00
01:51:58

Connected, Episode 271

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MacStories Shortcuts Icons: 50% Off for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are nearly upon us, and we’ve prepared something truly special to celebrate the occasion at MacStories: starting today through Monday, December 2, MacStories Shortcuts Icons will be available at 50% off the regular price.

To purchase MacStories Shortcuts Icons at $7.49 rather than the usual $14.99, tap the ‘Buy’ button below and enter promo code bficons19 at checkout.

All sales are final. You can read our license and terms of use here.

For those not familiar with MacStories Shortcuts Icons, they’re a set of 350 custom icons for shortcuts added to your iPhone and iPad Home screen. You can read more about them here. Designed specifically with Shortcuts users in mind, these icons expand upon the options provided by Apple in the Shortcuts app, bringing glyphs for task management, calendars and files, AirPlay, home automation, and lots more. With MacStories Shortcuts Icons, you’ll be able to personalize your iOS and iPadOS Home screen by pinning shortcuts whose icons are representative of their purpose. If you use the MacStories Shortcuts Archive on a regular basis, you’ll be happy to know that every shortcut from the archive is represented in MacStories Shortcuts Icons.

You can take a look at what MacStories Shortcuts Icons have enabled our Ryan to do with his iPad Home screen in this article. And you can take a look at my own iPad and iPhone Home screens below – both are based on MacStories Shortcuts Icons.

My Home screens, powered by MacStories Shortcuts Icons.

My Home screens, powered by MacStories Shortcuts Icons.

Both Silvia and I are incredibly humbled by the amazing response to MacStories Shortcuts Icons since we launched them in September. For this reason, we want to take Black Friday and Cyber Monday as an opportunity to let even more people enjoy the benefits of a Shortcuts-based Home screen powered by MacStories Shortcuts Icons.

MacStories Shortcuts Icons will be available at 50% off through Monday, December 2 at 11:59 PM Eastern. Once again, make sure to use promo code bficons19 at checkout for the deal to apply. You can purchase MacStories Shortcuts Icons here or by tapping the Buy button below.

All sales are final. You can read our license and terms of use here.