Federico Viticci

8541 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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Canvas, Episode 8: Apple Mail

You might think of Apple Mail as being a slightly weak client but, as we shall see, it's more powerful than you think. We tackle some of the special smart mailboxes that exist in Apple Mail, look at notifications and composing mail.

On the latest episode of Canvas, we covered the email client that millions of users deal with on a daily basis: Apple Mail. We have an episode coming about third-party email options, but, in the meantime, there's quite a bit to discover in Mail, too. You can listen here.

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Apple Posts New iPhone 6s Ads Highlighting Touch ID, 4K Video

Apple aired two new iPhone 6s commercials earlier today, highlighting the 4K video shooting capabilities of the device, as well as the Touch ID sensor with various iOS app integrations.

In the 1-minute 4K ad, dubbed 'Onions', Apple imagines a scenario in which a young girl shoots a close-up video of her mother cutting onions that somehow turns into a movie phenomenon. In the ad, the 'Onions' movie even goes on to win an award (with a ceremony hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris) with a tongue-in-cheek tone that, presumably, wants to communicate how the iPhone's camera can be used to shoot high-quality footage – whether it's an onion or an actual movie.

In the second ad, Apple follows the style of its previous, fast paced iPhone 6s commercials to focus on what can be done with Touch ID on iOS 9. The ad shows people paying for products with Apple Pay, starting a car with Touch ID in a dedicated iPhone app, logging into bank accounts, and more.

You can watch the ads below.

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All New watchOS Apps to Be Native Starting June 1

During the weekend, Apple announced that, starting June 1, all new watchOS app submissions will have to be native – written with the watchOS 2 SDK.

This, of course, doesn't enforce existing watchOS 1.0 apps (built with the first SDK) to be updated for watchOS 2, so it'll be interesting to see how Apple will handle developers who launched a watchOS app last year, saw a muted response, and then ignored watchOS 2 due to a lack of incentives.

In my experience, the performance of watchOS 2 apps has only been marginally better than old watchOS 1.0 ones, and I haven't heard of developers rushing to support watchOS 2 as a must-rewrite-everything effort. If I had to speculate, perhaps new iPhone apps for iOS 10 or later could only support watchOS 3 – but, again, that wouldn't solve the issue for watchOS 1.0 apps currently on the App Store. Quite a curious conundrum.

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On the 9.7″ iPad Pro’s Color Gamut

I've been waiting for someone to explain the practical benefits of the new Retina display in the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Craig Hockenberry has done the hard work and wrote about it with clear examples to understand the differences:

After using this iPad for a couple of weeks, I’ve realized it’s like the advances of Retina in an important way: I never want to use a lesser display again. And as with higher density, I think it’s obvious that Apple will eventually update all its products to use this improved screen technology. I can’t wait!

It also wouldn’t surprise me to see these wider color gamuts coming to the cameras in our devices. All iOS devices currently create images in the sRGB gamut, while professional gear can produce images in ProPhoto or AdobeRGB. High dynamic range (HDR) photos need a wider range of color, too.

He's also writing a book about color management for developers. It sounds like this is going to be an important area for iOS developers to learn going forward.

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iOS 10: Wishes and Concept Video

iOS 10 concept.

iOS 10 concept.


(Full-res)

I almost can't believe there was a time when the iPad didn't have Split View. Or that, for years, I thought Apple would never bring split-screen multitasking to iOS.

More than any other iOS update before, iOS 9 has fundamentally reinvented the role of the iPad in my computing life. As I've written in my iOS 9 review and look at the iPad one year after my decision to stop using my Mac, iOS 9 and its multitasking improvements have catapulted the iPad away from the old limitations of iOS into a different league.

With iOS 9 and the iPad Pro, the list of tasks I can't perform on my iPad is down to a single item.

I've never been happier with an iOS device and operating system than I am with the iPad Pro and iOS 9. Getting my work done is faster; using apps in Split View is a treat compared to iOS 8; and the software keyboard (despite some problems) continues to impress me with the addition of trackpad mode and the Shortcut Bar. The iPhone 6s, too, has been a pleasant surprise thanks to its superior performance and 3D Touch.1

There's never been a better time to be an iOS user. But that doesn't mean that everything's perfect. When it comes to iOS, happiness is often a fleeting moment – a temporary satisfaction with the current state of things before the inevitable longing for something deeper. Such is the constant pursuit of the future.

Every year, I put together a list of the changes I'd like to see in the next version of iOS. I've been doing this for several years now. This year, I wanted to prepare something bigger. The tenth version of iOS due to be released later this year will be a major milestone for Apple and iOS users. It only felt appropriate to celebrate the occasion with a different take on my annual iOS wish list.

For the past few months, I've been collaborating with Sam Beckett (author of a fantastic Control Center concept we linked to a while back) to visualize my iOS 10 wishes with a professional concept video and static mockups. Sam and I discussed my ideas for a couple of months, and he was able to visualize2 what I would like to have in iOS 10 – both for the iPhone and iPad – with a style and attention to detail I'm extremely happy with.

Below, you'll find a collection of my iOS 10 wishes, organized in tentpole features (the ones also shown in the video) plus additional sub-sections. Some of these wishes have been on my list for years; others are a consequence of the features Apple shipped with iOS 9.

Let's get started.

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  1. I use 3D Touch heavily every day. Peek previews for tweets and links in Tweetbot, Home screen actions, keyboard cursor control, and channel shortcuts in Slack are gestures I intuitively perform daily. ↩︎
  2. He was also very patient. As you can imagine, I sent him a lot of ideas and comments before signing off on the final version. I can't recommend working with Sam enough. ↩︎

Introducing MacStories Dark Theme and Telegram Channel

Seven years ago today, I published my first post on MacStories.

I had no idea back then that this website would become my job one day – in fact, I really had no idea what I was doing. Every day, I'm incredibly thankful for the luck and privilege to have found friends, colleagues, and an audience that have guided us with their honest advice, help, and daily support.

MacStories wouldn't be possible without you.

To celebrate the occasion, I'm thrilled to announce two changes that I think are going to make the MacStories experience more enjoyable for everyone.

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Connected, Episode 87: Ticci on the Scene

A sleep-deprived Myke joins Federico and Stephen to talk about WWDC, new MacBooks and App Store search.

On this week's Connected, the first details of our upcoming trip to San Francisco for WWDC, some fun speculation on Apple's announcements, and some hints on what we're announcing tomorrow at MacStories. You can listen here.

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