Federico Viticci

9283 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 |

This week's sponsor

Remote Control for Mac

Turn Your Mac into a Home Media Center


Connected, Episode 263: Moon Plus Sign Plus Sign

On this week’s episode of Connected:

This week, Stephen tells a story about his Apple Watch accomplice, Myke reviews tvOS 13 and Federico explains how Deep Fusion and Capture Outside the Frame work.

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

0:00
01:34:09

Connected, Episode 263

Sponsored by:

  • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code CONNECTED at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
  • Care/of: Personalized vitamins, protein and more, delivered to your door. Use ‘connected’ for 25% off.
  • Freshbooks: Online invoicing made easy.
Permalink

A Comprehensive Guide to All 120+ Settings URLs Supported by iOS and iPadOS 13.1

A few weeks ago, I came across a post on Reddit claiming that Apple had restored the ability to launch specific sections of the Settings app via Shortcuts in iOS and iPadOS 13.1. I was inspired by that discovery to finish working on a project I had long been putting off: documenting all the URLs supported by the Settings app in iOS and iPadOS.

After some a lot of trial and error, I’ve collected 120+ URLs that can open individual pages and sub-sections of the Settings app. In this post, I’m going to share the complete list of URLs that are supported as of iOS and iPadOS 13.1 (specifically, iOS 13.1.2), as well as a custom shortcut to launch them.

Read more


Shortcuts Corner: Search YouTube, Preview Folder Contents, and Play Recent Music Albums

As I explained in today’s issue of MacStories Weekly for Club MacStories members, we’re bringing the newsletter’s Shortcuts Corner section to the site, with a twist: in this series, you’ll find simpler shortcuts that you can download for free, and which will be added to the public MacStories Shortcuts Archive; you’ll also get a preview of an exclusive shortcut available today for Club MacStories members.

In this week’s Shortcuts Corner, I share shortcuts to quickly launch a search query in the YouTube app, preview the contents of a folder in iCloud Drive, and start playback for one of your recently played albums in the Music app. Let’s dive in.

Read more


Connected, Episode 262: The Ghost of Bilateral Charging

On this week’s episode of Connected:

There’s a lot going on: new iPhones, the new Apple Watch, iOS 13.1, Shortcuts updates and more. That’s not to mention the Galaxy Fold, iCloud woes and whatever Amazon has announced.

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

0:00
01:44:47

Connected, Episode 262

Sponsored by:

  • Pingdom: Start monitoring your website performance and availability today, and get instant alerts when an outage occurs or a site transaction fails. Use offer code CONNECTED to get 30% off.
  • TextExpander, from Smile: Unlock your productivity with TextExpander. Get 20% off with your first year.
  • Freshbooks: Online invoicing made easy.
Permalink

Introducing MacStories Shortcuts Icons: 300 Custom Home Screen Icons for Your Shortcuts

Update: October 18, 2019: MacStories Shortcuts Icons has received its first free update, which adds 50 new icons to the set. You can read more here.

I’m thrilled to announce MacStories Shortcuts Icons, a set of 300 custom icons for shortcuts added to your Home screen, designed by the MacStories team.

Here’s the short version of this story: the set contains 300 Home screen icons, it has been specifically designed with Shortcuts users in mind, and it works on both iPhone and iPad. It’s available today at $14.99 and you can buy it here.

If you’re a Club MacStories member, check your member area for a discount code first: for you, the set is 33% off, so you can purchase it at $9.99.

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

You can find a complete preview of MacStories Shortcuts Icons’ 300 glyphs here..

With these icons, you’ll have more options than what is provided by default in the Shortcuts app for Home screen icons. There are no workarounds, no hacks: our icons can be installed using a native feature of Shortcuts supported in the just-released iOS and iPadOS 13.1.

And here’s the best part: MacStories Shortcuts Icons will keep the original colors of your shortcuts, so you’ll be able to create Home screen shortcuts that are consistent with the app, yet unique and personal. MacStories Shortcuts Icons is the first Shortcuts-specific icon set to support this.

Here are actual examples of my iPhone and iPad Home screens, which I updated using MacStories Shortcuts Icons:

Mixing and matching apps with MacStories Shortcuts Icons on my Home screens.

Mixing and matching apps with MacStories Shortcuts Icons on my Home screens.

We’ve teamed up with our designer Silvia Gatta for this set, which is the first product we’re launching under the new MacStories Pixel brand.

We spent months crafting MacStories Shortcuts Icons with attention and care for the Shortcuts community, and I’d love for you to check it out.

Now, let me share a few more details on how MacStories Shortcuts Icons came to be.

Read more


Adapt, Episode 9: Shortcuts – What’s New in iOS 13

On last week’s episode of Adapt:

On iOS 13 release day, Federico and Ryan kick off a series covering everything new in the updated Shortcuts app. Afterward, Ryan outlines his efforts creating an image for MacStories sans-shortcuts.

You can listen below (and find the show notes here), and don’t forget to send us questions using #AskAdapt and by tagging our Twitter account.

0:00
58:57

Adapt, Episode 9

Permalink

iOS and iPadOS 13: The MacStories Review

Following years of a judicious union between platforms, it’s time for iPad to embark on its own journey.

In looking back at major iOS releases from the recent past, it’s easy to see how building and positioning these annual updates has become a careful balancing act for Apple.

In last year’s iOS 12, we saw the company focus on improving performance, providing users with tools to understand their device usage habits, and adapting Workflow to the modern era of Siri and proactive suggestions. The strategy was largely successful: iOS 12 was regarded as Apple’s most reliable iOS release of late – a reputation that has resulted in a 90% adoption rate a year later; and the Shortcuts app – the highlight of last year from a user feature perspective – is becoming a built-in (and thus more powerful) app in iOS 13.

For all that Apple accomplished in iOS 12, however, some areas of the experience inevitably had to be put on the back-burner. Besides improvements to Reminders and Files, iOS 12 lacked a long-awaited dark mode (which was rolled out on macOS instead) as well as more substantial tweaks to the ever-evolving iOS 7 design language; chief among iOS 12’s absentee list, of course, was iPad. Even though Apple had trained users to expect major additions to the tablet platform on a biennial schedule (see iOS 9 and iOS 11), the lack of meaningful iPad features in iOS 12 spurred a contentious discussion when it became apparent that new iPad Pro hardware was so far ahead of its software, it legitimized asking whether investing in that hardware was even worth it.

The annual debate that surrounds which features make it into each major iOS release is symptomatic of a complicated truth: iOS isn’t just the operating system that runs on iPhones anymore, and these annual releases are more than a mere collection of updated apps. iOS is the platform for an ecosystem of devices – from our wrists and speakers to cars and TV sets – and its changes have repercussions that ripple far beyond an updated Reminders app or a new icon set.

This, of course, has been the case for a few years at this point, but the nature of iOS as an all-encompassing platform has never been as evident as it is today in iOS 13. For the first time since I started reviewing Apple’s annual iOS updates, it feels like the company is now keenly aware that a new iOS version has to cover an array of themes that can’t be pushed back for scheduling reasons. A single area of attention isn’t enough anymore – not for the Apple of 2019 as an economic, political, and social force, and not for iOS, the engine powering devices that aren’t just screens for apps, but bona fide lifestyle computers.

As a result, there’s something for everyone in iOS 13 and all the recurring themes of Tim Cook’s Apple are touched upon this time around. iOS 13 improves Face ID recognition and promises improvements to app download sizes and performance. Apple is sending strong signals on its commitment to privacy as a feature with a new sign-in framework for apps and enhancements to location tracking controls and HomeKit cameras. iOS’ design language is getting its biggest update in years with dark mode, new tools for developers to express colors and embed glyphs in their user interfaces, updated context menus, and redesigns aimed at facilitating one-handed interactions. We have notable improvements to built-in apps, including the rebuilt Reminders and Health, an overhauled Files app, and hundreds of quality-of-life tweaks that, in big and small ways, make iOS more capable and efficient.

No stone is left unturned in iOS 13 – and that includes iPad too.

The iPad experience has always been largely consistent with the iPhone – particularly since Apple unified core iOS interactions around a screen without a Home button – but also distinct from it. iOS 13 makes this distinction official by splitting itself in a second branch called iPadOS, which uses iOS as the foundation but is specifically optimized and designed for iPad.

It was clear when the new iPad Pro launched in late 2018 that it told only one part of a bigger story about the role of the tablet in Apple’s modern ecosystem. With iPadOS, Apple is ready to tell that full story: while the iPad has always been an extension of iOS, sharing key similarities with the iPhone hardware and software, it’s been evolving – arguably, a bit too slowly – into a different breed of computer that is fundamentally distinct from a phone.

We’ve been able to observe this divergence starting in iOS 9 with Split View multitasking and Apple Pencil, and the transition continued with iOS 11 and its drag and drop-infused environment. It was only natural (and well-deserved) for the iPad to begin advancing in a parallel direction to iOS – informed and inspired by it, but also capable of growing on its own and tackling problems that an iPhone doesn’t have to solve.

From this standpoint, there are two sides to iOS 13: on one hand, an underlying tide that raises all platforms, featuring a distillation of themes Apple comes back to on an annual basis; on the other, a fork in the road, opening a new path for the iPad’s next decade. And against this backdrop, a single question looms large:

Can Apple balance both?

Read more



    Connected, Episode 259: The Rickies (Fall 2019)

    On this week’s episode of Connected:

    Myke, Federico and Stephen complete their annual tradition of making predictions before Apple’s iPhone event, this time with a new name: The Rickies.

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

    0:00
    01:32:28

    Connected, Episode 259

    Sponsored by:

    • Squarespace: Make your next move. Enter offer code CONNECTED at checkout to get 10% off your first purchase.
    • Away: Thoughtful luggage for modern travel. Get $20 off a suitcase with promo code connected.
    • Hover: Make a name for yourself. Get 10% off any domain name.
    Permalink

    Adapt, Episode 8: New iPad Pro Wishcasting & Podcast Transcription

    On this week’s episode of Adapt:

    Federico and Ryan discuss rumored forthcoming iPad Pro models, debating what might compel them to buy new iPads. Afterwards, Federico shares his journey trying a couple different apps and services to make a good transcript of the last episode of the show.

    You can listen below (and find the show notes here), and don’t forget to send us questions using #AskAdapt and by tagging our Twitter account.

    0:00
    01:03:17

    Adapt, Episode 8

    Sponsored by:

    • Backblaze: Unlimited cloud backup for Macs and PCs for just $6/month.
    Permalink