Federico Viticci

9136 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 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.

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

| Instagram: @viticci |

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Connected, Episode 208: It’s Ugly and I Want It

New iPhones are just around the corner, so it's time to talk about rumors and solidify predictions.

On this week's episode of Connected, our final predictions for next week's Apple event, as well as the rest of 2018. You can listen here.

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WhatsApp Adds Media Previews in Notifications

WhatsApp for iOS was updated earlier this week with the long-awaited ability to preview media (pictures and animated GIFs) using rich notifications on iOS. As you can see in the screenshots below, this new feature allows you to expand a notification and preview its embedded image attachment without having to open the app and before composing a reply from the notification itself.

As a heavy user of WhatsApp (it's my second most used social/communication app, second only to iMessage), this feature was perhaps the single most important option I was hoping the app would eventually adopt. The entire flow of previewing and responding to messages that contain pictures is so much better now. Of course, I'm also waiting for an iPad version of WhatsApp.

For context, the rich notification API for media previews was introduced with iOS 10 in 2016. Here's to hoping it won't take the WhatsApp team until 2020 to implement Siri shortcuts.


Connected, Episode 207: The Best Easter Egg Is You

Stephen struggles with vowels and Federico dreams about buying a Mac mini while Myke ponders the future of the Apple Pencil.

On last week's episode of Connected, we discussed our potential use cases for a new Mac mini and why the Apple Pencil could make sense as an iPhone accessory. You can listen here.

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Connected, Episode 206: A High Appreciation for Winning

Federico is back from vacation with a list of demands and opinions. Stephen posted a whole bunch of screenshots, and Myke is trying some new things with Twitter.

I'm back on Connected this week and we had fun discussing the future of the Mac mini and whether or not AirPower is ever coming out. You can listen here.

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Connected, Episode 202: It Could Just Be Ghosts

Federico and Stephen are joined by John Voorhees to talk about MacBook Pro throttling, HomePod rumors and answer some listener questions.

A fun episode of Connected this week with a discussion about how we use our HomePods and what's going on with the 2018 MacBook Pros. You can listen here.

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GoodTask’s Smart Lists for Reminders

I've been playing around with GoodTask, a Reminders client for iOS, as part of my experiments with Shortcuts and Reminders for this year's iOS review. GoodTask is a powerful utility that extends Reminders in ways that I'd love for Apple to consider whenever they decide to update their own Reminders app. GoodTask has grown a lot since its debut four years ago; I recommend reading Tim's review of version 3.0 to get an idea of its capabilities. The app has got a bit of a learning curve, but it's much more powerful than Reminders while retaining its key advantages (such as Siri integration and immediate background sync between every Apple device).

Today's update to GoodTask brings a couple of features that I suggested to its developer a while back. The first one is a quick action to reopen a web link (or URL scheme) contained in a reminder, if any. This makes it easier to use GoodTask as a repository for links saved from Safari (perhaps through the Shortcuts extension). I like the way GoodTask automatically extracts URLs from the Notes field of a reminder, and this quick action speeds up the process of reopening links a lot.

The second feature is a change to the 'Scheduled' filter for smart lists, one of the best ideas in GoodTask. Smart Lists are liked saved searches for reminders: they let you create custom lists (which you can only view in GoodTask) to manage a subset of reminders based on specific filtering criteria. For example, you can create smart lists for reminders with a specific tag (another GoodTask-only option), items that are overdue, or reminders that are due within 3 days and have a high priority. In the latest version of the app, you can create smart lists for reminders that are due between specific start and end times of the day. Essentially, I wanted to replicate Things' fantastic Today/This Evening feature in GoodTask. With smart lists in version 3.9.1 of the app, I can now use the 'Scheduled' filter to show me reminders due today (between 6 AM and 7 PM) and in the evening (between 7 PM and 11:59 PM). It's not quite as elegant as Things' native feature, but it lets me have a similar scheduling setup in GoodTask as well.

I'll have more to share about GoodTask over the summer as I continue to experiment with Reminders and Shortcuts in iOS 12. In the meantime, if you're looking for a great alternative to the Reminders app on iOS, you should take GoodTask for a spin.


Connected, Episode 201: An Internal Fortnite

Federico bought an iPod touch, Nest and Instapaper both have new bosses and the world is finally getting the leg emoji it deserves.

On this week's Connected, I also shared a status update on my iOS 12 review and the apps I'm using to put it together. You can listen here.

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Sharecuts

Fun new project by iOS developer extraordinaire Guilherme RamboSharecuts is a (so far, beta and invitation-only) directory to browse and install custom shortcuts created by other users. Sarah Perez has more details at TechCrunch:

But by the time iOS 12 releases to the public later this fall, Sharecuts’ directory will be filled out and a lot more functional.

The premise, explains Sharecuts’ creator Guilherme Rambo, was to make an easily accessible place where people could share their shortcuts with one another, discover those others have shared, and suggest improvements to existing shortcuts.

“I was talking to a friend [Patrick Balestra] about how cool shortcuts are, and how it should be easier for people to share and discover shortcuts,” says Guilherme. “He mentioned he wanted to build a website for that – he even had the idea for the name Sharecuts – but he was on vacation without a good internet connection so I decided to just build it myself in one day,” he says.

The site is currently a bare bones, black-and-white page with cards for each shortcut, but an update will bring a more colorful style (see below) and features that will allow users to filter the shortcuts by tags, vote on favorites, among other things.

This isn't the first time users have tried to launch curated directories for workflows (there were a bunch for the old Workflow app), but I think projects like this are going to be especially important given the lack of an official public directory for Shortcuts; the gallery built into the Shortcuts app is managed by Apple and doesn't accept user submissions. For now, Sharecuts works by uploading plain .shortcut files to the service, but I'm hoping that, once Apple brings back link-based sharing, you'll be able to just paste a link to a shortcut you've created. In the meantime, you can find a couple of shortcuts I've shared here and here.

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