Federico Viticci

8927 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.


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iOS 11 and Accessibility

Great overview by Steven Aquino on the Accessibility changes coming with iOS 11. In particular, he’s got the details on Type to Siri, a new option for keyboard interaction with the assistant:

Available on iOS and the Mac, Type to Siri is a feature whereby a user can interact with Siri via an iMessage-like UI. Apple says the interaction is one-way; presently it’s not possible to simultaneously switch between text and voice. There are two caveats, however. The first is, it’s possible to use the system-wide Siri Dictation feature (the mic button on the keyboard) in conjunction with typing. Therefore, instead of typing everything, you can dictate text and send commands thusly. The other caveat pertains to “Hey Siri.” According to a macOS Siri engineer on Twitter, who responded to this tweet I wrote about the feature, it seems Type to Siri is initiated only by a press of the Home button. The verbal “Hey Siri” trigger will cause Siri to await voice input as normal.

Technicalities aside, Type to Siri is a feature many have clamored for, and should prove useful across a variety of situations. In an accessibility context, this feature should be a boon for deaf and hard-of-hearing people, who previously may have felt excluded from using Siri due to its voice-first nature. It levels the playing field by democratizing the technology, opening up Siri to an even wider group of people.

I wish there was a way to switch between voice and keyboard input from the same UI, but retaining the ‘Hey Siri’ voice activation seems like a sensible trade-off. I’m probably going to enable Type to Siri on my iPad, where I’m typing most of the time anyway, and where I could save time with "Siri templates" made with native iOS Text Replacements.


Made with ARKit

ARKit is one of the iOS 11 features I’m really excited about along with iPad improvements, changes to Notes, and better screenshot workflows. The “problem” with ARKit is that Apple isn’t offering a proper AR app for iOS yet – it’s a framework for developers to create AR experiences. Thus, until you play with an ARKit demo, it’s hard to understand the extent of Apple’s efforts and the potential for future ARKit-enabled apps.

Fortunately, the folks at Made with ARKit have been collecting early demoes shared by developers showing a variety of AR apps that will be possible later this year. And some of these are already incredible. From a rocket landing in your backyard to robots dancing in your living room and obvious measuring tapes, these videos give us an early glimpse at the promise of ARKit and the quality of tracking and rendering on an iPhone’s screen.

I don’t know if these showcases will turn into actual shipping products this Fall, but I have a feeling this new category of apps will become a great reason for millions of users to upgrade to iOS 11 quickly. I can’t wait to play with some of these AR apps.


Remaster, Episode 38: SNES Classic

Have Nintendo learned from their previous foray in to tiny nostalgia?

On this week’s episode of Remaster, we talk about Nintendo’s recently announced SNES Classic Mini, the games it’ll offer, and the company’s strategy for the Virtual Console. You can listen here.

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Connected, Episode 148: The Grand Scheme of Screens

The Prompt Curse strikes again! Find out what has been struck down, as Myke and Federico discuss the current state of iOS 11, Ticci’s keyboard woes, reviews of the Echo Show, and ARKit.

A fun episode of Connected this week with more thoughts on the iOS 11 beta and a discussion on ARKit and the potential of AR apps for iOS. You can listen here.

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Connected, Episode 147: I Wish We Could Be Friends in Real Life

This week: HomeKit changes coming in iOS 11, our approaches to running betas and Business Chat in iMessage.

On this week’s Connected, more on running the first beta of iOS 11 on our devices and interesting changes coming to iMessage next year. You can listen here.

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Connected, Episode 146: Dubbed Dub Dub Follow Up

Recovering from San Jose, the boys wade through an ocean of follow up, then talk about the new iPads and review Planet of the Apps.

On this week’s Connected, a lot of WWDC follow-up and more about Apple’s new iPad Pros. You can listen here.

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Connected, Episode 145: LEGO for Shortcuts

Live from San Jose, the trio talk about the news from a little event known as WWDC.

Last week’s Connected, recorded in person during WWDC, is all about Apple’s announcements and our reactions to pro updates for Macs and iPads. You can listen here.

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