Federico Viticci

8963 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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Unread 1.8 Gets iPhone X and iPad Split View Support, Readability Improvements

I've been a fan of Unread, the elegant RSS reader for iOS, since it came out in early 2014. I stopped using it when I moved to Inoreader as my RSS service (and also because Unread wasn't receiving major updates anymore), but Golden Hill Software recently acquired the app, and development pace has picked up again.

With today's version 1.8, Unread is finally gaining support for Split View and Slide Over on the iPad, allowing you to read articles next to your favorite note-taking app or Twitter client. In addition to these iPad multitasking improvements, Unread is now compatible with the iPhone X, and its readability mode should be more accurate as it's now based on Mozilla's fork of the popular third-party tool.

I still would like to see Inoreader integration and support for the Taptic Engine as well as drag and drop in Unread. I would love the ability to pick up an article from the main list and drop its URL in another iPad app. For now though, this is another much needed update that modernizes the app's codebase and puts it on the same base level of other iOS 11 RSS clients. Unread 1.8 is available on the App Store.


Connected, Episode 166: The Warm Water of Bribery

iPhone X pre-orders are in, and reviews are out. There’s drama surrounding both.

On this week's episode of Connected, I also explain why I recently bought an Nvidia Shield and we discuss how our iPhone X preorder plans worked out. You can listen here.

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iPhone X, Face ID, and Hidden Notification Content

An interesting tidbit from Steven Levy's first impressions of the iPhone X: by default, the content of notifications on the Lock screen is hidden, and it's only displayed once you look at the iPhone and thus authenticate yourself.

Alternatively, a good way to see when you’ve been recognized is to notice the generic messages on the lock screen saying “you have a notification” from Facebook, Gmail, or wherever. When you and your iPhone X make that turn-on connection, those flesh out with the actual content of the message. (This feature—withholding potentially private alerts until the phone was unlocked—had previously been available as an option but now is the default.)

What I find intriguing is the fact that – if I'm reading this right – the feature has been turned on by default for the iPhone X, as if to underline the role of Face ID. This option, in fact, isn't new: on any existing device running iOS 11, you can go to Settings ⇾ Notifications ⇾ Show Previews and enable When Unlocked to achieve the same effect. On the Lock screen, the content of notifications (titles, preview messages, and media attachments) won't be shown until you place your finger on the Touch ID sensor.

It seems like Apple sees Face ID as not only technically superior to Touch ID (more secure, powered by machine learning), but also as a better user experience for dealing with notifications – otherwise, why would they make it the default setting? I'm curious to play with this and see if I revert to the old option or not.


Gladys Adds iPhone Version and iCloud Sync

Gladys, developed by Pavlos Tsochantaris, is one of the shelf apps we've been covering on MacStories since the release of iOS 11 and, as I wrote last week, the one I've been using on my two iPad Pros. Not only does Gladys implement many of the ideas I would have liked to see in a native shelf for iOS 11, but the app has gone beyond my expectations with the ability to save multiple data types for dropped items, as well as a file provider extension to view all your saved items in iOS 11's Files app.

With today's version 1.1, Gladys is also gaining a permanent spot on my iPhone's Home screen (which I shared in Issue 100 of MacStories Weekly for Club MacStories members). Gladys is now a universal app for the iPhone and iPad, and it can sync items across devices thanks to built-in iCloud integration. In my early tests with the app, everything worked as expected: CloudKit-based sync is fast and reliable, with changes made on one device (such as a link dragged from Safari into Gladys on the iPad) propagating in less than two seconds to the other.

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Apple Pay’s Expansion and Apple Pay Cash

At the Money 20/20 conference earlier this week, Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s VP of Apple Pay, revealed some new stats about the service and announced an expansion to four new major markets. Ingrid Lunden has the full story at TechCrunch, but this part about Apple Pay Cash (the peer-to-peer payment feature announced at WWDC that hasn't launched yet) stood out to me:

When Apple Pay Cash is turned on, for example, it will operate like Venmo, allowing users to transfer money quickly to each other via iMessage, Siri and other channels — a service that “thousands” of Apple employees are now already using in a closed beta before the service is turned on more widely later this year in an iOS 11 update.

But in addition to that, users will also be able to take that money and spend it directly at retailers and others that accept Apple Pay.

So you'll not only be able to send money to other people over iMessage, but Apple Pay Cash will effectively be its own card that can be used at any physical store or website that supports Apple Pay (like our own Club). I'm intrigued.


The iPad Pro as Main Computer for Programming

Jannis Hermanns:

In the summer of 2017, I wanted to know what it would be like to use an iPad Pro as my main computer. I found out that it can actually work, thanks to an iOS app called Blink, an SSH replacement called Mosh, iOS 11 and running stuff on a server.

As is tradition, I will first explain myself and tell you about the why.

This is a technical, fascinating look at turning the iPad Pro into the primary computer for a web backend engineer. It's always interesting to read how other people with different needs are taking advantage of iOS and the iPad's app ecosystem.


Connected, Episode 165: Super Easy to Do a Top Case

Back in their respective countries, the boys gather around Skype to discuss an Italian mystery, another failing keyboard, the Pixel 2 XL and iPhone X pre-orders.

Some fun surprises on this week’s episode of Connected, including a few questions for next week. You can listen here.

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