Federico Viticci

8149 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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YouTube Update Brings Redesigned App, No iOS 9 Multitasking Enhancements

Yesterday, Google released an update for its YouTube app for iOS which brings a redesign aimed at making it easier to access recommended videos and all videos from your subscriptions. In the new Home page, three icons at the top of the screen let you move through recommendations and a feed of all videos from channels you're subscribed to. Throughout the app, a new Material-inspired UI gives you a new layout for related videos and your profile page, which now offers more visible shortcuts for the watch later queue, playlists, and more.

Unfortunately, Google hasn't adopted iPad multitasking features in this update, which lacks support for Picture in Picture, Split View, and Slide Over. While I don't know Google's motivation for continuing to avoid iOS 9's changes to multitasking on iPad, I speculated that Google may not be a fan of the ability to keep watching a video outside of the YouTube app, and this appears to be the case. By using Picture in Picture and standard iOS video APIs, users would be able to keep playing a video in a floating popup that would make it impossible to tap on ads and annotations on iOS.

I would have been content with Split View to keep YouTube (and its ad-powered videos) next to other apps on iOS, and maybe that day will eventually come. For now, I'll have to use apps like YouPlayer and ProTube to watch YouTube videos with Picture in Picture on my iPad.


Macminicolo: Mac mini Hosting and El Capitan [Sponsor]

The Mac mini continues to prove itself as a very reliable and capable server. Macminicolo has been hosting Mac minis for nearly eleven years and they’d love for you to give it a try. The El Capitan Promo offers a colocation package with all you’ll need for just $10/month. While supplies last, they also have rental options as well.

Putting your Mac mini in a data center brings all sorts of benefits. The high-end facility will give your machine security, speed and safety. Since you’re the only one with access to the machine, you can set it up with any services you’d like to use. Here are 50 ideas to get you started.

On top of all that, Macminicolo has good personal support. They’re a part of the Mac community. Send an email, get a personal response right back. You can also get them on Twitter (@Macminicolo) or iMessage (sales@macminicolo.net).

My thanks to Macminicolo for sponsoring MacStories this week. (Side note: MacStories runs on a Mac mini from Macminicolo, and we love it.)

iOS Diagnostics and Usage Data

Joe Caiati has a good primer on what diagnostics and usage data mean in iOS, what you can do, and when it's probably time to book an appointment at the Genius Bar:

I would liken the Diagnostics & Usage Data section to the Console on the Mac. There is a lot of noise in there, but sometimes you can find important information about issues related to your device. At its most basic definition, the Diagnostics & Usage Data section is a log of system events that happen on your iOS device. This log isn’t tracking your every move, but it is creating entries whenever events like an app crash happens.

Like the Console, unless you are an engineer at Apple, you probably won’t know what every string of text means, but I’d like to think I know enough to help you figure out what’s important. If you are interested in what’s going on in your iOS device, navigate to the section and let’s dig in.


Apple Rolls Out Searchable WWDC Session Transcripts with Timestamp Links

From Apple's developer blog:

Now it's easier to discover and share information presented in WWDC videos with our recent search update. You can search a keyword and find all the instances of it mentioned in the videos. Go straight to the time the keyword was mentioned in the video or easily share a link to it.

Not only does Apple now allow you to search the WWDC session transcripts – which ASCIIwwdc has been doing for a while – you can tap on a result (like this) and be taken to the relevant point in the video from your web browser. There are also filters to select returns from specific WWDCs and you can filter by platform, too.

Extremely useful, and I wish I had this when I was writing my iOS 9 review this summer.


iOS 9 Universal Links and Forgotten Passwords

Slopes developer Curtis Herbert has been thinking about how to create a better password reset flow for apps on iOS 9 with Universal Links:

With universal links we can remove Safari from that process entirely. Users can now reset their password in-app, allowing the app to also automatically log them in after the reset. This is all possible while still having the security of the reset password email to confirm identity.

Good idea, and one of the many advantages of Universal Links (check out his demo to see how native 1Password integration makes everything easier).


Apple Working on Universal Search API for Apple TV

John Paczkowski, writing for BuzzFeed:

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed News, Apple CEO Tim Cook said universal search in Apple TV is not something that the company plans to reserve for key content partners. “At launch we’ll have iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, and HBO — so we’ll have five major inputs into universal search initially,” Cook said. “But we’re also opening an API, so that others can join in.”

And Apple’s confident that they will do just that. “I think that many, many people will want to be in that search,” Cook said. “And that’s great for users. Think about your experience today. Even if you’re fortunate enough to have the content you want to watch in an app, you sometimes don’t remember exactly where that show is, so you’re going to Netflix or Hulu or Showtime. You shouldn’t have to do that. It should be very simple.”

It does sound like the technology behind iOS 9 search will be reused to plug into apps on the new Apple TV. Smart move.


Apple Leather and Water

Greg Koenig has been running some (unscientific) tests on Apple's Leather Loop band:

So far, this chunk of strap has been through 4 different soak cycles. Three of those cycles were a 10 minute soak, followed by air drying at room temp. The latest cycle was a full 8 hour overnight soak. Drying takes about 3 hours.

The result? The leather shows zero visible signs of damage, zero texture change. As far as these (again, unscientific) tests are showing, the leather on Apple's Loop band is essentially waterproof.

(Make sure to read his disclaimer.)

Anecdotally, my Leather Loop band has been through showers, sea water, rain, and sweat. I took basic care of it, and it's exactly like the day I bought it. One of my favorite Watch bands.


Photo Extensions on El Capitan

Jason Snell has tried a few photo editing extensions on OS X El Capitan:

Like the built-in editing tools, you can actually stack multiple extensions while editing a photo, so you can combine third-party editing extensions with Apple’s own tools to get exactly the image that you want to see. However, each extension edits a “burned-in” version of your photo, so you can’t edit a photo with three extensions and then go back and turn off the first of the extensions. Instead, you’d need to revert back to the original photo (which is always retained by Photos) and start again from the beginning. You can also use the editing tools built in to Photos on images that have already been edited by an Extension, so you can really mix and match. You just don’t get the always-undoable, always-editable flexibility you get when you stick entirely to the native editing tools in Photos.

A good roundup, with some extensions I'll have to try out.


Virtual: 70% Sad

This time Myke is sad about THPS5, Federico is sad about the Vita, but they are both very happy with Shooty Skies.

On this week's Virtual, we explore more instances of videogames making us sad, but we make up for it with some fun iOS games. You can listen here.

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