Federico Viticci

8633 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.


Remaster, Episode 12: E3 2016

Just back from E3 2016, Shahid shares his personal history with E3, and gives the lowdown on what was announced this year.

Shahid did an amazing job telling his E3 stories in the latest episode of Remaster. You can listen here.

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Dropbox Adds Scanning Feature to iOS App

Alongside some welcome improvements to their desktop client, Dropbox announced today they're adding a document scanning feature to their iOS app:

With document scanning, you can now use the Dropbox mobile app to capture and organize scans from whiteboards, receipts, and sketches, so your ideas are right at your fingertips. Dropbox Business users can even search inside the scans.

The feature is detailed here, and it looks like it's been integrated with the '+' button to behave as any other file you'd manually import into Dropbox.

I don't think of Dropbox as an app on my phone – it's my online filesystem, which is why right now I'm struggling to imagine using it to scan documents. Essentially, I keep Dropbox on my iOS devices for two reasons: to share files with others and to grant other apps access to Dropbox. I don't spend a lot of time in the Dropbox app itself.

However, it appears that Dropbox has done a nice job in streamlining the functionality as much as possible, and I like how they're moving more and more features to Business-only users, so I'm going to give this a try.


Connected, Episode 96: Simplified the Paradigm

With post-WWDC flu raging throughout Europe, most of the Connected crew talks about the winners and losers of WWDC including watchOS, macOS Sierra and the iPad.

I couldn't join Myke and Stephen for Connected yesterday – I'm still recovering – but they had a fun episode about post-WWDC thoughts. You can listen here.

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Marble: A Portable 2-in-1 USB-C Dock & Charger [Sponsor]

Marble by Mofily is a portable 2-in-1 USB-C docking & charging station that can expand USB-C to HDMI, DisplayPort, 4x USB, MicroSD, and charge 4x devices simultaneously with a built-in 60w AC adapter.

Marble offers a single compact way to connect multiple devices to your USB-C ported laptop, including the new MacBook and many more. Marble gives you all the functionality of having your devices nearby. It’s as though they are still plugged right into your computer. When it’s not connected to an AC outlet, you can still use Marble as an on-the-go multifunctional hub for your laptop. The power supply of the USB ports will automatically switch from AC to laptop.

Safety has always been Mofily's priority, which is why they built Marble with advanced protection technology. Marble protects all your plugged-in devices from overcurrent, overvoltage, overtemperature and short-circuiting, giving you a stable power supply and peace of mind.

For details on how to get a Marble – plus photos, videos, and more technical information – you can check out their campaign on Indiegogo.

Our thanks to Mofily for sponsoring MacStories this week with Marble.

Apple’s ‘Differential Privacy’ and Your Data

Andy Greenberg, writing for Wired, has a good explanation of differential privacy:

Differential privacy, translated from Apple-speak, is the statistical science of trying to learn as much as possible about a group while learning as little as possible about any individual in it. With differential privacy, Apple can collect and store its users’ data in a format that lets it glean useful notions about what people do, say, like and want. But it can’t extract anything about a single, specific one of those people that might represent a privacy violation. And neither, in theory, could hackers or intelligence agencies.


Differential privacy, Roth explains, seeks to mathematically prove that a certain form of data analysis can’t reveal anything about an individual—that the output of an algorithm remains identical with and without the input containing any given person’s private data. “You might do something more clever than the people before to anonymize your data set, but someone more clever than you might come around tomorrow and de-anonymize it,” says Roth. “Differential privacy, because it has a provable guarantee, breaks that loop. It’s future proof.”


On iPad Features (Or Lack Thereof) at WWDC 2016

In my iOS 10 Wishes story from April1, I wrote:

I heard from multiple sources a few weeks ago that some iPad-only features will be shipped in 10.x updates following the release of iOS 10 in the Fall. I wouldn't be surprised if some iPad changes and feature additions won't make the cut for WWDC.

I didn't have high hopes for major iPad-specific features to be announced at WWDC. Still, I was disappointed to see the iPad return to the backseat2 after last year's revitalization. Every time Craig Federighi ended a segment with "it works on the iPad, too", it felt like the iPad had become an afterthought again.

After WWDC, I strongly believe that Apple has notable iPad-only features in the pipeline, but they won't be available until later in the iOS 10 cycle, possibly in early 2017.

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TestFlight Update Allows Developers to Push iOS 10 Betas

Chance Miller, writing for 9to5Mac:

Following the release of the first developer beta of iOS 10 earlier this week, Apple today has update TestFlight with support for the latest iOS version. As announced on the company’s developer website, developers are now able to build apps for iOS 10, watchOS 3, and the latest version of tvOS.

Being able to push betas of apps with iOS 10 features means that developers will be able to perfect the implementation of things like SiriKit and the new notification and widget features on iOS.

I remember struggling last year to try beta apps updated for iOS 9 ahead of the public release. It's good to see Apple is doing better this year and letting developers push betas built against the new SDKs right out of the gate. This is the way it should be.


Connected, Episode 95: RelayCon WWDC 2016

The Relay FM family comes together in San Francisco to discuss the WWDC announcements, in front of a live audience.

Last night in San Francisco, we recorded a very special episode of Connected featuring multiple segments – with some fantastic co-hosts – on the announcements from WWDC and more. You can listen here.

RelayCon San Francisco wouldn't have been possible without our amazing sponsors. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, Textexpander, from Smile, MacMiniColo, Dash, and MacPaw.