Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Federico Viticci’

The Value of a Non-Reviewer’s Perspective ➝

Mere Civilian:

In the first seven minutes of the episode 242 of the AppStories Podcast. Federico said:

“You wouldn’t want to read/or watch a review by someone who is not a professional reviewer. It wouldn’t be enjoyable.” […]

I agree, a review from a person who does not write for a living may not be enjoyable. However, I strongly disagree with the first sentence.

This was an incredibly bone-headed comment from Federico. I would rather read a review from someone that isn’t a professional reviewer. I don’t want a phone review from someone that does phone reviews for a living because their perspective is skewed.

If you do phone reviews for a living, as a baseline, you get a new iPhone every single year. But if you’re even more active, then you’re using multiple devices at once or getting a new device every few months. That isn’t relatable in any way to normal users. You don’t ever experience the reduced battery life of a two-year-old device and you don’t live with any device long enough get that deeper perspective.

This state of constantly changing devices can also skew what software and services you use. Since professional phone reviewers are more likely to use cross-platform options, they might not dig quite as deep into the platform-specific offerings and/or have their opinions influenced by a mediocre implementation of one of those cross-platform services.

Speaking beyond phone reviews and of more general reviews, there’s always the potential for advertiser influence. This is less common among hobbyist reviewers because they are less likely to have relationships from direct advertising. Now, sure, you can claim that it is kept separate or that you don’t let it influence you. But if whether or not you have food on the table for dinner is dependent on an advertiser paying for placement, you are going to be a bit more careful about painting the advertiser’s products in a negative light.

➝ Source: merecivilian.com

A New Vision for Siri and iOS Automation ➝

An incredible piece by Federico Viticci that clearly explains what Shortcuts for iOS is and what it might mean for the platform going forward.

iPad ProMotion ➝

Federico Viticci, on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s 120Hz display:

A good way to think about the iPad’s new display with ProMotion is not the difference between low-res and Retina screens, but the jump from 30fps to 60fps. You see more of every animation. Text is more legible when you scroll and doesn’t judder. It’s hard to explain and it has to be seen and experienced to be fully understood. Every scroll, page transition, and app launch animation on the 10.5” iPad Pro is absurdly smooth to the point of feeling unrealistic at first – hence the common reaction that something doesn’t quite compute. But as you spend some time with the new iPad and start using it on a daily basis, its display becomes normal and you wish that other Apple displays were the same.

I would be surprised if this new display technology doesn’t make its way into the iPhone this year.

Reports of Workflow’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated ➝

Federico Viticci:

In the first update following Apple’s acquisition in late March – and despite rumors that claimed the app would no longer be supported – Workflow has today restored some of the features that were removed in version 1.7.3 of the app (which was released when Apple confirmed the acquisition) and has brought a variety of changes and improvements, including new Apple Music actions.

I don’t know if this update is a sign of things to come, but it’s nice to know that Workflow hasn’t been completely ignored by its developers since the acquisition. And the inclusion of new actions in this update gives me renewed hope for the future of the most important tool in my iOS arsenal.

Tweetbot Update Brings Image Support in DMs, New Compose UI for Replies ➝

Federico Viticci, writing on MacStories:

Similarly to Twitter’s iPhone app, Tweetbot 4.6 doesn’t count usernames against the 140-character limit. To present this change in functionality, Tapbots has opted for a Twitter-like design where usernames aren’t displayed in the compose box upon starting a reply. Instead, a “Replying to…” banner at the top of the screen highlights the tweet’s original author and other participants in a conversation. […]

Unlike Twitter’s official apps, usernames are still displayed in the body of a tweet in both the Timeline and Mentions views, providing a familiar format that doesn’t force you to tap on the “Replying to…” banner from every section of the app.

This is why I continue to use third-party clients — I can actually trust them to do the right thing with their user interface decisions. The same can’t be said about Twitter itself.

Initial Thoughts on iOS 10

Every year, when Apple releases their newest version of iOS to the public, I’ve typically already spent a few weeks or months with it on my main device. That was the case with almost every major iteration, until iOS 10. Whether I acquired it by nefarious means, signed up for the developer program, or sent my UDID number to a friend, I’ve always been able to get a hold of it. This year was a little different.

I installed iOS 10 on my iPad during the public beta, but it didn’t last long. Even though this was one of the best beta periods I’ve experienced from a stability standpoint, I’ve come to realize that my standards of acceptability are much higher than they’ve ever been. Now that my iPad and iPhone are my primary computers, I can’t put up with the little software bugs anymore.

In years past I could always switch to my Mac when something wasn’t working right, but that was during a time when all of my workflows were decidedly Mac-centric. Now, if something didn’t work on my iPad, I’d be left trying to piece together how I used to do it on my MacBook — often realizing that this task didn’t exist until my post-iOS era and I’ve never done it on a Mac before. iOS has become too essential for me to run beta builds. I just can’t risk anything breaking anymore.

The public beta only lasted a few days on my iPad — I reverted to iOS 9 at the first opportunity. That was a month or two ago, though, and Apple has spent their time polishing the rough edges. The public beta was good, but the final build is superb.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have any complaints, though. There’s still a small number of annoyances that remain. However, iOS 10 is an incredibly well built operating system and has quickly become my favorite OS upgrade of all time. As of this writing, I only have it installed on my iPhone, but I expect to have it on my iPad and my wife’s iPhone within the next couple of days.

I’m not going to be writing a detailed review of the update — if you’re looking for that, I suggest reading Nick Heer or Federico Viticci’s. Instead, I’ll be sharing a handful of my notes, taken in the first few hours after updating.

  • It’s going to take a little time to get used to the new lock screen behavior. I’m fully prepared to be called a maniac for this, but I’ve never enabled Touch ID or a passcode. I’ve been happy enough continuing to use the “slide to unlock” gesture. Because of this, I expect I’ll accidentally swipe to my widgets instead of unlocking my iPhone on numerous occasions over the coming weeks.
  • The quicker animations for launching and closing apps is quite jarring. It makes my eyes feel weird.
  • iMessage Apps are going to be incredibly popular, but I don’t expect I’ll install many of them. I’m a bit of a minimalist and iOS’s built-in images app will get me most of what I want. I might buy a couple sticker packs, but that’s about it.
  • Games in iMessages are surprisingly great. I spent about an hour playing a connect four clone and a battleship clone with my brother-in-law. It was fun. I think I’ll be playing games like this more often in the future.
  • I like the new design of the system-wide application back buttons. They have more heft and are much more inviting to use.
  • The Music app is much better than it was in iOS 9, but I wish I could set artists as a tab along the bottom. I don’t need search and I don’t need Radio. If I had my way, the tabs along the bottom would be: recently added, artists, playlists, and more.
  • I love the Force Touch shortcut for clearing all notifications.
  • There doesn’t seem to be a way to quickly view Today View widgets with an app open. You can slide from the top and swipe to the left, but iOS doesn’t remember which pane you viewed last — unlike Control Center. That puts an extra step between me and my widgets. I routinely use Fantastical’s widget to check the date, PCalc’s widget for quick calculations, and Workflow’s widget for launching workflows. With iOS 10, widgets are significantly less convenient for me.
  • It’s a little odd that you can “uninstall” default apps now. I don’t plan on going crazy with it, I don’t have much of a problem simply hiding these apps deep within a folder. But of course, I had no problem immediately deleting Tips and Stocks.

Tweetbot 4.4 Brings Timeline Filters ➝

Federico Viticci gives a rundown of Tweetbot 4.4’s timeline filters. I was a little bummed when the media view was removed from Tweetbot in the transition to version 4, but I’m glad to see it return alongside the ability to create your own filters.

Workflow 1.5 Now Available ➝

A big update to Workflow — one of my favorite apps for iOS. It features twenty two new actions, a completely rewritten workflow composer, and a ton of other improvements. I’ve been using the beta for about a week and have had a blast working with the Ulysses integration, for obvious reasons.

I plan on sharing more of my workflows soon and I also have some updates to those that I’ve already shared — Push to Ulysses, Push to WordPress, and Upload Image. Until then, I suggest reading Federico Viticci’s review of the update.