Software Engineering

AppStories

Federico Viticci, John Voorhees

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AppStories is a weekly exploration of the world of apps by MacStories' Federico Viticci and John Voorhees. Each week, they discuss the best new apps, the impact of apps on our culture, and cover the stories behind popular apps. Hosted by Federico Vit...Show More

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102 – Utility Grab Bag, Part 2

29:08 | Mar 11th

This week, Federico and John dive back into their collections of iOS and Mac utilities and discuss four more favorites.

101 – iOS 13 Wish List Part 1: Files and the iPad Home Screen

29:51 | Mar 4th

This week, Federico and John discuss their iOS 13 wishes for the Files app and iPad home screen.

100 – App Trends

34:30 | Feb 25th

This week, Federico and John discuss some of the trends they expect will drive app development on iOS and the Mac this year and into the future.

99 – Pick 2: Everyday Workflows

31:00 | Feb 18th

This week, Federico and John each pick an aspect of their MacStories work and break down the apps, workflows, and processes they use to accomplish it.

98 – Mixed iOS/Mac Automation

42:00 | Feb 11th

This week, Federico and John dive into Federico’s experiments in mixed iOS and Mac automation for controlling his Mac mini, iTunes, and podcasting setup.

97 – Utility App Grab Bag

34:51 | Feb 4th

This week, Federico and John dive into their collections of iOS and Mac utilities and discuss some favorites.

96 – Alternatives to Apple’s App Short List

36:57 | Jan 28th

This week, Federico and John consider Apple’s latest iPad ads and provide suggestions of other third-party apps the company could use to show off its hardware.

95 – Interview: Directing Animated Feature Films Using an iPad Pro with Yarrow Cheney

44:15 | Jan 21st

This week, Federico and John interview Yarrow Cheney, whose animated feature film credits include directing The Grinch and The Secret Life of Pets and production design for the Despicable Me movies and The Lorax, about the role the iPad plays in his ...Show More

94 – Interview: iOS Game Design with Edwin Smith of Feral Interactive

37:16 | Jan 14th

This week, we interview Edwin Smith of Feral Interactive, the developer and publisher of Mac and iOS games about the design challenges of bringing complex desktop games to the iPad and iPhone.

93 – 2019 Themes from Our Must-Have iOS and Mac Apps

37:58 | Jan 7th

This week, Federico and John discuss the themes that run throughout their 2018 iOS and Mac must-have apps and what they mean for 2019.

92 – Introducing the 2018 MacStories Selects

37:52 | Dec 17th, 2018

This week, Federico and John unveil the MacStories team’s 2018 MacStories Selects for Best New App, Best New Game, and Best App Update.

91 – Apps for Planning Projects Big and Small

39:59 | Dec 10th, 2018

This week, Federico and John explore the apps they use for planning everything from the upcoming year to the week ahead.

90 – Taking iOS Photography Further with RAW Camera Apps and Editors

35:36 | Dec 3rd, 2018

This week, Federico and John take on iOS photography by discussing some of their favorite RAW camera apps and photo editors.

89 – iOS and Apps in the Car

36:52 | Nov 26th, 2018

This week, Federico and John take iOS for a car ride covering CarPlay, Do Not Disturb, in-car dongles, and automation.

88 – Returning to the iPad Pro

39:11 | Nov 19th, 2018

This week, Federico and John talk about the extra RAM in the 1TB iPad Pro, external display confusion, and John’s return to the iPad Pro after a summer of using the 9.7-inch iPad.

87 – Pick 2: Grocery and HomeRun

29:39 | Nov 12th, 2018

This week, Federico and John go in-depth on two apps they’ve been using a lot recently: Grocery, a grocery shopping list app, and HomeRun, an Apple Watch app for triggering HomeKit scenes.

86 – Apps and the New iPad Pro

38:23 | Nov 5th, 2018

This week, Federico and John talk about the new iPad Pros announced at the event held by Apple in Brooklyn, New York, the apps announced onstage and that Federico tried in the hands-on area, Apple’s dubious comparison of the iPad GPU to the Xbox One ...Show More

85 – iOS Personalization and Customization

35:56 | Oct 29th, 2018

This week, Federico and John talk about some of the ways they personalize and tweak their iOS setups, including wallpapers, widgets, control center, share sheet, app icons, and more.

84 – Frequently-Used Shortcuts, Part 2

32:04 | Oct 22nd, 2018

This week, Federico and John go over more of their favorite shortcuts, focusing on web API-based shortcuts and creating menus to organize and launch shortcuts.

83 – Frequently-Used Shortcuts, Part 1

35:05 | Oct 15th, 2018

This week, Federico and John discuss some of their most frequently-used shortcuts for work and their personal lives.

82 – Our Apple Watch Faces, Complications, and Docks

38:25 | Oct 8th, 2018

This week, Federico and John talk about how they’ve set up their new Series 4 Apple Watches including the complications they use, new apps they are trying, and what’s in their Watch docks.

81 – Mac and iOS App Convergence

32:58 | Oct 1st, 2018

This week, Federico and John consider what the new Marzipan apps in Mojave may mean for the future of apps on all of Apple’s hardware platforms.

80 – Our Favorite Apps with iOS 12 Features (Part 2)

30:55 | Sep 24th, 2018

This week, Federico and John discuss more of their favorite iOS and watchOS app debuts and updates highlighting iOS 12 and watchOS 5 features.

79 – Our Favorite Apps with iOS 12 Features (Part 1)

32:11 | Sep 17th, 2018

This week, Federico and John dig into some of their favorite iOS app debuts and updates highlighting iOS 12 features.

78 – Exploring Twitter Apps

37:16 | Sep 10th, 2018

This week, Federico and John explore Twitter clients, other specialized Twitter apps, and how they use them.

77 – Expanding Apple’s Reminders with Third-Party Apps

32:13 | Sep 3rd, 2018

This week, Federico and John take a look at apps that integrate with Apple’s iOS Reminders app, which besides being a default app, is also a system framework.

76 – Our Favorite Share Sheet Extensions

33:48 | Aug 27th, 2018

Federico returns from vacation to discuss the share sheet extensions that he and John use on their iOS devices.

75 – I Set Up a Fake Child

45:11 | Aug 20th, 2018

John is joined by Merlin Mann to discuss managing family tech use and the upcoming iOS 12 Screen Time family features.

74 – Fixing John’s Mixed Up, Messed Up, Broken Home Screen

35:54 | Aug 13th, 2018

John is joined by Alex Cox in an attempt to fix his messy iPhone screens.

73 – Show Me Your Mac Menu Bar Apps

35:29 | Aug 6th, 2018

John is joined by Stephen Hackett to compare and discuss their Mac menu bar apps.

72 – What Makes an App a Pro App?

34:40 | Jul 30th, 2018

Federico and John consider the elements that make an app a pro app.

71 – PDF Apps

33:04 | Jul 23rd, 2018

Federico and John discuss the world of apps for viewing, organizing, marking up, editing, and creating PDFs.

70 – Apps for Managing Big Projects

40:37 | Jul 16th, 2018

Federico and John discuss the apps they use to manage large projects like the MacStories and AppStories coverage of the App Store’s 10th anniversary and Apple’s fall OS releases.

69 – An Interview with Ryan Cash and Harry Nesbitt of Team Alto

40:56 | Jul 15th, 2018

Federico and John are joined by Team Alto members Ryan Cash and Harry Nesbitt.

68 – Interviews with Michael Flarup and Marc Edwards

56:42 | Jul 14th, 2018

Federico and John interview Michael Flarup and Marc Edwards about iOS app design.

67 – An Interview with Zach Gage

45:38 | Jul 13th, 2018

Federico and John are joined by independent game developer Zach Gage the creator of hit games like Ridiculous Fishing, SpellTower, Really Bad Chess, Typeshift, Flipflop Solitaire, and Pocket Run Pool to discuss the App Store’s effect on gaming.

66 – Interviews with Becky Hansmeyer and Heidi Helen Pilypas

44:53 | Jul 12th, 2018

Federico and John interview Becky Hansmeyer, the creator of Snapthread and Heidi Helen Pilypas, the designer of Stamp Pack and the upcoming Capsicum.

65 – An Interview with Marco Arment and David Smith

1:02:39 | Jul 11th, 2018

Federico and John interview Marco Arment, the creator or Instapaper and Overcast and David Smith who has many apps including health and fitness apps such as Pedometer++, Workouts++, Activity++, and Sleep++ about building sustainable businesses over t...Show More

64 – An Interview with Craig Hockenberry and James Thomson

56:41 | Jul 10th, 2018

Federico and John interview Craig Hockenberry of The Iconfactory and James Thomson, the creator of PCalc and DragThing, about the earliest days of the App Store.

63 – App Store Storytime

30:32 | Jul 9th, 2018

It’s storytime on AppStories. Federico and John tell some of their favorite personal stories about apps and the App Store.

62 – Demystifying SiriKit

33:54 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Federico and John clear up confusion about SiriKit and discuss the apps that support it.

61 – Attention Revisited: iOS 12 Notifications, Do Not Disturb, and Screen Time

33:38 | Jun 25th, 2018

Federico and John take a close look at the tools coming in iOS 12 to help monitor and control time spent on iOS devices and compare those to what they wished for in Episode 56.

60 – The Apps of WWDC 2018

38:39 | Jun 18th, 2018

Federico and John discuss the new and updated apps announced at WWDC 2018.

59 – Our iPhone X Home Screens

35:53 | Jun 11th, 2018

Federico and John discuss the apps on their current iPhone X Home screens.

58 – Imagining What iOS Could Do for Mac Apps

26:20 | Jun 4th, 2018

Federico and John look at what Apple could do to use iOS and its large developer community to revitalize the Mac app ecosystem.

57 – Pick 2: Spark 2 and 1Password 7 for Mac

37:06 | May 28th, 2018

Federico and John go in-depth on two recently-updated apps. In this installment of Pick 2, Federico covers Spark 2, which has added app integrations into the iOS version and team collaboration to the iOS and Mac versions while John covers 1Password 7...Show More

56 – Controlling The Time Spent on Your iPhone

32:26 | May 21st, 2018

Federico and John talk about managing time spent on smartphones, including what manufacturers like Apple and Google are doing to address the issue, what users can do, and how they deal with being on their iPhones too much.

55 – iOS System Apps Wish List

31:29 | May 14th, 2018

Federico and John discuss their wishes for Apple’s iOS system apps.

54 – Pick 2: GoodNotes and Working Copy

28:19 | May 7th, 2018

Federico and John pick two apps they use regularly to discuss. In this installment of Pick 2, John covers GoodNotes and how he uses it for planning and editing, and Federico explains how he and the MacStories team use Working Copy to collaborate on a...Show More

53 – In Search of Apple TV Apps

31:02 | Apr 30th, 2018

Federico and John cover how they use the Apple TV and highlight a handful of notable Apple TV apps.

52 – Do-Everything vs. Single-Purpose Apps

37:44 | Apr 23rd, 2018

Federico and John consider the pros and cons of do-everything and single-purpose apps.

51 – TMI: Saving Content for Later

31:59 | Apr 16th, 2018

Federico and John conclude their series on information overload with a discussion of how they save content for consumption later.

50 – TMI: Managing the Information Firehose

31:03 | Apr 9th, 2018

In part one of a two-part topic, Federico and John explore the apps they use to manage information overload and interruptions.

49 – Pick 2: Bear and DEVONthink

38:34 | Apr 2nd, 2018

Federico and John take a deeper look at two favorite apps. In this installment: Bear and DEVONthink.

48 – Interview: Accessibility with Filmmaker James Rath

33:35 | Mar 26th, 2018

Federico and John interview filmmaker and YouTuber James Rath, who is legally blind, about accessibility on Apple’s platforms.

47 – Apple App Acquisitions

35:28 | Mar 19th, 2018

Federico and John look at the apps Apple has acquired over the years and where they are now.

46 – App Culture: Health, Fitness, and Quantified Self Apps

35:51 | Mar 12th, 2018

Federico and John look back at where health, fitness, and quantified self apps have been, where they’re going, and how hardware and software advancements are changing the way we track and gain insights about our health and fitness.

45 – An Interview with Harry Nesbitt and Ryan Cash About Alto’s Odyssey

37:17 | Mar 5th, 2018

Federico and John interview two members of Team Alto, Harry Nesbitt and Ryan Cash, about Alto’s Adventure, the challenges they faced in following it up with Alto’s Odyssey, the creative process of making games, and the mobile game industry.

44 – App Culture: Mindfulness and Meditation Apps

30:59 | Feb 26th, 2018

Federico and John talk about the trends and app culture surrounding mindfulness and meditation apps.

43 – How We Use RSS

30:56 | Feb 19th, 2018

Federico and John follow up their RSS app and service episode with a closer look at how each of them uses RSS for work and pleasure reading.

42 – RSS Services and Apps

38:52 | Feb 12th, 2018

The RSS sync service and reader app landscape makes it difficult to find the perfect combination of features for the way you read the news. Federico and John sift through the many options and highlight what they look for in modern iOS and Mac RSS cli...Show More

41 – iOS 11’s Effect on Our iOS Habits

38:23 | Feb 5th, 2018

Nearly five months into iOS 11, Federico and John take a look at how iOS 11 has changed not only the way they work, but also how it has impacted their use of lifestyle, health and fitness, media consumption, and other types of apps.

40 – How Apps Fit Into Our TV and Movie Watching

35:51 | Jan 29th, 2018

Federico and John discuss their TV and movie watching habits, hardware, and how they use apps as part of the process.

39 – The Mac App Store’s Problems

35:03 | Jan 22nd, 2018

The Mac App Store has fallen behind the iOS App Store. Federico and John discuss the Store’s problems and consider how Apple might address them.

38 – An Interview with James Thomson, Creator of PCalc and DragThing

33:02 | Jan 15th, 2018

Federico and John interview James Thomson about the origins of PCalc and DragThing, life as an indie developer, selling apps on the App Store and Mac App Store, and more.

37 – Our Ideal Email Client

42:17 | Jan 8th, 2018

Federico and John discuss the features that their ideal iOS and Mac email clients would have and what they are using now.

36 – The Impact of App Pre-Orders on Developers and Their Customers

34:02 | Dec 18th, 2017

Federico and John discuss app pre-orders, a new feature introduced by Apple that has interesting implications for developers and their customers.

35 – An Interview with Christian Selig, Creator of Reddit Client Apollo

28:36 | Dec 11th, 2017

Federico and John interview Christian Selig, the creator of the popular iOS Reddit client Apollo about the development and design of the app, incorporating Redditors’ feedback, the complexities inherent in building a Reddit app, and working in Swift.

34 – Pick 2: Pixelmator Pro and Things 3

37:37 | Dec 4th, 2017

Federico and John pick two apps they’ve been experimenting with recently and discuss how it’s going so far. In this installment of Pick 2, John covers macOS image editor Pixelmator Pro, which was released last week, and Federico explains how he’s int...Show More

33 – What’s on Our Apple Watches

30:16 | Nov 27th, 2017

Federico and John talk about the Apple Watch apps they use and how their use of the Watch has changed as the product has evolved.

32 – Apps and Good Intentions

32:58 | Nov 20th, 2017

Federico and John consider why some apps sit unused in ‘folders of good intentions’ on their iOS and macOS devices.

31 – What Makes an App Sticky?

38:16 | Nov 13th, 2017

Federico and John look at apps that have been designed for the iPhone X and consider what makes certain apps ‘sticky.’

30 – The Apps and Workflows We Use to Cover Apple Earnings Calls

34:31 | Nov 6th, 2017

Federico and John explain the apps and workflows they use to cover Apple earnings calls and then cover updates to Newsify on iOS and Twitterrific for macOS.

29 – Geeky macOS Apps

29:54 | Oct 30th, 2017

Federico and John dig into their favorite geeky macOS apps that they use for work and play.

28 – Interview: Automation and Apps with Greg Pierce of Agile Tortoise

34:29 | Oct 23rd, 2017

John interviews Greg Pierce of Agile Tortoise about the origins of x-callback-url, iOS automation, Drafts, and Greg’s other apps.

27 – Music Services and Apps

28:13 | Oct 16th, 2017

Federico and John love music, so this week, they compare the apps and services they use to listen to, discover, and share music.

26 – Tips for Travelers

32:27 | Oct 9th, 2017

With Federico’s trip to the United States for the Release Notes conference just around the corner, he and John talk about the travel apps they use, from planning a trip, to getting around an unfamiliar city.

25 – iOS 11 Drag and Drop Apps

39:01 | Oct 2nd, 2017

Federico and John talk about iOS 11’s drag and drop feature, examples of some of their favorite apps that implement it, and the apps they’d like to see add it next.

24 – Our Favorite iOS 11 Apps, Part 1

34:07 | Sep 25th, 2017

Federico and John give an update on the iOS 11 review and anniversary activities at MacStories and Club MacStories then talk about some of their favorite new apps and updates that show off the new capabilities of iOS 11.

23 – The Apps Behind Federico’s iOS 11 Review

44:39 | Sep 19th, 2017

Federico and John lift the curtain on some of the special events at MacStories and Club MacStories surrounding the release of iOS 11, discuss the removal of the App Store from iTunes on macOS, and dive into the apps Federico used to plan, research, w...Show More

22 – Apps with a Human Touch

43:56 | Sep 11th, 2017

Federico and John discuss what’s left now that Federico is finished writing the text of his iOS 11 review, preview some of the upcoming coverage on MacStories and the upcoming second anniversary of Club MacStories, and consider the importance of litt...Show More

21 – Breaking Up iTunes Is Hard to Do

37:16 | Sep 4th, 2017

Federico and John consider ways to break up iTunes into multiple apps that are designed to accommodate how media consumption has changed, but also account for legacy devices and uses.

20 – Ulysses’ Switch to Subscriptions and Apple’s to 64-Bit Apps

36:33 | Aug 28th, 2017

Federico and John revisit subscription pricing models in the wake of Ulysses’ switch to subscriptions and discuss what Apple’s transition from 32-bit to 64-bit apps means for the App Store and consumers.

19 – Interview: Running an App Development Studio with Dermot Daly

29:59 | Aug 21st, 2017

Federico and John interview Dermot Daly, founder of Tapadoo, a Dublin-based app development studio, about how he got started in mobile development, the Tapadoo origin story, what it’s like to develop apps in the regulated medical field, the challenge...Show More

18 – Shelf and Clipboard Apps on macOS and iOS

27:36 | Aug 14th, 2017

Federico and John look at shelf and clipboard apps on macOS and iOS, consider how third-party shelf apps are likely to work under iOS 11, and discuss the advantages of Apple adding a shelf feature to iOS.

17 – Our iPad Home Screens

40:06 | Aug 7th, 2017

Federico and John talk about the way their iPad Home screens reflect their use of the device and how that has changed since they’ve been running the iOS 11 beta.

16 – Evolving the iMessage App Store

28:19 | Jul 31st, 2017

Federico and John discuss the current shortcomings of the iMessage App Store and what Apple is changing in iOS 11 to address some of its problems.

15 – iOS 11’s Files App

36:37 | Jul 24th, 2017

Federico and John dive into the new Files app that’s coming to iOS 11 in the fall and discuss the history of file management on iOS, the shift in approach taken by the Files app, and how it works.

14 – Pick 2: Ulysses and FullContact

33:55 | Jul 17th, 2017

Federico and John pick two apps and discuss how and why they use them for their work. For the first installment of Pick 2, Federico covers Ulysses and how he’s used it over the past year and for the iOS 11 review he is currently writing; John explain...Show More

13 – Interview: Rehearsal Pro with David H. Lawrence XVII

34:05 | Jul 10th, 2017

Federico and John speak to actor David H. Lawrence XVII about his app Rehearsal Pro, which helps actors rehearse for parts, how understanding his audience has helped the app find a large following among professional actors, and how some of its more f...Show More

12 – The State of Non-Native Apps

38:29 | Jul 3rd, 2017

Ten years after Scott Forstall suggested web apps as a ‘sweet solution’ for would-be iPhone developers, Federico and John look at the state of non-native apps, the trade-offs inherent to them, and discuss examples of non-native apps they like, and a ...Show More

11 – iOS 11’s Impact on Third-Party Apps

36:52 | Jun 26th, 2017

Federico and John consider the effect on third-party apps of PDFKit, the system Markup extension, changes to Notes, and password AutoFill for apps.

10 – iOS 11’s All-New App Store

39:16 | Jun 19th, 2017

Apple announced a redesigned App Store for iOS 11 at WWDC. Federico and John take a look at the upcoming changes, the challenges Apple will face producing original content about apps, and consider what it will mean for users and developers.

9 – Competing with iOS System Apps

31:14 | Jun 12th, 2017

John and Federico consider the pros and cons of competing with, and what it takes to succeed against, Apple’s free, built-in system apps and highlight some of their favorite alternatives.

8 – Interview: Hidden Folks with Adriaan de Jongh

30:32 | Jun 5th, 2017

Federico and John interview Adriaan de Jongh, the co-creator of the hit iOS and PC game Hidden Folks about the creation and design of the game, its unique sound design, gaming on mobile, and an exclusive look at what’s next for Hidden Folks.

7 – Tip Jars with Benefits

32:13 | May 29th, 2017

Federico and John cover more app pricing models including tip jars, patronage, fan clubs, bundles, and in-app merchandise sales.

6 – Interview: The Making of the CARROT Apps with Brian Mueller

28:06 | May 22nd, 2017

Federico and John interview Brian Mueller, the creator of the CARROT series of apps, about how he got started, the origins of CARROT, a corgi with a top hat and monocle, and his new CARROT game, Artificial Superintelligence.

5 – App Subscriptions

34:47 | May 15th, 2017

How app subscriptions work, the pros and cons for consumers and developers, and examples of apps using creative subscription models.

4 – Interview: App Discovery and the iTunes Affiliate Program with AfterPad’s Kevin MacLeod

31:55 | May 8th, 2017

Federico and John talk about the iTunes Affiliate Program and its importance for app discovery and independent curation with Kevin MacLeod of AfterPad. The episode was recorded before Apple’s clarification of changes to the program.

3 – Interview: App Camp for Girls with Jean MacDonald and Grey Osten

29:06 | May 1st, 2017

Federico and John interview Jean MacDonald and Grey Osten, the co-founders of App Camp for Girls – an organization that helps middle-school age girls get started with app development.

2 – Setting Up a New iOS Device

31:20 | Apr 24th, 2017

Federico and John discuss setting up a new iOS device, whether they do a clean install with new iOS releases, the first apps they install, and tips and tricks to make the process easier.

1 – Welcome to AppStories

31:12 | Apr 20th, 2017

Federico and John introduce AppStories, talk about apps that made a difference in their lives, and highlight apps that have caught their attention recently.