Federico Viticci

Editor-in-chief

Twitter: @viticciEmail: viticci@macstories.net

Federico is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of MacStories, where he writes about Apple with a focus on apps, developers, iPad, 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, and Dialog, a show where creativity meets technology.

He can also be found on his two other podcasts on Relay FM – Connected and Remaster.

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App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

Noteworthy new app releases and updates, handpicked by the MacStories team.

Cibo

If you’ve ever found yourself in Italy and wanting to understand what’s written on a restaurant menu (okay fine, not just Italy, but let me have this), Cibo is a new app created by Jordi Bruin that lets you search for pictures of food by just pointing at the menu with your iPhone’s camera. Think of Cibo as Live Text meets Translate and Google Images: the camera scans the menu, recognizes text, and allows you to select the dish you want to see pictures for. I love this idea; just keep in mind that “fettuccine Alfredo” isn’t a thing and you should never get those.

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Wallpaper, Obsidian, Financial Document, Classical Music, and YouTube Shortcuts, Plus Obsidian Screencasts

SPOTLIGHT ON CLUB MACSTORIES+

Highlights of the latest Club MacStories+ happenings.

Wallpaper, Obsidian, Financial Document, Classical Music, and YouTube Shortcuts, Plus Obsidian Screencasts

It was another busy week on the Club MacStories+ Discord, and I’ve tried my best to collect highlights from the community below. There isn’t a Discord URL scheme to reopen these links in the Discord app directly; my preferred approach for these is to view them as separate tabs in Safari for iPad or Mac.

Yesterday, I published the first monthly lesson of the Automation Academy for Club MacStories+ and Club Premier members. This month’s lesson is a deep dive into the Files actions for iOS 15 in which I cover the basics, explain advanced techniques for file management, and share some examples of Files-based shortcuts I’ve put together. You can read it here.

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September 9, 2021

Automation Academy: Diving Deeper into Shortcuts' Files Actions for iOS and iPadOS 15

Files actions in iPadOS 15.

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first monthly lesson of the Automation Academy. As the release of iOS and iPadOS 15 draws near, this month we’re taking a look at a revamped suite of actions in the updated Shortcuts app that will radically change how you can get work done on iPhone and iPad: the new Files actions.

In this lesson, I’ll explain how Shortcuts’ new integration with Files works and how it differs from iOS 14; I will take a closer look at new and updated actions and cover a variety of tips and tricks on how to configure them; and finally, I’ll be sharing a selection of shortcuts I’ve put together to demonstrate these actions, along with the first assignment for Club MacStories members.

Let’s get started.

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PDFs in Obsidian, Apps We'd Like to Use More, and Splitting Tasks in Todoist

SPOTLIGHT ON CLUB MACSTORIES+

Highlights of the latest Club MacStories+ happenings.

PDFs in Obsidian, Apps We'd Like to Use More, and Splitting Tasks in Todoist

It was a busy week on the Club MacStories+ Discord, and I’ve tried my best to collect highlights from the community below. There isn’t a Discord URL scheme to reopen these links in the Discord app directly; my preferred approach for these is to view them as separate tabs in Safari for iPad or Mac.


Member Cris shared a tip on how to embed attachments, such as PDFs, in Obsidian to create a portable, searchable index of important documents.

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App Debuts

APP DEBUTS

Noteworthy new app releases and updates, handpicked by the MacStories team.

Albums

The album-focused music player by Adam Linder, which we previously reviewed here, has received a substantial 4.2 update that introduced iCloud sync for your now playing queue, quick actions, tags, and other data. I’m not familiar with other third-party Apple Music players that sync your queue over iCloud, so this is pretty neat. (Alas, due to a bug in iOS 15, iCloud sync can’t be enabled on the beta at the moment.) Along with dozens of other tweaks, Albums now supports proper search for albums in your library or on the Apple Music catalog, lets you browse albums by record label, producer, or mixing engineer (I love this), and comes with new bulk actions to hide or tag multiple albums at once. As soon as iCloud sync gets fixed in the iOS 15 beta, I plan to take Albums for another spin since I’ve always appreciated its album-centric design.

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Splitting PDFs and Making Images from Specific Pages

SHORTCUTS CORNER

Get help and suggestions for your iOS shortcuts and productivity apps.

Shortcuts Essentials

Splitting PDFs and Making Images from Specific Pages

I’m in the final stretch of writing and editing my iOS and iPadOS 15 review (I’m writing in the afternoon, and editing at night), and as I was consolidating my notes from recent betas and beginning to mark review tasks as completed, I came across a few shortcuts I built to demonstrate new actions in iOS 15, which I didn’t end up using in the main review. One of them in the particular caught my attention, and it made perfect sense to share it with Club MacStories members because it’s been a highly requested one over the years.

Inspired by Automator, Shortcuts for iOS and iPadOS 15 comes with some excellent new PDF actions to process documents and extract data from them. The actions are:

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