Latest posts by Jeff Benjamin

Jeff Benjamin

Jeff has been with iDownloadBlog since 2010, acting as resident video specialist, and tutorial expert.

He earned his degree in Computer Network Systems back in 2001, but decided Cisco routers and the like just weren’t for him. Since then, he’s been heavily involved with online writing. He’s written for numerous tech and video game sites since the late 1990′s, and has a knack for explaining things in a simple, clear, and concise manner.

Jeff works primarily from the east coast on his Retina Macbook Pro, and shoots video with a Canon DSLR. During downtime he likes to travel the world, visiting the various Apple Stores across the globe.

You can email him at jeff [at] idownloadblog.com and follow him on Twitter @JeffBenjam or on Google+.

A final farewell from Jeff

Ladies and gentlemen…Today I say goodbye to a place I have called my online home for quite a few years. It’s a bittersweet day. I’m moving on to another adventure, but I will always have fond memories of my time at iDB…

Atomos Ninja Assassin: A great way to improve Final Cut Pro X workflows

As most of you all know, I’m a huge fan of Final Cut Pro X. It’s my video editing app of choice, and has been since it launched back in 2011.
Recently, I’ve been looking for ways to be more efficient with my video workflow. Some of this can be done in post during the edit, but a large part of that is done before and during the actual shoot.
Just recently, I added a new piece of equipment to my workflow—the Atomos Ninja Assassin. After using it, I can say that it is by far one of the best investments that one who’s serious about video can make. It also pairs nicely with my Final Cut Pro workflow…

Meteor: a tweak that adds current temperature and weather conditions to the Weather app icon

Meteor is an upcoming jailbreak tweak that brings weather conditions and temperature to your Home screen Weather app icon. Along with the enhancements to the Weather app icon, Meteor lends weather information to the iOS status bar.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, Then Meteor should certainly be on your Radar. Check out our hands-on video walkthrough of the upcoming tweak for more details.

tvOS 9.2 beta 3 preview: Search the App Store with Siri, use Dictation to enter text and login credentials

It seems like every time there’s a new tvOS beta, an interesting new feature is included for us to talk about. With tvOS 9.2 beta 3, that new feature is the ability to use Dictation on text input fields. It also includes the ability to dictate—character by character—usernames and passwords.

Along with the new Dictation feature, comes support for searching the App Store using voice input from the Siri Remote. Have a look at our video preview that showcases each new feature in action.

Apple seeds tvOS 9.2 beta 3 to developers with Dictation support for search and Siri support for App Store search

Two weeks after it seeded tvOS 9.2 beta 2 to registered developers, the third tvOS 9.2 beta has been released, bringing with it Dictation support for onscreen text entry, as well as Siri support for App Store search.

The tvOS 9.2 update is notable for adding several improvements to the Apple TV. These improvements include a native Podcasts app, Bluetooth keyboard support, an improved App Switcher, iCloud Photo Library, Conference Room Display Mode, and more.

If you’re a developer, you can find details about the tvOS beta on Apple’s tvOS developer page. The tvOS 9.2 beta 3 release comes with a build number of 13Y5198c. We’ll be downloading and installing it to provide an update on what new features this latest beta update might include.

Gravitation: a jailbreak tweak that adds gravity to your Home screen

Gravitation is a brand new tweak that adds gravity to your Home screen app icons. If you’ve been around jailbreaking for some time, then it may remind you of 2010’s Graviboard, by Conrad Kramer, now of Workflow fame. Activated by means of an Activator gesture or a shake of your iPhone, Gravitation adds fun to an otherwise mundane and regular iOS Home screen experience.

As expected, Gravitation, a $1.99 jailbreak tweak available on Cydia’s BigBoss repo, features several settings for adjusting the way the tweak looks and behaves. Watch our video demonstration to see how it works in action.

GarageBand: a beginner’s guide to Live Loops [video]

In addition to the iPad Pro support brought forth in the GarageBand 2.1 update, the app comes with a new killer feature called Live Loops. Live Loops makes music creation accessible to anyone. Creating songs using Live Loops features a low barrier to entry, but a high ceiling and virtually endless possibilities.

In this video walkthrough, I’m going to share with you 20 basic GarageBand Live Loops tips for getting started with this awesome new feature. I’ll even make a song, and rap to it on the fly! If GarageBand has always seemed intimidating to you, then I guarantee that after watching this video, you’ll be ready to roll your sleeves up and start creating your own musical masterpieces.

Review: Channels – watch live TV on your Apple TV with an HDHomeRun [video]

If you want to watch live TV on your Apple TV with an HDHomeRun, you can go the free route by using Kodi, but Channels is by far the best live TV watching experience to be had on Apple TV. Not only does Fancy Bits’ Channels app allow you to watch live TV, but you can also pause and rewind local or cable TV directly from your Apple TV when paired together with an HDHomeRun.

If you’re unsure what an HDHomeRun is, or how it can help you, then be sure to check out our post on the device. In a nutshell, the HDHomeRun allows you to stream free (or paid) television over your home network. The Channels app can then acquire the stream made available by the HDHomeRun, and display it on your television.

At $14.99 for a limited time (normally $24.99), Channels isn’t cheap, but it’s a great-looking and overall solid experience for cord cutters. Have a look at our full video walkthrough for more details.

Review: Spigen Style Ring

The Spigen Style Ring ($12.99 on Amazon) is an interesting accessory from Spigen, a company best known for producing smartphone cases. It’s a platform-agnostic accessory that attaches to any case or smartphone using an easily-removable, non-residue-leaving, adhesive gel pad.

Once the Style Ring is attached to your case or smartphone, you can use it to assist with grip or let it function as a kickstand. You can also use the Style Ring to mount your smartphone to your car’s dash using the included car mount adapter.

If you have problems gripping larger phones, then have a look and see what the Spigen Style Ring might do for you. Watch our video review for all the details.

How to update the Apple TV to the tvOS beta without a Mac, PC, or USB-C cable

Yesterday, we showed you how to update to the tvOS beta using Apple Configurator 2. The nice thing about this method is that it allows you to keep your apps, settings and data.

The downside of this method is that it still requires a computer and USB-C cable, since it needs Apple Configurator 2 to complete the process. Fortunately, there is a way to install the tvOS beta on your Apple TV without using a computer. In this step-by-step video tutorial, I’ll show you how.

How to update the Apple TV to the tvOS beta without losing apps, settings, or data

If you’re a developer, there are two ways to update to the latest tvOS beta on the Apple TV. Both methods require a USB-C cable, so be sure to have one of those at your disposal.

The first method, and perhaps the way the general public is more familiar with, requires downloading the full tvOS beta software and restoring using iTunes. This method works, but it also means that everything that’s on the Apple TV, from settings to apps, will be wiped. You’re essentially setting the Apple TV back to factory defaults when using iTunes to update to the tvOS beta.

The more sensible approach is to use Apple Configurator 2, a Mac App Store app that can be used together with Configuration Profiles, to update to the latest tvOS beta.

The advantage of using the Configuration Profiles method is that all of your data, apps, and settings stay put. That way, you can enjoy all of the latest features of the tvOS beta, without having to go through the tedious initial setup process.