About 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+.

Upcoming Shrinkability iOS tweak mimics Samsung’s one-handed mode

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 4, 2015

If you’ve ever used one of Samsung’s flagship large phones or phablets, then you’re likely well-aware of the Korean firm’s so-called one-handed mode. One-handed mode is exactly what it sounds like—it makes it so that you can use a device that would normally take two hands to operate, with a single hand.

Of course, Samsung isn’t the only company to offer such a feature. Apple revealed Reachability, a tool that allows users to pull down the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus’ interface, for easy one-handed usage. Although both features are designed to make it possible to operate a larger device with one hand, the methodologies behind the features couldn’t be any different. Read More

 

Let’s Talk Jailbreak 97: Jailbreak guru to the stars

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 4, 2015

Episode 97: Apple closes the iOS 8.2 beta 2 signing window, Comex releases his Substitute Cydia Substrate replacement, iOS Blocks is being made into a real tweak, 8 practical jailbreak tweaks, 10 tweaks that aren’t on default cydia repos, and more.

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Let’s Talk iOS 071: The Tim Cook Challenge

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 3, 2015

In episode 71 of Let’s Talk iOS, Apple sends out media invites to its March 9th event, a discussion about Apple Watch battery life, Samsung reveals its latest smartphones and services, and Jeff signs up for a unique new sleeping regiment.

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Support Let’s Talk iOS:

CASPER — Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting www.casper.com/ios and using promo code ios.

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How to add more Notification Center Today View widgets to Mac

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 3, 2015

Like its iOS counterpart, Notification Center for OS X Yosemite comes bundled with several stock Today widgets to get you started. However, it’s possible to add third-party widgets to Notification Center’s Today View by means of the Mac App Store and via direct download. Inside, we’ll highlight how to add new widgets to Notification Center along with several widget recommendations. Read More

 

NoSwitchBar lends a cleaner look to the App Switcher

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 3, 2015

NoSwitchBar is a brand new free jailbreak tweak that just touched down on the Cydia store. It lets users eschew the status bar at the top of the app card previews in the App Switcher, allowing for a cleaner look. Read More

 

10 Tweaks to try that aren’t on default Cydia repos

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 3, 2015

Yesterday, I found this thread on Reddit and was reminded of how many great jailbreak tweaks exist outside of Cydia’s default repos. Of course, developers like Ryan Petrich are well-known for their beta repos, but there are some other lesser-known repos that you should be aware of as well. Here’s a list of ten jailbreak tweaks that are available outside of the popular BigBoss and ModMyi repos. Read More

 

InstallReset: reset the Home screen icon layout upon app installation

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 2, 2015

Are you extremely particular about your iPhone’s Home screen app layout? If so, then InstallReset is going to be a tweak that you either hate or love.

InstallReset forces your iPhone’s Home screen layout to reset to defaults upon a new app installation or an app uninstallation. It will therefore keep your apps organized in alphabetical order along with keeping the default Home screen app icons in stock order. Read More

 

8 must-have jailbreak tweaks that solve real problems on iOS

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 2, 2015

It’s been a while since I’ve told you about the must-have jailbreak tweaks for iOS. In this post, I’m going to highlight the staple tweaks that I use. But this isn’t just some randomly generated and arbitrary list of tweaks put together for the sheer sake of doing so. No, this is a list of eight tweaks that makes the iPhone a better device overall.

Some people are claiming that jailbreaking is dead or that it’s a mere shell of its once glorious self. I say baloney. Until iOS can solve the problems that these eight jailbreak tweaks solve natively, then jailbreaking will always be alive and kicking in my eyes. Read More

 

How to quickly enable Notification Center’s Do Not Disturb mode on Mac

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 2, 2015

Like its iOS counterpart, Notification Center on the Mac features a Do Not Disturb mode for suppressing notifications at inopportune times. The great thing about Notification Center on iOS is that it can be quickly enabled via a handy Control Center toggle. But did you know that there’s a quick and easy way to enable Do Not Disturb mode on your Mac, as well? Read More

 

Comex releases an alpha build of Substitute, a controversial Cydia Substrate replacement

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 1, 2015

Today, Comex made good on his promise and released an alpha build of Substitute—the hacker’s polarizing new Cydia Substrate replacement for jailbroken iPhones. Back in January, it was revealed that Comex was helping the iMods team—a crew that is working on a Cydia replacement—with some of the necessary fundamentals to get the project off the ground.

One of the most needed pieces of a Cydia replacement is a Cydia Substrate replacement. Without Cydia Substrate, or something like it, then a Cydia replacement doesn’t make much sense. Not only has Comex pledged his support for the project, but he’s just brought one of its most important puzzle pieces to reality. Read More

 

ReturnToSender: press the return key to send texts in the Messages app

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 1, 2015

Are you ever annoyed by the presence of the “return” key in the Messages app? Yes, sometimes it’s nice to be able to quickly insert line breaks in messages by means of this key, but it’s usually a rare need, and as such, some find such a key to be unnecessary.

Instead, wouldn’t it be cool if you could replace the return key with a send button? That’s the premise behind a beta tweak called ReturnToSender. Read More

 

DathBanners Lite brings app-specific colors to notification banners

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 1, 2015

DathBanners Lite is an innovative jailbreak tweak that just landed on the Cydia store for free. It’s a tweak that takes the average color of the app icon responsible for the banner notification and applies it to the background of the banner. If you’re looking to spice up the look of incoming banner notifications, then DathBanners is your ticket towards doing so. Read More

 

How to add an iMessage “now typing” indicator to the menu bar on Mac

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 1, 2015

You may know TypeStatus as the jailbreak tweak that adds a “now typing” indicator to the status bar on iOS, but did you know that you can do the same thing on your Mac? TypeStatus for Mac allows you to quickly see who’s currently composing an iMessage via a handy indicator positioned on the OS X menu bar. Read More

 

8 tweaks to take for a spin this weekend

by Jeff Benjamin on Mar 1, 2015

Another week down, and another new batch of tweaks for you to check out. Indeed, there are less tweaks this week to check out than before, but there are definitely some goodies among this week’s releases. Be sure to check them out, and let us know what you think about the following list of Cydia releases… Read More

 

How to give Control Center a cleaner look using CClean

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 28, 2015

CClean, pronounced “clean”, is a jailbreak tweak that aims to tidy up the Control Center in iOS. The tweak began as a way to remove distracting backgrounds from the brightness slider and the AirDrop/AirPlay sections, but it evolved into an overall Control Center cleaning tool.

This free release allows you to remove backgrounds from a variety of different Control Center assets, and features the ability to hide any section of Control Center. If you’re looking for a way to give your Control Center a minimalistic look, then CClean is a tweak worth checking out. Read More

 

How to force your iPhone to landscape mode while watching videos

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 28, 2015

Have you ever tried to watch a video with the rotation lock enabled? If you want to watch that video in landscape, it can make for a frustrating experience.

It means having to open Control Center, disabling rotation lock, and then rotating your device so that the video goes into landscape mode. And then, when you’re finished with the video, you have to re-enable the rotation lock if you want it back on.

Instead of going through all of that rigamarole, wouldn’t it be better if iOS took care of all of that for you on the fly? It will, if you have AutoRotateVideos installed—a new jailbreak tweak that can make watching videos on your iPhone a more pleasant experience. Read More

 

Upcoming ‘iOS Blocks’ tweak aims to change the way you interact with apps on iOS

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 28, 2015

Last year, we posted information on a research paper and iOS concept called iOS Blocks. Jay Machalani (@technofou), the brains behind the concept, suggests that an interface that combines Windows Phone’s live tiles and Android’s widgets, would be a best-of-both-worlds-scenario for iOS users.

iOS Blocks would essentially allow users to have proper widgets on the iOS Home screen, but the concept is put together in a way that make it totally seamless and transparent to users who prefer to use iOS like they always have. The widgets would mix the uniformity and standardization enjoyed by Windows live tiles with the interaction of Android’s widget system. It’s a smart idea with hours of research and presentation. I highly recommend that you read the original post on Machalani’s blog.

Obviously, Apple didn’t bring any sort of Home screen widget system to iOS 8, but it did give us Notification Center widgets. As if it needs to be said, Notification Center widgets are a far cry from iOS Blocks—a feature that would add significant depth to the iOS Home screen experience.

So after a year, what’s been made of this project and its corresponding research? Well, I have some good news: It’s being developed into a real working tweak, according to this post on reddit by someone closely associated with the project. Read More

 

How to quickly find your Mac’s Wi-Fi IP address from the menu bar

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 28, 2015

By now, perhaps you’ve caught on to the trend that the Alt/Option key (⌥) allows you to do some really nifty things with regard to the menu bar on your Mac. For example, clicking the volume button on the menu bar while holding the ⌥ key lets you switch audio outputs and inputs with ease.

As you might have already gathered, the same principal applies to the Wi-Fi button on the menu bar. By holding the ⌥ key while clicking the Wi-Fi button, you gain access to a plethora of technical details related to your Mac’s Wi-Fi connection. Read More

 

Podcasting basics part V: mixing, editing and finalizing

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 28, 2015

Welcome to the final entry in our podcasting basics series of posts. In the previous tutorial, you learned how to record a high quality sounding podcast. In this series finale, I’ll show you how to put all of the pieces together to finalize your podcast masterpiece. Read More

 

Workflow updated with 9 new actions and bug fixes, syncing between devices coming soon

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 27, 2015

One of my favorite apps, Workflow ($2.99), just received a significant 1.1.1 update on the App Store. Version 1.1.1 brings bug fixes and several significant new actions to the table, including Giphy search for quickly searching for GIF animated images; Convert Image, for quickly converting image file types, and more. Read More

 
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