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+.

10 great jailbreak tweaks that work on iOS 8 right now [video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 23, 2014

Now that Cydia Substrate has been updated, many jailbreak developers are rushing to update their apps and tweaks for iOS 8. But did you know that many jailbreak tweaks, although they’ve not been officially updated, already work with iOS 8?

Inside, we break down 10 jailbreak releases that already play relatively nice with iOS 8, even though they may not have been officially updated. Check out our list, and add your own favorite tweaks in the comments to share with other readers. Full video after the break. Read More

 

Apple extends TestFlight beta testing to everyone

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 23, 2014

Apple’s acquisition of TestFlight is about to make a big splash when it comes to the general public gaining greater access to developer betas. A short while ago, developers began receiving emails from iTunes Connect alerting them of the wider availability of beta tester invites.

Developers will be able to invite up to 1000 testers to beta test their iOS apps, and it’s all done through a simple email invitation initiated through the iTunes Connect website. Once sent, recipients of the email can accept the invitation and can install the beta app on their iOS devices within the TestFlight app. It seems like a win-win situation for everyone involved. Developers get a super-simple way to manage and send out beta invites, and beta testers potentially receive broader access to the apps that interest them most. Read More

 

How to jailbreak iOS 8.x with Pangu on Mac OS X using a virtual machine

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 23, 2014

Although you never can tell with these sorts of things, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing an OS X version of Pangu in the immediate future. Although I’m sure that the Pangu guys are working feverishly on an OS X version of the jailbreak tool for iOS 8.x, it likely lags behind other priorities, such as translation, embedding Cydia, etc.

With that in mind, what options exist for those of us in Mac-only households? You could, of course, visit a friend who owns a Windows machine. Or, you can do what I always do, and install Pangu and jailbreak using a Windows virtual machine on OS X. In fact, you may be surprised (or not), but I don’t own a Windows machine, and haven’t in years. But I’m always able to jailbreak on day one due to my Windows virtual machines.

In this tutorial, I’ll tell you how to set up and install a virtual machine for free in order to jailbreak iOS 8.1 with Pangu on your Mac. Read More

 

Cydia Substrate updated to 0.9.5013 to support iOS 8

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 23, 2014

Good news, fellow jailbreakers. Saurik has just pushed an update to Cydia Substrate to lend it iOS 8 compatibility. This means that tweaks that rely on Cydia Substrate to run (most of them should) can now be updated to work with iOS 8 as well.

Cydia Substrate has always been a big part of the puzzle that needed to be there for this iOS 8 jailbreak to really gain steam as far as jailbreak apps and tweaks are concerned. If you’re already jailbroken and have Cydia installed, then Cydia Substrate 0.9.5013 should appear as an update in Cydia. Read More

 

How to install Cydia on iOS 8 [video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 22, 2014

As you know, the Pangu jailbreak came out this morning and enabled the ability to jailbreak iOS 8-8.1. Unfortunately, the jailbreak wasn’t bundled with Cydia, so it’s not much use to the general jailbreak users by itself.

Thankfully, Saurik quickly compiled a working version of Cydia for iOS 8, which is pretty easy to install if you follow our 8 steps. We show you how in this hands-on video walkthrough. Read More

 

How to jailbreak iOS 8.1 with Pangu 1.0.1 [video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 22, 2014

Pangu for iOS 8 caught us all by surprise, but it shouldn’t be a shock that the talented Chinese jailbreak team pulled off a jailbreak in such a short period of time since iOS 8’s release. While the Pangu tool for iOS 8 isn’t exactly ideal as far as a consumer jailbreak goes—it doesn’t come bundled with Cydia, it’s in Chinese, and it’s Windows only—it’s certainly better than nothing.

In this video tutorial, we will show you how to jailbreak iOS 8.1 using Pangu 1.0.1 with a Windows machine. It’s an extremely easy and simple process, as long as you follow the steps exactly. This tool can jailbreak the iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and any other device capable of running iOS 8.x. Check out our full video tutorial for the details. Read More

 

The iPad Air 2 is much faster than the iPhone 6 and the original iPad Air

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 21, 2014

No big shocker at first glance. Of course the iPad Air 2, a device that’s just now landing into the hands of rabid fans, is faster than the year-old device that it’s intended to replace. Yes, the iPad Air 2 is faster, but it’s the way that it’s faster that is truly noteworthy.

The A8X processor that’s nestled deep within the confines of the iPad Air 2’s new slim and trim body is, for the first time in the history of iOS devices, a 1.5Ghz triple-core processor. The iPad Air 2 also features a healthy 2GB of RAM. Coincidentally, the 2GB of RAM is also a first for any iOS device.

Needless to say, the iPad Air 2 is a beast on paper, but it’s no mere paper tiger. This thing screams, and the first benchmarks posted on MacRumors comparing it to previous iOS devices are proving that point.

Read More

 

Be choosy, Apple Pay is limited to 8 credit cards at any one time

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 21, 2014

I generally keep a lot of credit cards, because I like to play the loyalty frequent flier bonus miles game. I’ve been able to take some amazing trips for next to nothing over the years as a result.

But telling you about my global travels isn’t the purpose of this post. The point of this post is to highlight a limit you’ll encounter if you add enough cards to Apple Pay.

It appears that Apple Pay limits its users to only eight credit and/or debit cards per device. I ran into this limit as I was adding as many of my credit cards into Passbook as I could. It’s nowhere near a deal breaker, but this is somewhat disappointing for me… Read More

 

OS X Yosemite features a 2D Dock and a friendlier looking Finder icon

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 21, 2014

The Dock in OS X Yosemite has ditched the 3D look and has gone back to its 2D roots. This results in a much “flatter” appearance, which harkens back to the earlier versions of OS X. Icons now appear to be a part of the Dock instead of hovering it.

Check past the break as we break down this and other Dock changes on video. Read More

 

How to show the full website address in OS X Yosemite’s Safari browser

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 21, 2014

Safari has undergone some big changes in OS X Yosemite, but none are perhaps as controversial as the way that website addresses are displayed in the Search bar. By default, only the domain name and TLD (e.g. idownloadblog.com) of the website address is shown. The remaining portion of the address is hidden in an effort to, as best I can guess, promote a clean looking Search bar like that of Safari on iOS.

If cleanliness and closer look to the iOS version of Safari was indeed the motivation behind the change, then there’s no doubt that Safari’s engineers succeeded in their goal. I personally think that the Search bar looks better by hiding the full website address.

But there’s no denying that you are giving up something by hiding the full address, and I can definitely understand why people would be upset at this. The full address can still be viewed, but it requires that you click in the Search bar to do so. That extra click is too much for many people out there, and again, I understand.

With that in mind, Safari’s engineers have made it possible to get the full website address back into the Search bar at all times in just a simple few steps. Check inside to see how. Read More

 

Apple Pay can work internationally if you have a U.S.-issued credit card

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 21, 2014

When Apple Pay launched yesterday, it did so within the confines of the United States. Given the amount of hype and the positive experiences from those who used the service, it’s no question that many of our friends outside of the United States would love the opportunity to use Apple Pay.

As reported by Mac Rumors, an Australian by the name of Beau Giles was able to successfully use Apple Pay by changing the region of his iPhone from his home country to the United States. Changing the phone’s region to the United States on an iPhone running iOS 8.1 enables Apple Pay, and thus allows for the adding of supported credit cards to the Passbook app. Read More

 

How to enable Dark Mode in OS X Yosemite

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 21, 2014

Dark Mode is a new feature that can be enabled in OS X Yosemite by going to System PreferencesGeneral, and checking the Use dark menu bar and Dock option.

Dark Mode will make the Dock, the menu bar, and Spotlight Search darker in appearance. If you do a lot of work on your Mac at night or in a dark room, Dark Mode can make using your computer a bit easier on the eyes. Check out the video after the jump to see Dark Mode in action. Read More

 

Let’s Talk iOS 052: All about Apple Pay

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

Episode 52: We discuss Apple Pay, iOS 8.1, new iPads, and the slow demise of the iPod Touch. We also touch on Apple’s earnings call along with OS X Yosemite and its many amazing features.

Subscribe on iTunes

Sponsor:

Thinkful, a service that will teach you how to code iOS apps. For 10% off, go to www.thinkful.com/ios Read More

 

Improved Resize Controls: a new OS X Yosemite Feature

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

Apple has redesigned and redefined the window controls in OS X Yosemite, and like many of the other changes present in this release, it’s a welcomed change.

All of the window controls in OS X Yosemite—including the ability to invoke full screen mode—are now accessible from the red, yellow, and green “traffic light” buttons in the upper left-hand corner of every app. Check inside for the video details. Read More

 

How to use Text Message Forwarding in OS X Yosemite

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

The ability to forward traditional SMS messages between the Mac and the iPhone is another huge feature to make its way to OS X Yosemite. Now that iOS 8.1 is publicly available, everyone can take advantage of this awesome new feature.

SMS Forwarding essentially makes it possible to turn the Messages app on your Mac into a full-fledged text messaging app. Not only can you compose SMS messages and stay in touch with your non-iMessage using friends, you can receive messages as well. Have a look at our video walkthrough for more details on this awesome new feature. Read More

 

How to record your iPhone’s screen and hide its carrier name with OS X Yosemite

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

I’ve been asked a lot of times on Twitter how I was able to hide my iPhone’s carrier name on iOS 8. There really is no trick involved, I was simply using OS X Yosemite’s new iPhone screen recording feature. Indeed, OS X Yosemite has the ability to capture real-time video of your iPhone or iPad’s screen out of the box. This feat is accomplished by a new option in the QuickTime app.

Using the screen record option in the QuickTime app results in a uniformed status bar on the iPhone. It hides the carrier name, and sets the time to 9:41 for a clean looking status bar while recording. Of course, this change isn’t permanent, as some might at first assume, but it’s a great way to capture clean looking video of your iPhone or iPad. Read More

 

How to use Instant Hotspot on the Mac

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

Instant Hotspot is a great new feature that allows you to connect to your iPhone’s Hotspot for instant Internet access with zero configuration. As long as your Mac running OS X Yosemite and iPhone running iOS 8 are connected to the same iCloud account, and both devices have Bluetooth enabled, you can quickly tap into your iPhone’s Internet connection from your Mac. Read More

 

How to make and take phone calls on your Mac

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

Now that iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite are out, the FaceTime app in OS X Yosemite is now capable of making and taking phone calls. It does so by connecting to an iPhone running iOS 8 to transmit calls via the iPhone’s cellular connection. All calls made from your Mac will appear as if they came from your iPhone’s phone number.

Want to see how it works in action? Check out our video after the break for a demonstration and setup details. Read More

 

How to use Apple Pay

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

As expected, Apple rolled out Apple Pay to the masses today, courtesy of its iOS 8.1 update for eligible devices. Apple Pay, as you know, allows users to make in-app and online purchases using certain devices equipped with a Touch ID sensor, and in-store purchases using the NFC chips found in the recently released iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up Apple Pay, including adding eligible credit cards, along with making in-app, and in-store purchases. Read More

 

Helvetica Neue typeface replaces Lucida Grande as the system font in OS X Yosemite

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 20, 2014

One of the most striking changes that you will notice when you first fire up OS X Yosemite is the system-wide font change. Apple’s previous desktop operating system releases, since 1999, used Lucida Grande as the system font.

Lucida Grande worked well on lower resolution screens, but as high resolution Retina Displays become more common, it’s starting to look out of place. To address the issue, Apple decided to adopt iOS’ system font of choice—Helvetica Neue—and make it the system font for OS X Yosemite. Read More

 
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