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+.

Using Apple Music with a foreign Apple ID can open up a wealth of interesting new music

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 4, 2015

As many of you guys know, I have an interesting taste in music. I like old-school R&B, a smattering of rap, love some 90’s alternative, and am really into EDM. I grew up listening to the likes of Phil Collins, Olivia Newton John, The Police, Michael Jackson, Oasis, Run DMC, The Cranberries, The Fat Boys, Nirvana, and many others. Needless to say, my taste in music can be pretty random at times.

One of my guiltiest pleasures when it comes to music genres is without a doubt Japanese pop music. Actually, I no longer feel guilty about it at all, I downright love Japanese pop, or J-Pop as it’s better known as. I’ve been listening to J-Pop since the late 90’s, starting with the likes of Hikaru Utada, m-flo, Ayumi Hamasaki, and other, more obscure J-Pop artists.

One of the downsides to liking foreign music like J-Pop, is that it can be difficult to find. You’ll find a smattering of it on services like Spotify, but it’s usually music that has already been sold or localized for the States. Of course, one can always import a CD, but CDs are ridiculously expensive in Japan, so that’s not really an option for me. Plus, who wants CDs nowadays anyway?

Streaming music is where it’s at, and it presents the perfect opportunity for finding different types of music from other countries. I’ve found that Apple does a pretty good job with this already. I’ve been able to find music that I’ve never been able to find on other streaming services. That said, it’s still painfully obvious that a large divide exists, and J-Pop and other foreign music is more or less hard to come by.

The thing is, the music is already there, it’s just restricted to accounts for certain regions. But it is possible to get around these restrictions if you’re willing to make some compromises… Read More


The Apple Watch is coming to Target online and retail stores later this month

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 2, 2015

It’s one thing to be featured in Best Buy stores, a retailer that specializes solely in technology. It’s a whole another thing to be featured in Target stores, one of the most popular general retailers in the United States.

That’s right, later this month, the Apple Watch will go on sale at Target’s online store and retail stores. Beginning on October 18th, you’ll be able to buy the Apple Watch from Target’s online store. Seven days later, on October 25th, you’ll be able to walk into any physical Target location and purchase an Apple Watch. Read More


Review: Spigen Slim Armor Volt wireless charging case

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 1, 2015

In addition to Spigen’s GLAS.tR SLIM screen protector, I’ve been using its Slim Armor Volt wireless charging case for my iPhone 6s Plus. Spigen sent me a care package filled with a boatload of cases, and this one was by far the most intriguing to me.

There are a good number of Android phones that feature wireless charging capabilities out of the box, but there has never been such a feature for the iPhone. Instead, iOS users will need to opt for some sort of third-party wireless charging case solution, and the Spigen Slim Armor Volt fits the bill.

How well does it work? Watch our full video review and see for yourself. Read More


5 awesome 3D Touch tips that you may not know

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 1, 2015

Now that we’ve had the new iPhone 6s for about a week, it’s time to share a few more 3D Touch tips that we’ve picked up over the last few days. By now, everyone knows about the basic 3D Touch features, but there remain a few usage scenarios that continue to fly under the radar. In this post and video walkthrough, we’ll examine five different 3D Touch gestures that can help make your life easier when using your iPhone 6s.  Read More


iOS 9.1 beta 3 adds three new wallpaper updates

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

There might not be a lot of new contained in today’s iOS 9.1 beta 3 release, but it does come bundled with three new static planetary wallpapers. Actually, the wallpapers are only new in the sense that they’ve been revamped, as they’re still photos of the same three planets, just presented in a way that’s much more appealing and not so dark.

Even if you’re not currently running the latest iOS 9 beta, you can still enjoy these new wallpapers on your current iOS install via the download link inside this post. Read More


How to check if you have a Samsung or TSMC A9 processor inside of your iPhone 6s

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

You’ve probably heard that Apple is using A9 processors from two different sources for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. One processor is from Samsung, and the other is from TSMC.

It’s been confirmed via benchmarks that both processors perform similarly with no major differences in performance. With that said, each processor features a different die size, which was first noted by Chipworks. The Samsung processor is the smaller of the two. Physically, it’s 96mm squared, while the TSMC A9 is 104.5 mm squared.

Chipworks conjectures that two different sources were used due to supply constraints. They also say that they are further researching both processors in an effort to gain better clarity.

Ultimately, it really doesn’t mean much to the end user, but I know that curiosity gets the best of us at times. If you’d like to check to see who sourced your A9 processor, you can follow these simple steps. Read More


Apple closes iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9.0 signing window

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

Today’s brisk activity has come to an end with the closure of the iOS 8.4.1 and iOS 9.0 signing window. This means that users can no longer upgrade or downgrade to iOS 8.4.1 or iOS 9.

This is big news, because an iOS 8.4.1 jailbreak has been rumored to be in the works. If you didn’t heed our advice about updating or downgrading to iOS 8.4.1, then it’s too late to do so now.
Read More


OS X El Capitan: how to use the new Mission Control

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

OS X El Capitan now features a redesigned Mission Control that’s smarter and more efficient. Now, all of your apps are easily viewable with just a swipe up gesture on your trackpad. Because OS X now arranges all windows in a single layer,  it’s now easier than ever to see everything that you have open on your Mac.

Mission Control El Capitan also places windows in a position relative to where they currently are on your screen. This makes it easier to quickly locate the specific app that you’re looking for when entering and exiting Mission Control

But that’s not all. Mission Control now allows you to easily place an app on a different desktop or in its own full screen view by simply dragging the app towards the top of the interface. Watch our video walkthrough and see how it all comes together. Read More


How to disable the mouse pointer shake gesture in OS X El Capitan

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

Have you ever woke your Mac up from sleep, and couldn’t find the mouse pointer among the mess of windows and desktop icons. We’ve all been there before.

OS X El Capitan is hoping to help out with that, courtesy of a brand new addition to the OS. It’s certainly not a headline feature, but El Capitan can help you quickly locate your mouse or trackpad pointer by simply shaking your mouse or swiping your finger back and forth on the trackpad in quick succession.

Watch our video inside to see how it works. We’ll also show you where to go to disable the feature in System Preferences.

Read More


How to upgrade to OS X El Capitan

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

Now that OS X El Capitan is officially out, it’s time to update. First, though, make sure you read our post on how to prepare for OS X El Capitan. It covers basic information, such as using Time Machine to backup your data.

Once you do that, it’s time to download OS X El Capitan. You can do that from the Mac App Store, and like past OS X updates, it’s totally free. Fire up the Mac App Store, and get to downloading! Read More


Apple releases iOS 9.0.2 to fix issues with cellular data toggles, iMessage activation, Podcast app stability, and more

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

Apple just released iOS 9.0.2 for all eligible iOS devices. The update is another bug fix update that follows closely on the heels of iOS 9.0.1, which was just released last week. The update is available as an OTA update now. You can find the update by going to Settings → General → Software Update. Read More


Reeder 3 now available in the Mac App Store

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

Reeder, Silvio Rizzi’s well-regarded RSS feed reading app, just received a major update for Mac, and is now available for purchase on the Mac App Store.

Reeder, which first made waves on iOS, has been a Mac App Store staple for quite some time now. The latest version, Reeder 3, is priced at $9.99, but it’s a free update for Reeder 2 users.

I’ve been testing out Reeder 3 in beta for a few months, and I can assure you that it lives up to the hype. If you’re still into RSS feeds in 2015, then there is perhaps no better app for the task than Reeder 3. Read More


Let’s Talk Jailbreak 127: It’s the little things

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 30, 2015

Episode 127: Where does jailbreaking go from here? Jailbreak tweak ideas for new iPhone 6s features like 3D Touch, Live Photos, and more.

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Enabling Low Power Mode on the iPhone 6s cuts performance to iPhone 5s levels

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 29, 2015

Low Power Mode allows iPhone users running iOS 9 to eke out more battery life when the battery is getting low. It doesn’t just pull this ability out of thin air, it causes iOS to turn off certain features like mail fetch, background app refresh, automatic downloads, etc.

What’s more, Low Power Mode significantly reduces the clock speed of your iOS device. We’ve seen before and after benchmarks with older iPhones involving Low Power Mode, but what about Apple’s just-released iPhone 6s? How much of an impact does Low Power Mode have on it? Read More


How well do glass screen protectors work with 3D Touch?

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 29, 2015

Among the first question that popped up once 3D Touch was officially revealed was this: how well will 3D Touch work with screen protectors on the iPhone 6s? Fortunately, the answer to that question came around fairly quickly, but there’s nothing like trying it out for yourself.

The folks at Spigen sent over a few new accessories, and over the last few days, I’ve been putting its GLAS.tR SLIM tempered glass screen protector to the test. In the following video, I’ll show you the results of my testing. Read More


12 ways to save battery life on the iPhone 6s

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 29, 2015

Low Power Mode is a new feature geared towards saving battery life in iOS 9, but it’s probably not a feature that you’ll necessarily want to keep enabled at all times. That said, data does support the fact that Low Power Mode results in significantly better battery life.

But instead of using Lowe Power Mode at all times, which takes the reigns to try to reduce battery usage by itself, you can manually configure your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus in such a way to optimize battery life.

Keep in mind that this list is subjective, and everything on it is optional. I wouldn’t expect any of you to apply all 12 of these suggestions. Instead, mix and match features that seem to work for you and your usage style and requirements. Watch our video inside, and see how.

Read More


Google announces two new flagship Nexus smartphones: The Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 29, 2015

As has been widely expected, Google revealed two new smartphones in its Nexus line today at a press event in San Francisco. The two new phones—the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P—are new flagship phones that feature the pure Google experience without any outside bloatware, third-party skins, or apps. Nexus phones are historically rated very high, and it doesn’t seem like that will be changing.

The new Nexus phones sport better cameras with low light performance being a key focus point. They also feature fingerprint sensors on the rear of the device that look similar in design to Touch ID. Both phones will run Google’s latest Android Marshmallow update.

The Nexus 5X is manufactured by LG and is a plastic body 5.2″ phone sporting a 1080p display. The larger Nexus 6P is made by Huawei. It features an aluminum body (frost white, aluminum, and graphite), and a 5.7″ screen with a 1440p display. Both phones are capable of shooting 4K video.

Pre-orders for the new Nexus phones start today. The Nexus 5X starts at $379 unlocked, and the larger Nexus 6P starts at $499. Read More


Let’s Talk iOS 102: The Fast and the Siri-ous

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 29, 2015

Episode 102: Our in-depth thoughts on the iPhone 6s launch and hardware, plus commentary on watchOS 2.

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How to prepare for OS X El Capitan

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 29, 2015

Tomorrow, Apple is releasing its yearly update to its desktop operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan. It rightly caps off a long month of activity that started with Apple’s media event, and from there featured the release of iOS 9, followed by the release of the iPad mini 4, two new iPhone’s—the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and culminates with tomorrow’s launch.

It’s been a busy month of announcements and releases for Apple, and it just feels right that Apple ends the month with an update to the platform that really started it all—the Mac. Tomorrow, likely around 10AM PST, Apple will release OS X El Capitan. It’s the follow up to OS X Yosemite, and as its name suggests, it shares a lot in common with that release.

What should you do to prepare for the release? Follow our simple guide for more info. Read More


Apple Music guided tour series goes live prior to initial wave of free trial expirations

by Jeff Benjamin on Sep 28, 2015

Just as the initial batch of Apple Music free trials are set to expire, Apple has posted over a half-dozen new guided tour videos on its YouTube channel. The aim of the video series is clear—to help new and existing users understand how Apple Music works.

Although over 11 million users have signed up for the free trial, the general consensus seems to be that Apple Music is more difficult to use than necessary. Apple faces stiff competition, primarily from the likes of Spotify, who’s service is fairly straightforward and easy to use.

On the eve of the first wave of free trial expirations, it’s a critical time for Apple Music. After giving users three months to test out its service, Apple must convince its trial user base that its monthly subscription service is worth paying for. The new guided tours are aiming to clear up misconceptions, answer questions, and serve as virtual how tos. Read More

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