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+.

Let’s Talk Jailbreak 71: Don’t download from strangers

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 27, 2014

Episode 71: A discussion about the best tweaks for Control Center and the best tweaks for Touch ID. We talk about how to protect yourself from iOS malware, and the best new jailbreak tweaks from the past week.

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Let’s Talk iOS 043: Not sponsored by TextExpander

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 25, 2014

Episode 43: We talk about the rumored reversible USB Lightning cable, third-party keyboards in iOS 8, iMessage spam, and some of our must-have apps for the Mac.

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How Apple can improve permission handling in iOS

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 25, 2014

Every so often, it helps to take a step back and examine the way things are being done. This applies to our day-to-day routine, or perhaps our workout regimen. I’ve also found that it applies to software.

iOS is no exception to this. Here is a software product that has been through vast changes since its creation. A good majority of the changes have been for the better, and iOS 8, which is mere weeks away, promises to bring more awesome goodies to the table.

But, from time to time, it pays to look at the way things are being done. We have to ask ourselves, “Is this truly the best way?”

I feel that we’ve reached that fork in the road when it comes to the way iOS handles permission requests for apps. As more features are added to our devices, more permissions are required for apps that wish to use these features. It’s gotten to the point that some apps require you to go through a whole checklist of permissions before you can even begin using the app.

The permission handling in iOS has become a frustrating affair. Not only do the numerous pop-up alerts annoy me, but it irritates me even more when I accidentally decline a permission because of speeding through the app setup process.

As discussed on today’s episode of Let’s Talk iOS, I’m convinced that there’s a better way to handle permissions in iOS. There’s a less intrusive, less frustrating way to handle requests for access to the various features on your device. Check out our video inside for an explanation of the problem, and a demonstration of the solution. Read More

 

Hands-on with the TouchPal third-party keyboard for iOS 8

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 23, 2014

It’s no secret that I’ve dipped my toes into the Android waters a time or two during my tenure at iDB, but I always end up hugging my iOS devices in the end. Android has some great ideas, but, at least for me, the experience is still not cohesive enough to warrant a switch.

One of the big takeaways from my last Android experience was how much I loved having third-party keyboards. I’ve ranted about this in the past on an episode of Let’s Talk iOS. It doesn’t make sense that we treat software keyboards just like we do a standard desktop keyboard.

We type on each key individually on a desktop keyboard because we have to, but the glass surface of a touch-screen tablet or phone doesn’t have this restriction. Why are we still typing in such an antiquated way? It’s slower, prone to mistakes, and doesn’t take advantage of the software. This is one of the most frustrating aspects of iOS, and one of the key reasons that I had a hard time letting go of my Samsung Galaxy S5.

You can only imagine my excitement when Apple revealed that it would be allowing third-party keyboard access in iOS 8. This, not widgets, not extensions, was by far the most exciting thing to me about iOS 8. It’s something I’ve been longing for since I saw how much better it is to type, or should I say swipe, using third-party keyboards.

Yesterday, I got the chance to go hands-on with TouchPal—one of the very first third-party keyboards for iOS 8. Watch, as I show you how to enable and use a third-party keyboard in iOS 8. Read More

 

The best jailbreak tweaks for Touch ID

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 23, 2014

Touch ID has been at the forefront of jailbreak development since it arrived, and for good reason: it’s the flagship feature on Apple’s iPhone 5s. As a result, there are many jailbreak tweaks that seek to alter the way that Touch ID works. Some tweaks allows you to secure individual apps with Touch ID, while others allow you to authenticate logins to websites and apps using only your fingerprints.

We’ve taken the liberty to compile a list of the best jailbreak tweaks for Touch ID to hit Cydia, and we break them down for you in a brand new video walkthrough. Read More

 

Let’s Talk Jailbreak 70: Britta Gustafson, Cydia’s community manager

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 20, 2014

Episode 70: We talk with Cydia’s community manager, Britta Gustafson, about the day-to-day operations involved with managing the community that surrounds Cydia. In this episode, Britta tells the story of how she became involved with saurik, and her active role in the tech community. Britta also shares what it’s like to be a woman in an industry dominated by males, her favorite jailbreak tweaks and themes, and more.

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Let’s Talk iOS 042: The sound of progress

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 18, 2014

Episode 42: More talk about the forthcoming iPhone 6, the possibility of a reversible Lightning cable, and Nintendo’s upcoming iPad experiment.

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Let’s Talk Jailbreak 69: Put it on Corky

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 13, 2014

Episode 69: Cody creates a new Pinterest clone and names it Corky.

We discuss the best jailbreak tweaks for Safari.

Other tweaks talked about include AppControl, vHome, and Brightness Activator 2.

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Let’s Talk iOS 041: In less than a month

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 11, 2014

Episode 41: With the iPhone 6 less than a month away, the crew talks about expectations, rumors, form-factors, and more related to Apple’s flagship device. We also talk about security, including find my iPhone, 2-step verification, and 1Password.

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Let’s Talk Jailbreak 68: More repos hacked

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 6, 2014

Episode 68: More repos are hacked, including the ModMyi repo.

We discuss the best jailbreak tweaks for the Messages app.

Other tweaks talked about include BlowToUnlock, Chroma, ConvoProtect, BrightPlayer, and more.

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Let’s Talk iOS 040: Pick up cheese

by Jeff Benjamin on Aug 4, 2014

Episode 40: Cody and Sebastien discuss the iOS 8 beta, the crazy-weird Beats advertisement, the legality of unlocking, and Verizon’s plans to throttle unlimited LTE users.

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How to stream torrents to your Apple TV, no jailbreak needed

by Jeff Benjamin on Jul 31, 2014

A new Mac app called TorrenTV was recently released to allow users to stream torrents directly to the Apple TV. The app, which begins playing movies immediately via a simple drag and drop of a .torrent file, streams to the Apple TV, even if the device isn’t jailbroken.

Even better is the fact that TorrenTV requires zero setup. As long as your Mac and Apple TV share the same Wi-Fi network, TorrenTV will begin streaming video to your Apple TV almost immediately.

Of course, being that we don’t condone piracy, the use of such an app would have its limits. Thankfully, there are legitimate videos available via torrents, which can thus be streamed directly to your Apple TV. Have a look inside for more information. Read More

 

AboutUDID: a super-handy tweak for finding your iPhone’s UDID

by Jeff Benjamin on Jul 31, 2014

AboutUDID is a relatively new jailbreak tweak that does something extremely useful for those of you who test beta software. It allows you to easily view the device’s UDID from the General > About section of the stock Settings app. This UDID, which stands for Unique Device Identifier, is a 40 character hex value that is used by developers for registering test devices for apps.

The UDID can easily be retrieved by connecting to iTunes or by downloading third-party applications, but this tweak makes it even easier. In fact, AboutUDID allows you to copy and paste values from a device’s About section, which makes sharing the ID with developers even more painless. Check out our video inside to see how it works. Read More

 

QuickFolders: a more efficient way to launch apps in folders

by Jeff Benjamin on Jul 31, 2014

QuickFolders is an upcoming jailbreak tweak that will allow users to launch apps contained in folders using a single tap and hold gesture. The tweak, which should be hitting Cydia any day now, will also allow users to venture into nested folders, switch folder pages, and exit folders all in one motion.

We’ve gotten our hands on a preview build of QuickFolders and have put it through its paces. While it isn’t quite as stable as it’ll hopefully be when the tweak officially launches, the potential is undeniable. Have a look at our full video walkthrough after the break for more information. Read More

 

Let’s Talk Jailbreak 67: That’s so beta

by Jeff Benjamin on Jul 30, 2014

Episode 67: Activator gets a massive update and brings a ton of new features to the table.

To celebrate, the crew talks about some of the ways that they use this jailbreak staple.

Other tweaks covered include Mikoto, Scrub Radio, and Smart Search.

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