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 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.

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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

 

‘iStat Mini’ widget places system stats in OS X Yosemite’s Notification Center

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 19, 2014

As I discussed on Let’s Talk iOS episode 39, Bjango’s iStat Menus is one of my favorite Mac apps. It’s an app that places a wealth of system status information right in the Mac’s menu bar.

The same folks behind iStat Menus have come up with a new app geared towards OS X Yosemite. The app, which is cleverly entitled iStat Mini, places a simple widget in Notification Center’s Today View.

Like its big brother, iStat Mini allows you to quickly view the CPU usage, disk usage, and memory usage on your Mac. It also allows you to monitor your Mac’s upstream and downstream bandwidth.

Have a look at our 4K ultra-high resolution video walkthrough after the break for more details.

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How to batch rename files in OS X Yosemite

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 18, 2014

We’re still discovering some of the new features to be found underneath the surface of OS X Yosemite. One such feature, batch renaming, allows you to use the Finder to rename multiple files at once. Previously, such an ability required the usage of third-party utilities, but with OS X’s built-in batch renaming, this is no longer the case.

As someone who often has to rename groups of files, this is a welcomed addition to OS X. Step inside as I walk you through the process of using batch renaming in OS X Yosemite via ultra-high-definition 4K video. Read More

 

Apple announces 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display available today for $2,499

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 16, 2014

Thirty years after the first Mac was unveiled, Apple has announced its highly anticipated 27″ iMac with Retina Display. The desktop’s display, which comes in at 5120×2880 native resolution, features a stunning 14.7 Million pixels, and is available starting today at $2,499.

To put these numbers in perspective, the display has 7 times more pixels than standard 1080p Full HD. That’s four times the pixels of the old 27″ iMac’s display, and 67% more pixels than a 4K display. In fact, it allows for full 4K video editing with room to spare.

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WatchKit SDK rolling out in November for developers

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 16, 2014

Developers, get ready! Apple’s software developer kit for the Apple Watch, aptly dubbed WatchKit, will be available next month in November. Already, developers from Starwood, BMW, and others have worked with Apple to create apps specifically for the Apple Watch. What type of Apple Watch apps will we see? It seems that the sky is the limit. Read More

 

Let’s Talk Jailbreak 77: The jailbreak stigma

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 15, 2014

Episode 77: We discuss the negative connotations behind jailbreaking. Jeff plays emulators on iOS 8.1 and expresses his love for XBMC, and Sebastien and Cody talk about more repo hacks and favorite jailbreak tweaks from the previous week.

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How to reset the OS X dock to factory defaults

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 14, 2014

As I’ve worked on coverage for the imminent release of OS X Yosemite, I’ve found myself needing to reset the look of the Dock back to factory settings again and again. Perhaps you, at one time or another, have thought about how handy it would be to have a factory reset button in OS X—one similar to the reset buttons found in iOS.

Unfortunately, no such button exist within OS X, but there is a handy terminal command that you can use to quickly make your dock look and work like new again. Inside, I’ll share the command on video, and walk you through this super-simple process. Read More

 

Let’s Talk iOS 051: Green bubble friends

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 13, 2014

Episode 51: An in-depth talk about some of our favorite new OS X Yosemite features, plus a discussion about the things we may see at Apple’s upcoming iPad event, including thoughts on products that haven’t been updated in years. We also talk about what Apple may be able to do to reinvigorate the iPod touch lineup.

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Sponsor:

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

 

How to browse the content of your iCloud Drive from your iPhone or iPad

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 9, 2014

The concept behind iCloud Drive usage in iOS 8 has always seemed to be a tad unclear. Would iOS 8 come with a native Finder app? Would all apps have access to iCloud Drive?

Now that iOS 8 has been released, the answer to those questions have gained a lot of clarity. Nope, there is no native “Finder” app for browsing the contents of iCloud Drive. Yes, third-party apps can access iCloud Drive content, but they don’t necessarily have to.

If you want an app that’s solely designed around perusing the contents of your iCloud Drive, then Cloud Drive Explorer is something to consider. It’s available free of charge on the App Store, but it does have some significant limitations as well. Read More

 

GBA emulator developer talks about the death of the date trick in iOS 8.1

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 9, 2014

GBA4iOS developer, Riley Testut, has posted an enlightening entry on his personal blog about the history of GBA4iOS. It delves into its humble beginnings up to its current status as a lame duck emulator waiting to be largely phased out post iOS 8.1.

Testut’s post is a fascinating read that explains not only the history of the uber-popular GameBoy Advanced emulator, but it also sheds some much-needed light on how the emulator was ever able to work on non-jailbroken devices in the first place. I highly recommend reading it. Read More

 

Apple: two-step verification for Apple IDs will require app-specific passwords starting tomorrow

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 8, 2014

If you have two-step verification enabled and you’re currently signed in to a third-party app using your Apple ID password, you’ll need to adjust to a new change starting tomorrow. For security purposes, Apple is introducing app-specific passwords to access iCloud data using third-party apps.

Apple will allow users to generate these app-specific passwords via the Password & Security section of its Apple ID website. Once there, you’ll simply need to click Generate App-Specific Password to create a password for the third-party app that you wish to grant access to your iCloud data. Read More

 

iPad @3x assets found in iOS 8.1 hint at Retina HD iPads

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 8, 2014

The possibility that the iPad Air 2 could get a higher resolution Retina HD screen just got a little more likely. Developer Hamza Sood, who’s no stranger to unearthing hidden goodies within Apple’s code, revealed some new iPad @3x assets after doing some digging around iOS 8.1. This means that Apple is at least considering a higher resolution “Retina HD” screen for the new iPads. Read More

 

How to use “Hey Siri” without being connected to power

by Jeff Benjamin on Oct 8, 2014

“Hey Siri” is a new feature in iOS 8 that makes it possible to invoke Siri using only your voice. It’s nice for those moments when your hands are full or when your iPhone is across the room.

The only downside to “Hey Siri” is that your iPhone must be connected to a power source in order to use it. This restriction was placed there to save your iPhone’s battery life.

But, there is a way to use Hey Siri without being connected to a power source. It’s not as handy as using it while connected to power, but it’s a nice workaround for those situations where you need hands-free control. Read More

 
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