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+.
Recently there has been a pretty big buzz about an upcoming release dubbed SemiRestore. We posted about it a few days ago. It’s not out yet, you can check its progress here, but I wanted to use this post to prove to you that it does indeed work as described.
SemiRestore claims to be able to let you restore your device without necessitating the need to upgrade your iOS device’s firmware. This is extremely appealing for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason of them all is that it would allow you to restore your device without losing your precious jailbreak.
As you know, Apple stopped signing iOS 6.1.2 after iOS 6.1.3 was released. iOS 6.1.2 was the last firmware susceptible to the evasi0n jailbreak, so it’s a precious firmware in the eyes of those who like to tinker with their phones. From Apple’s standpoint, it’s obvious why they opted to fix the exploits used to make evasi0n function. Apple owes it to its users to ensure that iOS is the most secure platform that it can be. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make the jailbreak community any less disappointed at the loss of an untethered jailbreak
To make matters even more grim, Apple has rendered downgrading virtually impossible, and that includes simply restoring your iOS 6.1.2 firmware back to iOS 6.1.2. So what if your iPhone or iPad starts running really slow? What if you genuinely needed to restore your device? If so, then kiss your jailbreak goodbye. That pretty much sums up the predicament that we find ourselves in. For that reason we’re always extra careful not to install any tweaks or apps on our devices that might cause problems.
And that, folks, is where SemiRestore has come in to save the day. I was a bit skeptical at first, but I’ve tested it out myself, and I can assure you that it works pretty well. It’s not a genuine full restore — hence its name — but it’s probably the next best thing to a legitimate restore, and will help you regain the stock feeling of a fresh installation of iOS. The best thing about it? You won’t need to upgrade your firmware, and because of this, you won’t lose your jailbreak. Full demonstration inside. Read More
Balances is a new App Store app from the mind of popular jailbreak developer Filippo Bigarella. Bigarella is the same developer behind such jailbreak staples like CleverPin and Springtomize 2 to name a few.
Needless to say, when such a well-known and well respected developer ventures into the so-called “legit” waters of the App Store, it’s hard not to take notice. His first foray — Balances — is a way to maintain personal debts and credits within the confines of a simple, straightforward, and easy to use app.
If you’ve ever found yourself writing down how much you owe someone, or how much someone owes you on random scraps of paper, then you probably need a better system. That’s where Balances comes in. It helps you get rid of the sticky note system and maintain your balances using the iPhone. Check out our video demonstration of the app in motion… Read More
Will Apple’s long rumored television set ever see the light of day? Who knows. But Sam Beckett’s new concept video shows off some of the awesome things that might be possible with a full sized Apple TV. It shows off scheduling recordings, swiping between channels, and of course, Siri integration. The best thing about it all? It’s fully controlled using an iPad mini… Read More
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been fond of the singular pop-up alerts that show up on the Lock screen when you receive a notification. It’s singular, weird, and way too imposing for my tastes.
The thing is, once you receive a second notification, the view switches to a more attractive flat list view. I much prefer this multiple notification view over the solo view. Considering this, I was intrigued when I saw a new tweak — LSFlatAlerts — make its way to the Cydia store. It’s a jailbreak tweak that makes all notifications, even single ones, appear in the more attractive flat list view. Read More
Apple just dropped a 129 MB iTunes 11.0.3 update and it brings quite a few new features to the iconic app. The big ticket item, if you will, is a new MiniPlayer, which is a bit ironic given the release schedule of the jailbreak version of MiniPlayer for iOS.
iTunes’ updated MiniPlayer now features a beautiful new view that shows off album artwork. The new MiniPlayer also includes a handy progress bar this time around to track the song’s playhead location.
You’ll also find an improved songs view, which allows you to enjoy album artwork in that view. Lastly, you’ll notice support for proper multi-disc albums. Check inside for the full change log. Read More
We’ve probably all been there at least once. You have a jailbroken device on a certain firmware, and it’s the last firmware that’s capable of being jailbroken. What happens if you need to restore it?
In most cases, unless you’re using an older device capable of being downgraded, you would be forced up to the current firmware. The problem with doing this is that it causes you to lose your jailbreak.
That’s where a new app called Semi-Restore claims to be able to help. It will, according to its website, allow jailbroken users to refresh their devices with the firmware that’s currently on the device. For example, if you’re running iOS 6.1.2, you can clean the device and semi-restore to 6.1.2. It’s not a full restore, because doing so would force you to upgrade, but it might be the next best thing, especially if your device is having problems or is running slow. Read More
I don’t think I’ve left it up to sleuthing to understand that I pretty much loathe Siri. It’s a great idea no doubt, but the execution is so poor that it makes me hate the service. Perhaps I’m in the minority, but Siri rarely, if ever, does what I want it to. I ask her for directions to Starbucks, and she replies with “I can’t find a place called scarred duck.” It’s really pathetic.
So imagine how ecstatic I was when I first tried out the voice search embedded into Google Now. It was amazingly accurate, fast, and it didn’t sound like an old worn out robot from the 70′s. Sad to say, but this is the how Siri should be. Google owns the new gold standard for voice recognition… Read More
Sebastien and Jeff talk about the obvious podcast name change, why we did it, and what the future holds for Let’s Talk iOS. We also discuss clicky keyboards, the frustrating aspects of iOS, and our top items from the previous week. It’s a episode that’s jam packed to the brim with goodness. Don’t miss it.
Big news in the world of Mobile Substrate, but oddly enough, it has nothing to do with iOS and everything to do with Android. Yes, you heard right, Android. The creator behind Cydia and Mobile Substrate, Saurik, has released Substrate for Android, and he’s created a brand new website to document the new addition to the family.
What does this mean for Android users? It means many of your favorite jailbreak apps and tweaks could make it to Android, (WinterBoard is already available!) with the potential for many more… Read More
There’s no shortage of new Lock screen launchers as of late. You have Atom, Grabby, JellyLock, and a plethora of others. But there’s a newcomer on the block that’s trying to stake claim as the king of Cydia’s Lock screen launchers — it’s called Axis.
Axis is a jailbreak tweak designed by Sentry, and coded by an enigmatic, but an obviously talented young man by the name of rud0lf77. We’ve had our share of run ins with Mr. rud0lf77 in the past, but talent’s talent, and he’s apparently got some of it.
Sentry really needs no introduction. He’s been a part of a string of hits on Cydia as of late, and has even more in the way of concepts. He’s been the inspiration for numerous tweaks that have made their way to the Cydia store, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
At first glance, his new Lock screen launcher tweak may seem familiar to you. It’s actually pretty similar to the aforementioned Grabby Lock screen launcher tweak recently released by Ryan Petrich. In what seems to have been nothing more than a pure coincidence, both tweaks take the same basic idea, but the approach is different enough to make each tweak stand on its own.
Take a look inside, as we break down what makes Axis such an appealing new tweak. We go hands-on in this detailed video walkthrough. Read More
If you’ve been using Velox for any length of time, then chances are you’ve ran into the following issue: You try to perform a swipe gesture on a folder and nothing happens. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Plenty of us have futilely tried the same thing, including developer Max Katzmann.
For that reason, Katzmann has developed a new jailbreak tweak called FolderSwipe. This is a tweak that allows you to perform the swipe gestures popularized by Velox on the folders residing on your device’s Home screen. Read More
I always love it when I see a new tweak by rvirajm. You know that you probably won’t be getting some blockbuster tweak like Auxo, or Velox, but what you will get is a well thought out tweak that makes the iPhone a better device to use. Affix is the latest such example of this trend. It’s a tweak that places a handy shortcut to the Notification settings page at the bottom of Notification Center.
If you’re an OS X user, then you’ll no doubt recognize the inspiration behind this tweak. Take a look inside for a few more details. Read More
You know how they say some things get better over time? Wine falls squarely into that category. MiniPlayer does too. The upcoming 2.1 version, which is being submitted to Cydia’s BigBoss repo today, is a more refined experience than its predecessors.
The first version of MiniPlayer had potential, but left a lot to be desired in the avenue of designed. Now that Surenix has stepped on board with the project to help out with its design, the tweak has come into its own.
Music controls have always been a part of a crowded market in Cydia, so it takes a lot to make any particular tweak stand out in this space. I’m happy to report that not only does MiniPlayer stand out with its latest 2.1 update, it shines. Check out our full video walkthrough of the latest version of MiniPlayer right after the break. Read More
The inevitable deluge of Velox compatible add-ons has began, and it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Compass for Velox is the latest such jailbreak add-on to benefit from Velox’s recent release on Cydia.
As you would expect, Compass for Velox adds enhanced folder capability to the stock Compass app. If you’ve found yourself in an unfamiliar area, you can rest easy knowing that the iPhone’s Compass is a mere finger swipe away. Read More
When you have the popular new Velox tweak installed, it opens up a bunch of new interactions with many of the stock iPhone apps. As we highlighted in our initial walkthrough with the tweak, the stock Contacts app benefits by allowing you to access your contact information using a swipe gesture on the app’s icon.
That functionality, while different, was admittedly a little boring. That’s where this new add-on — Addial for Velox — steps in to spice things up a bit. This is an interesting add-on, because it combines the functionality of two tweaks into one — the aforementioned Velox, and another tweak that we reviewed in the past called Addial. Take a look inside for more information. Read More
I rarely take the time to customize my iPhone with beautiful looking wallpaper, therefore, I don’t really mind the fact that many of the Lock screen elements hide much of the wallpaper from view. If you’re someone who’s really finicky about seeing more of your Lock screen wallpaper, then this new tweak has your name written on it.
LockStatusHide is a new jailbreak tweak that allows you to hide the presence of the status bar while on the iPhone’s Lock screen. In my opinion, it’s not a tweak that works well by itself, but when combined with a tweak like Lockscreen Clock Hide, it can do wonders for your wallpaper. Read More
As we discussed on yesterday’s episode of Let’s Talk Jailbreak, Velox is great, not so much because of what it does right now, but because of the many possibilities it opens up for future add-ons. Now the add-ons have begun to flow into Cydia, and one in particular allows you to search Google without necessitating the launch of the Google app.
Check out our overview of Google Search for Velox inside. Read More
Sebastien and Jeff discuss the debate over the prices of apps and tweaks in Cydia. They also chit-chat in depth about Velox, one of the year’s most highly anticipated jailbreak tweaks. Also, don’t miss our coverage of this week’s tweaks, which include Luna, FullScroll, and more. Oh, and have you ever wanted to know what could happen when you play your Piano Passcode out in public? We’ve got the answer.
As we predicted in our Velox walkthrough, the add-ons for the tweak are proving to be popular, even at the outset of its release. For example, Stopwatch for Velox is a brand new jailbreak add-on for Velox that places a handy stopwatch on your Home screen.
In pure Velox fashion, this add-on allows you to perform a swipe gesture on the stock iOS clock to reveal a usable stopwatch. Take a look inside to see it in action.. Read More
Are you finding that iOS’ options are a bit limited when it comes sharing information about the music you’re currently listening to? If so, then I’m Listening might be the jailbreak tweak for you.
I’m Listening is a recently released tweak on Cydia, and it allows you to customize the various sharing activities available for your currently playing song. The tweak works with the stock Music app, and also plays nice with 3rd party music apps like Spotify. I’m Listening utilizes a variety of methods: gestures in the app switcher, gestures on the Lock screen, and Activator gestures, in order to share your now playing track. Take a look inside for our hands-on video detail… Read More