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+.

A final farewell from Jeff

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 15, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen…Today I say goodbye to a place I have called my online home for quite a few years. It’s a bittersweet day. I’m moving on to another adventure, but I will always have fond memories of my time at iDB… Read More


Atomos Ninja Assassin: A great way to improve Final Cut Pro X workflows

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 14, 2016

As most of you all know, I’m a huge fan of Final Cut Pro X. It’s my video editing app of choice, and has been since it launched back in 2011.

Recently, I’ve been looking for ways to be more efficient with my video workflow. Some of this can be done in post during the edit, but a large part of that is done before and during the actual shoot.

Just recently, I added a new piece of equipment to my workflow—the Atomos Ninja Assassin. After using it, I can say that it is by far one of the best investments that one who’s serious about video can make. It also pairs nicely with my Final Cut Pro workflow… Read More


Meteor: a tweak that adds current temperature and weather conditions to the Weather app icon

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 10, 2016

Meteor is an upcoming jailbreak tweak that brings weather conditions and temperature to your Home screen Weather app icon. Along with the enhancements to the Weather app icon, Meteor lends weather information to the iOS status bar.

If you have a jailbroken iPhone, Then Meteor should certainly be on your Radar. Check out our hands-on video walkthrough of the upcoming tweak for more details. Read More


tvOS 9.2 beta 3 preview: Search the App Store with Siri, use Dictation to enter text and login credentials

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 8, 2016

It seems like every time there’s a new tvOS beta, an interesting new feature is included for us to talk about. With tvOS 9.2 beta 3, that new feature is the ability to use Dictation on text input fields. It also includes the ability to dictate—character by character—usernames and passwords.

Along with the new Dictation feature, comes support for searching the App Store using voice input from the Siri Remote. Have a look at our video preview that showcases each new feature in action. Read More


Apple seeds tvOS 9.2 beta 3 to developers with Dictation support for search and Siri support for App Store search

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 8, 2016

Two weeks after it seeded tvOS 9.2 beta 2 to registered developers, the third tvOS 9.2 beta has been released, bringing with it Dictation support for onscreen text entry, as well as Siri support for App Store search.

The tvOS 9.2 update is notable for adding several improvements to the Apple TV. These improvements include a native Podcasts app, Bluetooth keyboard support, an improved App Switcher, iCloud Photo Library, Conference Room Display Mode, and more.

If you’re a developer, you can find details about the tvOS beta on Apple’s tvOS developer page. The tvOS 9.2 beta 3 release comes with a build number of 13Y5198c. We’ll be downloading and installing it to provide an update on what new features this latest beta update might include. Read More


Gravitation: a jailbreak tweak that adds gravity to your Home screen

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 4, 2016

Gravitation is a brand new tweak that adds gravity to your Home screen app icons. If you’ve been around jailbreaking for some time, then it may remind you of 2010’s Graviboard, by Conrad Kramer, now of Workflow fame. Activated by means of an Activator gesture or a shake of your iPhone, Gravitation adds fun to an otherwise mundane and regular iOS Home screen experience.

As expected, Gravitation, a $1.99 jailbreak tweak available on Cydia’s BigBoss repo, features several settings for adjusting the way the tweak looks and behaves. Watch our video demonstration to see how it works in action. Read More


GarageBand: a beginner’s guide to Live Loops [video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 3, 2016

In addition to the iPad Pro support brought forth in the GarageBand 2.1 update, the app comes with a new killer feature called Live Loops. Live Loops makes music creation accessible to anyone. Creating songs using Live Loops features a low barrier to entry, but a high ceiling and virtually endless possibilities.

In this video walkthrough, I’m going to share with you 20 basic GarageBand Live Loops tips for getting started with this awesome new feature. I’ll even make a song, and rap to it on the fly! If GarageBand has always seemed intimidating to you, then I guarantee that after watching this video, you’ll be ready to roll your sleeves up and start creating your own musical masterpieces. Read More


Review: Channels – watch live TV on your Apple TV with an HDHomeRun [video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Feb 1, 2016

If you want to watch live TV on your Apple TV with an HDHomeRun, you can go the free route by using Kodi, but Channels is by far the best live TV watching experience to be had on Apple TV. Not only does Fancy Bits’ Channels app allow you to watch live TV, but you can also pause and rewind local or cable TV directly from your Apple TV when paired together with an HDHomeRun.

If you’re unsure what an HDHomeRun is, or how it can help you, then be sure to check out our post on the device. In a nutshell, the HDHomeRun allows you to stream free (or paid) television over your home network. The Channels app can then acquire the stream made available by the HDHomeRun, and display it on your television.

At $14.99 for a limited time (normally $24.99), Channels isn’t cheap, but it’s a great-looking and overall solid experience for cord cutters. Have a look at our full video walkthrough for more details. Read More


Review: Spigen Style Ring

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 29, 2016

The Spigen Style Ring ($12.99 on Amazon) is an interesting accessory from Spigen, a company best known for producing smartphone cases. It’s a platform-agnostic accessory that attaches to any case or smartphone using an easily-removable, non-residue-leaving, adhesive gel pad.

Once the Style Ring is attached to your case or smartphone, you can use it to assist with grip or let it function as a kickstand. You can also use the Style Ring to mount your smartphone to your car’s dash using the included car mount adapter.

If you have problems gripping larger phones, then have a look and see what the Spigen Style Ring might do for you. Watch our video review for all the details. Read More


How to update the Apple TV to the tvOS beta without a Mac, PC, or USB-C cable

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 27, 2016

Yesterday, we showed you how to update to the tvOS beta using Apple Configurator 2. The nice thing about this method is that it allows you to keep your apps, settings and data.

The downside of this method is that it still requires a computer and USB-C cable, since it needs Apple Configurator 2 to complete the process. Fortunately, there is a way to install the tvOS beta on your Apple TV without using a computer. In this step-by-step video tutorial, I’ll show you how. Read More


How to update the Apple TV to the tvOS beta without losing apps, settings, or data

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 26, 2016

If you’re a developer, there are two ways to update to the latest tvOS beta on the Apple TV. Both methods require a USB-C cable, so be sure to have one of those at your disposal.

The first method, and perhaps the way the general public is more familiar with, requires downloading the full tvOS beta software and restoring using iTunes. This method works, but it also means that everything that’s on the Apple TV, from settings to apps, will be wiped. You’re essentially setting the Apple TV back to factory defaults when using iTunes to update to the tvOS beta.

The more sensible approach is to use Apple Configurator 2, a Mac App Store app that can be used together with Configuration Profiles, to update to the latest tvOS beta.

The advantage of using the Configuration Profiles method is that all of your data, apps, and settings stay put. That way, you can enjoy all of the latest features of the tvOS beta, without having to go through the tedious initial setup process. Read More


Review: Aukey Optic Pro wide-angle camera lens attachment for iPhone [Video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 26, 2016

The Aukey Optic Pro is a wide-angle lens attachment that works with the iPhone. Thanks to its clip that can accommodate a wide variety of devices, it also works with many other tablet or phone form factors.

The main benefit to using an attachment like the Optic Pro is that you can gain a wider field of view while shooting photos or videos. This means that you don’t have to move further away from your subject to capture more scenery in frame.

If you’re an avid iPhone photographer, you can immediately see the benefits that a device like this can bring to the table. Not only does it quickly lend a wider field of view, but it’s portable, and can be added and removed in mere seconds.

But the Aukey Optic Pro isn’t without its shortcomings. Is the $44.99 device worth it? Check out our full video walkthrough for the answer. Read More


iOS 9.3 beta 2 preview: Night Shift Control Center toggle and Settings panel, new Music app settings, and more [screenshots + video]

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 25, 2016

We’ve created a new video highlighting the major new features found in iOS 9.3 beta 2. This video covers the new Night Shift Control Center toggle and settings, new Music app settings, and more. Have a look and tell us what you think about iOS 9.3 beta 2’s new features. Read More


tvOS 9.2 beta 2 brings iCloud Photo Library, Live Photos and Conference Room Display Mode

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 25, 2016

A new tvOS 9.2 beta has landed in the hands of Apple TV developers today. This update comes at the same time as new iOS, watch OS, and OS X betas are released.

tvOS 9.2 beta 2 is a follow up release to tvOS 9.2 beta 1. That update brought a new Podcasts app, redesigned App Switcher, Bluetooth keyboard support, and folders to the Apple TV interface. This latest update brings iCloud Photo Library support, Live Photos support, and more… Read More


Apple seeds watchOS 2.2 beta 2 to developers

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 25, 2016

A new watchOS 2.2 beta just appeared for developers. watchOS 2.2 beta 2 is the follow up to the original 2.2 beta that launched two weeks ago to the day.

The update is now available as an OTA upgrade via the Software Update section of the Apple Watch app. You must be running the prior beta to see the OTA update for watchOS 2.2 beta 2. The update is also available on the Apple Developer website. Read More


Activator 1.9.8 released to public with Apple Watch-oriented features, delays between actions, and much more

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 25, 2016

Ryan Petrich has released his massive update to Activator, an update that has been months in the making, to the public. After several beta tests, Activator 1.9.8 is now ready to go, and it brings features like Apple Watch support, event search, pauses between actions, and much more.

If you wish to try out this latest version of Activator, then you can get it free of charge on Cydia’s BigBoss repo. Check out the remainder of this post for the incredibly long changelog. Read More


Snapper 2: an awesome screenshot tool for jailbroken iPhones

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 22, 2016

Snapper 2 is a follow-up jailbreak tweak to the original Snapper, a release that enhances screenshot-taking ability on iOS. If you’re a prolific screenshot taker like I am, then Snapper 2 is a tool that can make your life a lot easier.

Instead of having to crop screenshots in post, Snapper 2 lets your crop them on the fly as you take them. You can even pin cropped screenshots on top of the screen in order to reference pertinent information.

For example, you can use Snapper 2 to cut out a photo that you need to describe within the Notes app. Instead of jumping back and forth between the Photos app and the Notes app, use Snapper 2 in order to view two items at once. Have a look at our full video walkthrough for all of the details. Read More


The 12-inch MacBook is now available as an Apple Certified Refurbished unit

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 22, 2016

Apple’s 12-inch MacBook, originally released in April of 2015, is now available for purchase on Apple’s Certified Refurbished store. This makes the first time that the diminutive laptop has been made available as a Certified Refurb unit.

Right now, you can score the low end model for $200 off the retail price at $1099. That model features a 1.1 Ghz Core M processor and 256GB of PCIe flash storage. Higher end models are also available for a discount, but you better act fast, as they’re selling out quickly. Read More


Logic Pro X 10.2.1 brings tons of new features to Apple’s flagship music production app

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 21, 2016

Alongside the release of Music Memos and a significant update to GarageBand, Apple dropped a major new update to its flagship music production suite for OS X. Logic Pro X 10.2.2 brings tons of new features to the table, and a changelog that’s long enough to qualify as a light novel.

I’ve seen the idea that “Apple no longer cares about professionals” tossed around more often than it should. All you need to do is look at the Logic Pro X changelog to see that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Read More


Snakebite: an upcoming tweak for enhancing 3D Touch multitasking

by Jeff Benjamin on Jan 20, 2016

Snakebite is an upcoming jailbreak tweak that works with the iPhone 6s’ 3D Touch multitasking gesture. The tweak replaces the App Switcher with a new interface for quickly accessing recently used apps or favorite apps. From the Snakebite interface, it’s possible to quickly access the App Switcher via the Multitasking shortcut button.

Even if you don’t own a 3D Touch capable device, you can utilize Snakebite by means of a handy tap and drag gesture. Watch our full video walkthrough to see what I mean. Read More

Page 112345...