Latest posts by Timothy Reavis

Timothy Reavis

When not in college, @TimothyReavis devotes most of his time to his iMac, writing and coding. Leftover hours are spent with his iPhone on Twitter or in Cydia. Mealtimes are integrated into one of the above. Timothy began writing for iDownloadBlog in 2014, where he avidly writes about his favorite conversation topic — all things Apple — whilst microblogging on Twitter about technology and jailbreak tweaks.

Synology NAS will take your media and file storage to the next level

In this information age, data is more prevalent than ever before. Even the average user tends to require more storage now than ever to keep their photos, videos, music, and documents in a safe and easily accessible location. The cloud is an increasingly popular solution for saving and sharing data, but security has been and will continue to be a concern with storing personal information on a third party’s servers. Additionally, users who deal with slow internet speeds or bandwidth caps have reasons for not fully relying on a cloud service that extend beyond privacy concerns.

Workflow updated with redesigned UI, search, profiles, and more

Popular iOS automation app Workflow received an update on Thursday that introduced a redesign across the app with a number of improvements. A redesigned onboarding system greets new users with a friendly introduction to the app, while the Gallery has received a number of additions for helping both Workflow newbies and veterans discover new flows.

Logitech’s G933 wireless surround sound headset takes desktop gaming to the next level

I’ve always been a PC gamer at heart. While consoles appealed to me in my younger years, I’ve never owned one and instead waged war in Age of Empires II on my Windows Vista (I know, I know) laptop. Although I casually played iOS games for a while, I’ve never found one that I can consider a “hardcore” game that I would continuously return to for the storyline or multiplayer – the two main reasons I’d consider playing any game.

The essentials of PC gaming begin with a solid monitor and graphics card to push those frames and make your games look incredible. The rest of the experience mainly comes from peripherals – your mouse, keyboard, and headphones – which all help you excel at the game you’re playing while enhancing the experience with programmable macros and directional audio. Logitech’s G933 Artemus Spectrum wireless gaming headset is perhaps the peripheral that has upped my game the most, as I truly found myself playing considerably better when using these headphones.

How to retrieve custom scenes from Philips Hue’s first generation app

Ever since Philips released version two of their Hue app with a complete redesign, one of the most prominent complaints I’ve heard is that custom scenes can’t be transferred from the original Hue app to the new one, which has prevented many users from deleting the version one app.

Fortunately, Netherlands-based blog appletips has published a solution for users of Apple’s Home app in iOS 10. It’s worth noting that this method still doesn’t enable importing scenes into Philips Hue’s second generation app, but rather, the scenes from the old Hue app can be saved in iOS 10’s Home app. While this may not be ideal for everyone, it’s a solid workaround that allows users to easily retrieve custom scenes from the first generation Hue app.

Leaf for iPhone review: a new, design-focused way to browse Twitter

Ever since Apple integrated support for Twitter sharing into iOS, I’ve been an avid Twitter user. It’s where I get the majority of my tech headlines, an occasional dose of national or world news that makes it past my Tweetbot mute filters, and how I discover most of my new apps and friends, even. It also happens to be where my app discoveries, tech opinions, and bad jokes get posted. If you’re not following me on Twitter, you’re probably better off for it, but I’d appreciate you giving it some consideration regardless.

All this results in me becoming keenly interested when a new Twitter app is released, and the latest addition to the many clients I’ve tried is Leaf, a brand new app designed by Surenix and developed by iPlop, both prominent members of the jailbreak scene. Based on my experiences thus far, Leaf is best described as an alternative to Twitter’s official client rather than an opponent of Tweetbot, the Twitter power user’s app of choice. If you dislike Tweetbot for whatever reason but aren’t entirely satisfied with Twitter’s default option, Leaf may be for you.

How to enable “Hey Siri” on Mac

Five years after its introduction in 2011, Siri finally made its debut on Mac with the release of macOS Sierra. Featuring much of the functionality that Siri contains on iOS, such as being able to check the weather forecast or set a reminder, Siri for macOS also has some exclusive abilities, such as handling documents in the file system and being able to pin results to Notification Center.

One feature that macOS’s Siri didn’t port from its mobile counterpart, however, is the ability to activate Apple’s digital assistant hands-free with the “Hey Siri” command. Fortunately, there’s a viable workaround available that enables users to invoke Siri in macOS with their voice to give commands from across the room.

Philips Hue White Ambience lightbulbs include HomeKit functionality for a lower price

I’m a huge fan of Philips Hue lights, as the smart technology behind them often proves itself to be an immense convenience. Perhaps I’m better off walking across the room to flip a light switch, but I’m perfectly fine with telling Siri to do it or swiping up Control Center in iOS 10 and tapping a light in the HomeKit pane. Dimming the lights down to a warm glow in the evenings while browsing Twitter with my phone on NightShift is one scenario that, for me, makes Philips Hue an incredible experience.

The underlying issue with smart lightbulbs in general and Philips Hue in particular that has kept many people from fully adopting them is the price. Philips’ colored bulbs come in around $50 apiece, with the Starter Kit providing three bulbs and the connecting hub for $180. At first glance, those seem like fairly hefty prices for lightbulbs, of all things. However, a cheaper option is available for those who love home automation but don’t need the RGB colors of Philips Hue’s white and color ambiance bulbs, as the company is now selling a white ambience-only variant of their Hue line.

What’s on your Home screen: Timothy Reavis

One of the things I see the most every single day is most certainly the Home screen of my iPhone. Because my phone is with me wherever I go, and because it’s the device from which I consume the majority of content, the first page of my Home screen is at the forefront of my digital life. Naturally, then, the apps that reside on this page are to be chosen rather carefully to maximize efficiency throughout the day.

A look at the brand new Philips Hue app

For decades it was a thing of science fiction. Books and movies have long depicted their protagonists speaking commands to inanimate objects and having orders carried out instantly. I think it’s safe to say that most everyone, including myself, used to daydream of being able to control lights simply by giving a voice command from anywhere in the room, no longer having to get up and walk over to flip a light switch on or off.

Then Philips introduced their Hue lightbulbs and companion API, moving traditional light switches a step closer to obsoleteness by introducing the ability to turn lights on and off with a smartphone app, bringing us one step closer to making voice controlled lights a reality. When the second generation Hue bridge was introduced with HomeKit support, Siri gained the ability to control Hue peripherals, creating the ultimate ease-of-use scenario.

There’s almost a magical property surrounding Philips Hue lights. A room can be lit or darkened by a spoken word, its walls repainted in an instant, or the atmosphere changed to anything from a tropical sunset to an Arctic aurora. There’s really no limit to what one can do with a few Hue lights and some creative inspiration.

Ulysses brings its elegant writing environment to iPhone

As a writer, I’m always on the lookout for new apps that will help with the creative process and enable me to get work done more quickly and efficiently. I’ve gone through a variety of different apps on both Mac and iOS that provide their unique and not-so-unique feature sets in search of the ultimate writing tool.

With the power of iOS 9 on iPad, my goal has been to find a solid app that would give me the freedom of mobility while still syncing my thoughts and work to my Mac for those articles that only a physical keyboard could conquer. Today, I have found a solution that meets these goals in the form of Ulysses.

Get a taste of Siri on your Mac right now with this neat trick

Ever since Siri was announced in 2011, Apple users have been excited about the prospect of the digital assistant coming to OS X. More recently, rumors have indicated that a Mac version of Siri will ship with OS X 10.12 this fall. September is quite a long way off, but it’s possible to get a taste of Siri-like voice commands on your Mac right now, thanks to the accessibility features baked in OS X.