iOS 7: the ultimate Clock app guide

By Jeff Benjamin on Apr 12, 2014

The stock Clock app featured in iOS 7 is the central hub for managing anything that has to do with time on your iOS device. The app is basically four different applications combined into a single app interface.

You’ll find tabs for the World Clock, Alarm, Stopwatch, and Timer at the bottom of the stock Clock app interface. Each tab is capable of working independently of the other tabs; for example, I can run a timer and a stopwatch simultaneously.

That at all being said, the stock Clock app is still a very basic stock application. Please check out the table of contents below for each section pertaining to the features found in iOS 7′s Clock app. Read More

 

iOS 7: the ultimate Mail app guide

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 29, 2014

The stock Mail app is the best way to send, receive, and manage email on iOS 7. There are, of course, alternatives to the stock Mail app such as the official Gmail app and Yahoo Mail app, but no third-party app can match the feature-set and integration of the stock Mail application.

One of the primary advantages of the stock Mail app is that it can handle multiple mail accounts from a large variety of providers. There’s support for Gmail, Yahoo mail, Outlook.com, Exchange, Aol Mail, and iCloud mail. You can even configure an email account from your own server if you wish to do so.

The Mail app is an extremely versatile app with an insane amount of options, features, and idiosyncrasies. Have a look at our ultimate guide to the stock Mail app for more info on what makes it tick Read More

 

iOS 7: The ultimate Music app guide

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 22, 2014

The Music app is a stock application that comes preinstalled on all iOS devices. It’s the primary way for playing music on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. With iOS 7.0, a new feature was baked into the stock Music app called iTunes Radio. iTunes Radio is an ad-supported service that allows users to browse more than 250 curated stations. Users can also create and build their own stations, which feature Pandora-like customization over time.

The stock Music app has endured significant changes over the past few years. The Music app was once exclusively relegated to the iPod touch, with iPhone models offering an “iPod” app as a means to play music and watch videos. Eventually, with the advent of iOS 5, the iPod app was broken-up into separate Music and Video apps for the iPhone line, unifying the stock Music app presence across all iOS hardware.

While there are many ways to play music via third-party apps on iOS, the stock Music app is the only music application that’s closely integrated with iTunes and allows you to use the iTunes Match iCloud-hosting service. There may be benefits to other apps like Spotify, but no app is as tightly intertwined with the rest of iOS as the stock Music app. With that in mind, please take a look inside, as we break down the many facets of this ever-growing and ever-changing stock application. Read More

 

iOS 7: The ultimate Siri guide

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 8, 2014

Siri is a personal assistant feature found on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, that allows you to use your voice to control your device. You can use Siri to send messages, emails, tweets, and more. You can also use Siri to get movie showtimes, sports scores and times, make dinner reservations, etc.

The great thing about Siri is that it doesn’t require you to look at your device’s screen in order to interface with it. And Siri is smart enough to consider your location along with the context of your commands and conversations. By doing so, Siri can respond intelligently to your requests.

Inside, we’ll teach you some of the history of Siri and show you some of its basic usage features. We’ll then present to you with an exhaustive list of voice commands, and discuss Siri’s dictation features. Check inside for all of the details… Read More

 

How to jailbreak iOS 7.0.6 using Evasi0n

By Jeff Benjamin on Feb 21, 2014

iOS 7.0.6 was just released earlier today, and it contains a fairly serious SSL bug fix that everyone should upgrade to. Unfortunately, the latest build of Evasion7, build 1.0.5, is not yet compatible with iOS 7.0.6. But don’t worry, we have you covered. We’ve uploaded a custom Hex-edited version of Evasi0n7 1.0.5 with the proper build numbers so that you can easily jailbreak iOS 7.0.6 after updating. Check out our full video tutorial after the jump for the proof.

Update: the evad3rs have released evasi0n7 1.0.6 with support for iOS 7.0.6, so the hex-edited file is no longer needed, you can download the proper Evasi0n 7 1.0.6 file from our downloads page. Note that the steps described in this post still work. Just make sure to download the latest official version of evasi0n7. Read More

 

Having issues with Cydia Substrate? Try this

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 31, 2013

I woke up this morning to a pleasant surprise: Mobile Substrate had been updated to support iOS 7 on ARM64 CPUs, making it compatible with all of the latest Apple devices like the iPhone 5s, iPad Air, and iPad mini with Retina Display. As you can imagine, I rushed to the office without even brushing my teeth (I know, gross) and installed the new Cydia Substrate package that appeared on Cydia.

Unfortunately for me, none of the tweaks and apps that I had installed began to work after Cydia Substrate was updated. I think it may, and I’m just grasping at straws here, have to do with the fact that I was impatient, and already had a bunch of stuff installed that didn’t work in the first place. To fix this issue, I took a fairly logical approach; I completely uninstalled Substrate and reinstalled it from scratch. Have a look inside for more details. Read More

 

Getting stuck with Evasi0n 7 at Configuring System 2/2? Try this

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 30, 2013

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I never got around to posting a Windows jailbreak video tutorial for Evasi0n 7. Usually, I’m on such a tutorial like white on rice, and I take pride in helping our faithful readers through the entire jailbreak process, regardless of their platform of choice. This time, however, things were a bit different.

Although we were able to post our Mac video tutorial in a short turnaround time, the Windows video tutorial was nowhere to be found. Why? Well, to be frank, it’s because I couldn’t get it working.

I could start the jailbreak perfectly fine, and I never ran into any error messages, but I just could not for the life of me get past the Configuring System 2/2 step during Evasi0n’s jailbreak process. It’s like everything would just come to a screeching halt as soon as it got to this step.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I was finally able to work past this issue. The headline kind of gives it away, but the solution isn’t something I can take credit for at all. The solution is actually thanks, at least in part, to someone very close to Saurik. Check inside for my explanation and video walkthrough showcasing how to jailbreak iOS 7 on Windows. Read More

 

How to make most tweaks and apps work with iOS 7 on pre-A7 devices

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 28, 2013

Are you jailbroken on iOS 7? Are the apps and tweaks installed via Cydia not showing up on your device? If you’re running into this problem, you’re not alone. I’ve received numerous questions about this problem over the last few days; so many, that I thought it would good to make a post and video on it for those that need help.

The short answer to the question is Mobile Substrate. Most of the apps and tweaks that you install from Cydia rely on Mobile Substrate, and Mobile Substrate has not been updated for the latest iOS 7 jailbreak as of yet. An update has been promised to come soon, but Saurik, its developer, is no doubt inundated with about a thousand and one different tasks related to the just released jailbreak.

Let’s give Saurik the time he needs to get a properly updated working release of Mobile Substrate in our hands. In the meantime, if you’re running a non-64-bit device, you can take the following steps to make your favorite apps and tweaks work. Read More

 

How to fix Cydia “failed to fetch” errors by removing the UltraSn0w repo

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 24, 2013

One of the more common error messages that new Cydia users will come across is the error that says Failed to fetch [...] HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found. This is a typical 404 message that you get when you visit a webpage location that no longer exists. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but it causes an error message to appear in Cydia each time you refresh your list of packages and it attempts to pull data from the non-existent UltraSn0w repo.

You’ll receive an error that states: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead. Yeah, so no big deal, but it’s still a huge annoyance, because this interrupts the stream of refreshing the list of Cydia packages. The fact is that you’ll probably never need to use UltraSn0w, and even if you did, you can always add the repo back to Cydia manually. Read More

 

iH8sn0w and winocm release “drama free” untethered jailbreak for iOS 6.1.3-6.1.5

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 23, 2013

If you have an older device running older firmware, you may have felt left out of yesterday’s iOS 7 jailbreak festivities. But, worry not, because there is a release that just dropped in Cydia that allows you to enjoy an untethered jailbreak on your iPhone 4, iPod touch 4th generation, and iPhone 3GS if you’re running iOS 6.1.3 through 6.1.5.

The untethered jailbreak, which is called p0sixspwn in Cydia, is a package that allows you to convert a tethered jailbreak into an untethered one. This means that if you’re currently jailbroken on one of the aforementioned devices using a tool like redSn0w or sn0wbreeze, you can finally reboot your device without having to perform a tethered boot. Have a look inside for the step-by-step guide. Read More

 

How to quickly switch between audio input and output devices on the Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 6, 2013

As someone who records podcasts and records videos, I constantly find myself switching between the various audio input and output devices on my Mac. You can do this by venturing into the System Preferences and clicking on the Sound option, but that can really slow down your workflow when you need to switch between audio devices many times each day.

I’ve found a tool that runs in the menu bar that makes switching between the different audio devices on the Mac a cinch; in fact, doing so is just a mere two clicks away. The utility is called Audio Switcher—a free tool available for anyone who wishes to switch between audio devices more efficiently. Read More

 

How to record direct feed footage from iOS to a Mac or PC

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 6, 2013

Lots of people have asked me how I go about recording footage directly from the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The process is one that is simple and straightforward with the help of a couple of hardware and software tools.

From time to time I will record footage directly from an iOS device, while at other times, I like to record the screen using an external camera so that you can see my hands as I work with the device. Depending on the circumstances, I’ve been known to switch up my methods for doing so.

The bottom line is that there are times in which you should definitely go the direct feed route as opposed to recording the screen externally. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat, but the method that I’ve been using has been working quite well for me. Have a look inside as I spill the details on what makes a successful iOS device recording setup. Read More

 

How to force Safari to save passwords to iCloud Keychain even when sites opt out

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 5, 2013

iCloud Keychain is a nice new addition to iOS 7, because it allows you to save username and password combinations to the cloud. This means that it’s possible to save login information for sites you frequent and auto login to those sites using the saved username and password info.

iCloud Keychain has been criticized by the tech press for being half baked. While that is certainly true—it has many opportunities for improvement and refinement—it’s better than nothing if you ask me.

Some have lamented about the fact that certain sites force passwords to go unsaved. Web sites have the option of requesting passwords not to be saved, and many sites—especially financial services like banks—have opted in to this. This feature, among other issues, is a thorn in the side of many iCloud Keychain users. Fortunately, it’s an issue that can solved with relative ease. Read More

 

How to control your Nest thermostat from the menu bar

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 4, 2013

I wouldn’t call myself a Nest Learning Thermostat early adopter, but I did acquire one fairly early in the game, and I haven’t looked back. The Nest, as you’re likely well aware of, is the new-aged thermostat from iPod designer Tony Fadell. The Nest allows users to control the thermostat from anywhere in the world using a web browser, or by using an iOS app for the iPad or iPhone.

Mac users have sort of been left out in the cold; pun intended. Desktop users have basically been relegated to using the web browser in order to control the Nest, as there is no official Nest app available for OS X. The good news is that developer Joseph Workman has taken the initiative to wrap the Nest’s web interface into a handy utility called Climate, and it runs in the Mac’s menu bar. This makes it so that you can quickly access the Nest’s temperature controls and other features from anywhere on your Mac.

We’ve taken the initiative to create a video walkthrough in order to showcase to you how Climate works, and why it’s so beneficial to Mac users. Jump past the break to see all the details. Read More

 

Keep your menu bar clutter free with Bartender

By Jeff Benjamin on Dec 3, 2013

It’s an unfortunate eventuality that virtually every Mac user has to face: the dreaded problem of having way too many items in your menu bar. So many menu bar items clutter the top right hand corner of your screen, that they’re starting to flood into the app menu items on the left-hand side of the screen. That, folks, is the sign of a serious problem.

But don’t worry, we’ve all been there. For me, it got to the point where it was downright embarrassing when I would take screenshots and my menu bar would appear in the shot. I had a real problem keeping my menu bar organized, and many of you reading this probably do to.

I needed help, but I couldn’t fight this uphill battle without assistance. Thankfully, that helping-hand came in the form of an awesome little Mac utility called Bartender. Bartender is a utility that lets your organize and tidy up the contents of your menu bar with relative ease. It can turn an overweight and overstuffed menu bar into a svelte menu akin to a stock OS X installation. It’s the tool that you need if you’re like me and you sufferer from menu-bar-itis. Watch our full video walkthrough after the break, and you’ll see what I mean. Read More

 

Shiori: my favorite Pinboard utility for the Mac

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 30, 2013

In episode 002 of Let’s Talk iOS we talked about Pinboard, and why it’s such a useful service for saving bookmarks. I won’t get too much into the specifics about Pinboard on this post, so I urge you to listen to that episode if you haven’t already. The episode does a good job of explaining the methodology behind Pinboard, pricing, etc.

What I do want to talk about is an awesome Pinboard utility called Shiori. A free download for OS X, Shiori is a Pinboard utility that allows you to quickly add new bookmarks to your Pinboard account and just as quickly search all of the contents of your account.

Shiori runs in the menu bar, and both its add and search functions can be accessed by a pair of useful keyboard shortcuts. Have a look inside as we go hands on with Shiori on video. If you’re at all interested in saving bookmarks for the longterm, then I’m positive you’ll find Shiori useful. Read More

 

How to manage stock menu bar items on OS X

By Jeff Benjamin on Nov 30, 2013

When you initially install OS X, there are a few items that are placed in your menu bar by default. There are a couple of ways to go about adding or removing stock OS items from your menu bar in an effort to keep it tidy and organized.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover some of the basic menu bar management tips for stock menu bar items. This includes basic tips on rearranging, removing, and adding items back to the menu bar. We’ve also got a handy video showcasing some of the basic concepts of stock menu bar item management. Have a look inside for more details. Read More

 

How to get ready for tomorrow’s iOS 7 release

By Cody Lee on Sep 17, 2013

Last week, Apple announced that it would be releasing the latest version of its mobile operating system on Wednesday, September 18th. That’s tomorrow. And honestly, we couldn’t be more excited.

This will be the largest update to the platform since it was first introduced in 2007, bringing about an all-new design and several new features like Control Center, AirDrop sharing and iTunes Radio.

Of course, Apple has been seeding betas of iOS 7 to developers since June, but this is the first time it will be open to the public. So we thought we’d put this list together of things to help you get ready… Read More

 

How to downgrade iOS 7 to iOS 6.1.3

By Jeff Benjamin on Jun 11, 2013

Apple makes it sound like a life or death scenario when developers decide to install iOS 7 beta on a test device. In fact, it’s always done so with its beta releases. In the notes for iOS 7, Apple states that “Devices updated to iOS beta can not be restored to earlier versions of iOS.”

The thing is, that simply isn’t true. I’ve always been able to successfully downgrade my firmware in the past for a beta test device, and I’ve confirmed that the process still works perfectly fine on iOS 7. In fact, it’s extremely easy to downgrade your firmware from iOS 7 to iOS 6.1.3; it doesn’t even require any special tricks or techniques like some downgrades do. Check inside as I walk you through the extremely simple step-by-step process for downgrading iOS 7 back to iOS 6.1.3. Read More

 

How to stop Google Chrome’s annoying keychain access request messages

By Jeff Benjamin on Mar 4, 2013

Have you ever had Google Chrome on OS X present a pop up message that states: Google Chrome wants to use your confidential information stored in the…blah, blah, blah…in your keychain?

Even if you select Always Allow, Deny, or Allow, the message continues to pop up each time you visit specific sites. I tried disabling password syncing in Chrome’s settings, clearing all saved passwords, etc., all to no avail. Basically, I got to the point where If I saw that message one more time, I was going to rip my hair out!

But I solved the issue, and it was actually easier, and more obvious than I expected. If you’re having the same problem, which apparently many Chrome users on the Mac are, then take a look inside for the fix… Read More

 
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