About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

@JeffBenjam

Jeff produces videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. He takes pride in being able to explain things in a simple, clear and concise manner.

Jeff Benjamin's Favorite Gear

May 18

Friday 5: Filmic Pro – a must-have app for iPhone videographers [Video]

The stock Camera app on iOS has gradually improved over the years, but it still lacks many of the features that are important to those focused on iPhone videography. In this week’s Friday 5, we go hands-on with Filmic Pro, the best advanced video capture app on iOS.

May 17

I recently got my hands on a Google Pixel 2 XL, primarily because I’ve long planned on migrating my business line from Google Voice to a standalone phone, and figured an Android phone would give me a good opportunity to catch me up on the platform’s features. As you may have heard, the latest developer beta for Android was just released, called Android P, and Google makes it super easy to enroll and install the beta on a select few Android phones.

One of the things that I found interesting about Android P is its updated multitasking interface. The interface works similarly to the iPhone X, in that swipe gestures can be used to invoke the app switcher. Although Android P is still in beta, I wanted to showcase how some of the Pixel XL 2’s multitasking features stack up against the iPhone X. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough for more. expand full story

May 15

Next week Valve is bringing its Steam Link app to iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Steam Link will allow users on the aforementioned devices to stream their Steam game libraries while connected to a host system (Mac or PC) via a 5GHz network or wired Ethernet connection.

Valve reports that Steam Link will support both MFi controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus, along with its own Steam Controller. In preparation for next week’s launch, Steam has enabled Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity for its controller via the Steam Client Beta. It means that users can now connect their Steam Controllers directly to eligible devices, bypassing the need for its USB wireless receiver. expand full story

Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

May 14

Unlike the desktop version of Safari, the iOS version lacks the handy inspector that allows you to access web pages resources like background images. Save Images is a free iOS Safari extension that lets you quickly identify and save images from a web page. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough to see it in action. expand full story

May 11

Cardhop is a utility that’s squarely focused on managing and interacting with contacts on your Mac. Developed by Flexibits, the team behind Fantastical for Mac and iOS, it features a familiar design and interactive natural language elements. In this week’s episode of Friday 5, I explore how Cardhop does the impossible and actually manages to make contact management fun. Watch our hands-on video for the details. expand full story

May 10

We’re a few years into the Thunderbolt 3 era, and now it’s finally beginning to seem like we have a wealth of peripheral options for the speedy I/O. OWC sent us its Envoy Pro EX SSD, one of the latest Thunderbolt 3-enabled accessories aimed at MacBook Pro users. It brings with it fast bus-powered performance at a friendly price point.

Starting at $249.99 for 250GB, the Envoy Pro EX is also available in 500GB and 1TB varieties. Is the OWC Envoy Pro EX worth considering? Watch our video walkthrough as I take the 1TB version for a test drive. expand full story

May 9

LumaFusion, far and away the most feature-dense video editing app on iOS, has been updated to version 1.6. This latest release brings some notable enhancements to the table, including  Gnarbox integration.

I’ve covered LumaFusion several times before, and have been impressed by the amount of features that it has built in for serious video editors. Version 1.6 continues to build on the foundation already established by previous versions, and creates a noteworthy hardware partnership in the process. Watch our hands-on video for more details. expand full story

May 8

I constantly get questions about how I use my iPad, and posts like our recent iOS 11 iPad multitasking walkthrough have only increased interest among those looking to get more out of their tablets. With this in mind, I plan on sharing my iPad workflows with you on a more regular basis, including some of the key apps that help keep me productive when I’m away from my Mac.

Yoink, the brainchild of indie developer Matthias Gansrigler, is one such app that can boost productivity. Gansrigler’s company, Eternal Storms Software, launched Yoink on macOS years ago, and to this day it remains one of the staple apps in my Mac workflow.

The Yoink Mac app is a handy utility that acts as a temporary storage location for moving files more efficiently around macOS. The iOS version of Yoink is similar in that it can work as a temporary storage location for files, but there is a lot more to it than initially meets the eye. Watch our hands-on video for a look at how I use Yoink, and why you should consider adding it to your essential list of iPad apps. expand full story

May 5

Unofficial NVIDIA eGPU support is now a reality for Mac users. It’s all thanks to the developers and researchers that congregate over at eGPU.io, a community for eGPU coverage and support across Mac, Windows, and other platforms.

While not perfect, the results of my testing look very promising. Let me preface this post by saying that NVIDIA eGPU support for macOS is still not officially supported by Apple, and the workaround script used to provide support is still in its alpha stages. Even so, I’ve been impressed by the script’s ease of use, and the performance that I’ve seen thus far.

It means that macOS users can now enjoy eGPU setups with cards from Nvidia’s Pascal lineup, including the GTX 1070, 1080, and venerable 1080 Ti. And it’s not just for Thunderbolt 3 Mac users, either. The script allows Mac owners to work around restrictions that eliminated support for Thunderbolt 2 eGPUs as well, allowing more users to join in on the graphics-accelerated fun. Watch our video for a hands-on look. expand full story

May 2

In this step-by-step video walkthrough, we discuss and demonstrate a multitude of iPad-centric multitasking tips for iOS. Most iPad users will be aware of the existence of some of these features, but there are probably a handful of tips that have flown under your radar. Watch our hands-on video walkthrough and see for yourself. expand full story

Today, Thunderbolt 3 peripheral specialist Akitio announced a new partnership with Intel that has resulted in a special edition version of the Akitio Node PCIe box. The collaboration sees Intel contributing its just-released Optane 905P, a 960GB PCIe SSD — the current king of SSDs from a speed perspective — to the fire engine red Thunderbolt 3 enclosure. expand full story

May 1

If you’re looking for an eGPU that doesn’t occupy a lot of desk real estate, you basically have two options — the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Puck, and Gigabyte’s just-released RX 580 Gaming Box.

Whereas the Sonnet option comes with an RX 570, Gigabyte packs a more powerful RX 580 inside an area that’s a little bit larger than the Breakaway Puck. Should MacBook Pro users looking for a portable eGPU solution consider the RX 580 Gaming Box? Watch our hands-on video inside for more details. expand full story

April 30

Apple today released an update for Final Cut Pro X that addresses a couple of annoying bugs that some users may have been experiencing. Version 10.4.2 of Final Cut Pro X arrives three weeks after version 10.4.1, a major update that brought about new features like closed captioning workflows and ProRes RAW support. expand full story

One of the biggest sources of supply chain-based pre-release Apple hardware information has departed his position of nearly six and a half years. Ming-Chi Kuo, top Apple analyst at KGI Securities, left the company last Friday, April 27th, according to a report by the China Times via Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.

KGI is Taiwan’s second-largest securities firm, and is set to mark its 30th year in business later this September. Kuo, who is easily the firm’s most recognizable analyst by name, previously worked at Taiwanese news company Digitimes. Now he appears to be largely moving on from reporting about Apple. expand full story

April 23

If you’re in the market for a Thunderbolt 3 device that allows you to connect to up to two 4K displays at 60 Hz simultaneously, but don’t want to invest in a full on external GPU, then the Mantiz Titan may be worth considering. A multi-video dock featuring dual DisplayPort 1.2 connections and a single HDMI 2.0a connection, this unit allows you to connect a Thunderbolt 3-enabled MacBook Pro or iMac to two 4K displays at once.

Users can opt to use both DisplayPort connections or a single DisplayPort + HDMI connection to achieve a dual 4K display setup. In other words, the Titan allows you to quickly connect to multiple external displays without the need for an eGPU box with dedicated graphics card. Watch our hands-on video for a brief look at the Mantiz Titan in action. expand full story

April 20

In this hands-on video walkthrough, we step through several basic and several advanced app icon management tips for iPhone users. Chances are you’ll know many, if not most of these, but there’s probably at least one or two tips that have flown under your radar. Watch our hands-on video to find out. expand full story

April 19

Even though Final Cut Pro X curiously doesn’t support external GPUs yet, DaVinci Resolve is another popular NLE that already works with eGPUs on macOS. In fact, the $299 Studio edition supports multiple GPUs, which can have a noticeable effect on both timeline and render/export performance.

I’ve been super impressed with the relentlessness that Blackmagic Design, the creators behind DaVinci Resolve, has displayed while iterating on its hardware and software products. For example, DaVinci Resolve has progressed from what was primarily viewed as a colorist’s tool that you’d use and round trip back to your primary NLE, to a competent standalone NLE. The upcoming version 15, now in beta, even sports a motion graphics platform called Fusion that’s baked right in.

As I recently traversed the show floor in Las Vegas at NAB 2018, there was a noticeable buzz about DaVinci Resolve — several popular vendors specifically named-dropped Resolve in reference to its eGPU support, and noted the impressive performance gains made possible by this feature.

In this hands-on video walkthrough, I showcase using DaVinci Resolve with multiple eGPUs. As you’ll see, an eGPU can turn a MacBook Pro — a machine that may struggle editing in DaVinci Resolve on its own — into a capable editing machine. expand full story

April 17

Now that macOS 10.13.4 is out, Apple is now officially supporting certain eGPU configurations for eligible Macs. As I outlined in a recent state of eGPU post, all currently released Thunderbolt 3-enabled Macs are eGPU compatible, including the 4K and 5K iMac, the iMac Pro, and the 2016/2017 MacBook Pro.

With this in mind, we recently got our hands on the Sonnet eGFX Breakaway Box 650W to unbox and document some first impressions. If you’re looking for the best overall Apple-recommended external GPU chassis for your Thunderbolt 3-enabled MacBook Pro or iMac, then look no further. Sonnet’s eGFX Breakaway Box is an eGPU enclosure that can power the most powerful Mac-compatible GPU — the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 — while providing enough power to charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro at full speed. Watch our video walkthrough for more hands-on details and benchmarks. expand full story

April 14

Apple’s mid-cycle (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 8 special edition is now arriving to customers who ordered online earlier in the week, and is also available for in-store pickup at most retail Apple Store locations.

Like last year’s iPhone 7 special edition release, Apple will donate a portion of the proceeds for the red iPhone 8 to charity. If you didn’t care for the look of the (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7, there are two key differences with this year’s model that may change your opinion this time around. Watch our hands-on video unboxing and walkthrough for more details. expand full story

April 9

The new closed captioning tools in Final Cut Pro 10.4 provide an easy way to create more accessible content. Closed captions are also useful for creating content that’s watchable in environments where it’s not practical to turn up the volume.

Closed captioning can help expand your reach by assigning different languages to your captions for easy interpretation. Needless to say, this is a major new workflow addition to Final Cut Pro X, one that might pay dividends as far as broadening your audience is concerned. Watch our hands-on video for a brief look at some of the high level closed captioning tool set features.

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