About the Author

Jeff Benjamin

@JeffBenjam

Jeff produces tech videos, walkthroughs, how-tos, written tutorials and reviews. 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 and video. He’s written for numerous tech sites since the late 1990′s, and has a knack for explaining things in a simple, clear and concise manner.

Email: jeff@9to5Mac.com | YouTube: youtube.com/c/9to5mac

Jeff Benjamin's Favorite Gear

July 21

AAPL: 150.27

-0.07

As we noted yesterday, a major update to Apple’s Clips app was released, and it brings several noteworthy features to the table. The update includes animated Disney stickers featuring Micky and Minnie, along with Pixar assets from Toy Story and Inside Out.

Clips is a solid app for editing short videos on iOS, and the 1.1 update makes it even better. It’s why we’ve decided to make this free-to-download app our Friday 5 app of the week.

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July 20

AAPL: 150.34

-0.68

As our own Jordan Kahn brought out in a previous post, iOS 11’s new Smart Invert Colors feature is the closest thing we’ve seen to a so-called ‘dark mode’ in iOS thus far. It’s not perfect, but its ability to avoid inverting images and other types of content in certain apps is a step in the right direction.

The main issue with enabling Smart Invert Colors is that you have to dig deep into the Settings app in order to do so. Instead, have a brief look at how to enable a handy triple-click Home button shortcut to instantly toggle the Smart Invert Colors feature on a whim. expand full story

July 19

AAPL: 151.02

0.94

I’ve been wanting to do a series on iPad video editing for some time, and I feel that time is right with the maturation of LumaFusion into a powerful app for editing videos on iOS. LumaFusion, as I’ve stated in the past, is the most comprehensive video editing tool available on the platform, and should be the choice for anyone who’s seriously into editing videos via iPad on a recurring basis.

In this initial walkthrough, I step through many of the basic project settings in LumaFusion. This includes creating a new project, adjusting basic preferences, renaming, duplicating, deleting projects, and so on.

By the end of this tutorial, you should have a firm grasp on how to use projects in LumaFusion, which will adequately prepare you to tackle other basic areas of the app, including managing the timeline and source viewer. We’ll be back soon with additional LumaFusion tutorials, with the goal of eventually establishing a full comprehensive video-driven guide to the app. expand full story

9to5toys 

July 17

AAPL: 149.56

0.52

iMacs can’t be upgraded, right? Tell that to YouTuber Quinn Nelson, better known around the Interwebs as SnazzyQ. Nelson performed some intense surgery on his less than-a-few-weeks-old, $1,799 base-model Mid 2017 5K iMac. The result? He came away with a machine that performs better in some respects than the most expensive ($5,299 before tax) iMac you can currently buy. expand full story

AgileBits has released the latest version of 1Password for iOS, and it includes a new feature that will serve as a major convenience for anyone who uses the app to manage two-factor one-time passwords. As of version 6.8, which AgileBits has codenamed ‘The Picnic Edition’, one-time passwords will now auto-copy to the clipboard whenever you use auto-fill. expand full story

The iPad Pro Leather Sleeve is an accessory that’s made for iPad Pro owners who use an Apple Pencil. The sleeve, with a price of $129 for the 10.5-inch model and $159 for the 12.9-inch model, is made out of leather and is available in four colors.

Considering its price tag, the Leather Sleeve is what I would call a luxury accessory. There are other options that provide similar protection at a much cheaper price, but for those of you who demand a high-quality Apple-branded product, the Leather Sleeve makes for an interesting option. expand full story

9to5google 

July 14

AAPL: 149.04

1.27

When not using Apple’s built-in default option, Fantastical has long been my go to Calendar app on macOS. The app was just recently updated to version 2.4, a major feature upgrade encompassing things like attachment support, advanced undo/redo, travel time, and more.

But it’s not just the latest upgrades that make this app a worthy default Calendar app replacement. Have a look at five of my favorite Fantastical 2 features in this week’s edition of Friday 5 for more details. expand full story

July 13

AAPL: 147.77

2.03

If you’re a 10.5-inch iPad Pro user who regularly uses a Smart Keyboard, then Khomo’s iPad Pro + Smart Cover companion case should definitely be on your radar. It’s a case that compliments either the Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard, providing rear iPad Pro protection that Apple doesn’t currently offer.

If, however, you’re in search of a full case with a built-in Apple Pencil holder, then Khomo has another solid sub-$20 offering for you. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough for all of the details. expand full story

July 12

AAPL: 145.74

0.21

Apple has released the second iOS 11 public beta for the iPhone and iPad. As has been the case with previous public beta releases, this allows users who are not registered developers to test pre-release versions of iOS with new features for free.

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electrek 

With the success and popularity of Serif’s Affinity Photo for iPad, it seemed like a given that its companion app, Affinity Designer, would soon make its way to iPad. In a video posted via Twitter earlier this morning, Affinity Designer’s project manager, Matt Priestly, shared a teaser of the app in action. expand full story

Fantastical 2, the popular calendar app from developer, Flexibits, has received a big update for the Mac. Version 2.4, which just landed on the Mac App Store, brings several notable new features to the fore.

Users will be happy to learn that you can now add attachments directly to iCloud and Exchange calendar events on the Mac. The update also lends the ability to add travel time to events, letting you receive notifications that correspond to the amount of time it will take to reach the event location.

Have a look at the full change log inside, which highlights the biggest Fantastical update since version 2 launched back in 2015. expand full story

July 11

AAPL: 145.53

0.47

Last week I received the Khomo charcoal gray case for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. This case is billed as being a perfect companion case for the iPad Pro + Smart Keyboard. Because Apple has decided not to sell a companion rear case for either the Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard, users are essentially forced to go the third-party route if they desire to protect the rear of their iPad Pro.

The good news is that there are some really good third-party options available. We already covered one such option, an all-in-one solution that can be had for less than $20. But for those of us that gravitate towards the Smart Keyboard, a rear case that’s specifically designed to complement Apple’s front cover protection is required.

As you’ll see from my hands on video walkthrough, the Khomo case is one of the best Smart Keyboard companion options that you can buy right now. Not only is it an excellent fit, but its color and texture match the Smart Keyboard almost perfectly. expand full story

iOS 11 beta 3 just landed yesterday, and we’ve got a hands-on look at the highly-anticipated release. The update brings a variety of changes and improvements, including the ability to force close apps on iPad using a swipe up gesture, folder support in the Dock, and more. Have a look at our hands-on walkthrough video inside as we step through some of the latest changes and features. expand full story

9to5toys 

July 7

AAPL: 144.18

1.45

Ulysses is a writing app that I use each and every day on my iPad Pro; I even use it on iPhone to make quick edits or changes to in-progress work. I’ve briefly covered Ulysses on Friday 5 in the past, but tonight I’d like to dig deeper and discuss some of the features that make it my go-to iOS (and macOS) writing app. expand full story

July 5

AAPL: 144.32

0.82

Serif’s Affinity Photo for iPad received its first big update today, headlined by its support for native resolution on the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. The iPad-only release, which now clocks in at version 1.6.3, brings many new changes and features to the popular image editing app. Have a look at the full change log inside for the entire summation of the updates. expand full story

I’ve used a few third-party keyboards with the iPad Pro in the past, but for some strange reason I’ve never opted to give Apple’s very-own Smart Keyboard a fair shake. In hindsight, that was a huge miscalculation on my part, as I’m quickly learning since I received the 10.5-inch iPad Pro with Smart Keyboard in tow.

It’s now my opinion that you should strongly consider pairing the 10.5-inch iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard, because it fundamentally changes the device for the better. It’s not perfect, but the amount of convenience that it brings to the table makes it highly worth considering. Have a look at our video commentary for 15 reasons why I think the Smart Keyboard is a must-have iPad Pro accessory. expand full story

9to5google 

July 3

AAPL: 143.50

-0.52

New video provides a hands-on look at Apple Watch restore process using iBus tool

The iBus, a tool that we previously discussed, allows users to connect to the Apple Watch maintenance port for interfacing with iTunes on a Mac. MFC, its creator, says that the iBUS is the first such tool in existence. In the following hands-on video, @alixrezax walks through the Apple Watch restore process from start to finish using the iBus. It’s one of the first hands-on step-by-step looks at the tool in usage that we’ve seen.

June 30

AAPL: 144.02

0.34

Whenever I need to record audio on my iPad or iPhone, Ferrite Recording Studio is my go-to app of choice. This app, created by developer Wooji Juice, works for simple one-off recordings like voice memos, but can also function as a flexible and powerful multi-track audio editor. Have a look at this week’s Friday 5 as we peer into the features that make Ferrite (free w/available in-app purchases) worth adding to your audio editing repertoire. expand full story

Looking to protect the front of your iPad Pro with Apple-produced gear? Apple provides three different options. You can opt for a traditional Smart Cover, a Smart Keyboard, or Apple’s iPad Pro Leather Sleeve.

All three of the aforementioned products protect your iPad Pro in various ways. Both the Smart Cover and the Smart Keyboard will protect the front of your iPad Pro via a magnetic attachment that allows you to easily use the device with the cover or keyboard still attached. The Leather Sleeve, obviously, renders the iPad Pro unusable while contained within the case.

Only one of the products — the Leather Sleeve — provides any sort of rear protection for the iPad Pro, but as stated, the device can’t be used while enclosed inside.

This presents an interesting predicament. Apple doesn’t currently sell any first-party cases that protect the rear of the iPad Pro while in use. Not to mention that a Smart Cover + Leather Sleeve, or Smart Keyboard + Leather Sleeve combination can easily approach $200 or more depending on which you opt for. But even if money were no object, Apple just doesn’t offer a solution to this problem. So I took the next logical step, and found a case on Amazon. expand full story

electrek 

June 28

AAPL: 145.83

2.10

CalDigit’s TS3 is a Thunderbolt 3-enabled dock in a very compact form factor. The dock omits the flat landscape design that has been the hallmark of most Thunderbolt 3 docks thus far, and instead comes with a compact design that can be placed on a desk vertically or horizontally.

Most notably, the CalDigit TS3 affords full-speed 15-inch MacBook Pro charging thanks to its 85W of power delivery. This is a feature that many of the previous Thunderbolt 3 docks, including CalDigit’s own TS3 Lite, weren’t capable of.

Yet, as someone who just recently traded a 2016 MacBook Pro for a Thunderbolt 3-enabled 2017 iMac, I was also anxious to see how the dock would integrate with my desktop setup. Have a look at our hands-on video walkthrough inside for the details. expand full story

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