MOBiLE CLOTH the Best Stocking Stuffer for Under $10, South of the North Pole


MOBiLE CLOTH Voted Best Stocking Stuffer Under $10

In an independent survey recently completed at the North Pole, 9 out of 10 elves agree MOBiLE CLOTH is the Best stocking stuffer for the third year in a row.

“With all of the touchscreens we are shipping these days Mobile Cloth is a ‘must have'” – Papa Elf

“Parents email us all the time asking about the best cleaning cloth for devices, I always tell them Mobile Cloth” – Alabaster Snowball

“Santa drops a lot of money on these devices every year, think about all of those sticky little fingers on Christmas morning don’t be a Cotton headed niny muggins, use Mobile Cloth” – SugarPlum Mary

On a more serious note MOBiLE CLOTH has been reviewed enthusiastically by many tech writers including iPadinsight’s own Patrick J. as a fast, effective, and safe cleaning accessory…your friends and family will love them and thank you!

Well you heard it here first folks… MOBiLE CLOTH is the stocking stuffer of choice of the pros. Don’t be a Cotton headed niny muggins, get some for your family and friends before they run out!

Site Wide SALE 30% Off and Free Shipping! No promo code needed…

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Deals: Huge Black Friday Sale!


Today’s feature deal is part of our huge Black Friday sale.  Right now everything in the whole Deals Store will be 15% off, with some restrictions, for readers using the coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY

We are also celebrating the start of the holiday shopping season by offering two additional deals.  The first is a set of Powerbeats 2 WIRED In-Ear Headphones on sale for 36% off.   It’s a great deal that will run you only $94.99 – instead of its standard price of $150.  Here’s some info about the Powerbeats 2, and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…


The signature Beats sound comes in all shapes and sizes, but none as powerful as the Powerbeats. Inspired by Lebron James, these noise-isolating buds are prepared to withstand rigorous activity with their water and sweat resistant design and adjustable snug fit. You can walk, run, jump, or dunk with the tunes pumping, and know your buds will still be right where they belong.

  • Use the RemoteTalk cable to adjust tracks & answer calls
  • Listen during any activity or workout thanks to the IPX4 sweat & water resistance
  • Easily adjust the earhooks for a snug fit
  • Choose between four sizes of eartips
  • Enjoy powerful Beats sound w/ dual-driver acoustics
  • Get the best possible listening experience w/ built-in noise isolation
  • Withstand anything w/ durable metal face protection

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Reeder 3.0 for iPad

Catching up on RSS feeds just doesn’t feel right to me unless it’s done within Reeder. There’s something about the three sliding panels, the smooth gestures to activate Readability or load links in the browser. Other RSS apps like Newsify may have more dynamic visual layouts and feature picture more prominently, but nothing else matches the speed and ease-of-use of a Reeder on iOS.

The features in v3.0 aren’t groundbreaking, but they’re enough to keep me a happy Reeder user for a while to come. First of all, Reeder 3 now works with iOS 9 multitasking and has been scaled to fit the iPad Pro. The interface hasn’t really changed to take advantage of the larger canvas, but that’s actually okay so far, since the gestures within the app make all of the shortcuts very easy to access.


It’s great to be able to browse my RSS feed and take a few notes on interesting links in Evernote simultaneously. Safari and Reeder 3 also make an interesting multitasking combo if you set the former to open links within Safari. I can have Safari as my primary app and run Reeder as a smaller window along the side of the screen, and it does feel more like a cohesive system when I tap on a link and see it open along the left side.

However, a cleaner browsing experience is what you’re after, Reeder now has support for the Safari View Controller, which means you have a complete browser module — extensions, saved passwords and all — available to you as you peruse your feeds. In keeping with Reeder’s awesome gesture integration, the Safari View can be dismissed with a quick swipe to the right, so you don’t have to tap the “Done” button in the top-right corner.

Instapaper Sync

The other significant feature in 3.0 is the support for Instapaper as a syncing service, meaning that you can actually use Reeder as your all-in-one RSS and Read Later app. It’s not terribly obvious, but you can archive Instapaper articles by marking them as Read. I think this would have been made clearer by using some sort of archive icon in lieu of the “unread” dot, but this solution works well enough for now.

I had initially dismissed the integration of Instapaper because I’ve been using Safari’s Reading List for the past few months. However, having read a few Instapaper articles within Reeder, I’m now on the fence about which service to use. Safari’s Reading List is useful, but occasionally inconsistent. Sometimes articles don’t download for offline reading like they’re supposed to, and I can accidentally swipe through an entire article if I swipe too quickly (scrolling sensitivity needs to be adjusted). Safari can also be very picky about when it syncs. If I read an article and try to manually mark it as read, the app will hit me with a dialogue box to tell me that I can’t do anything while its syncing.

Reeder’s Instapaper integration isn’t nearly as picky about things. It’s easy to view all of my articles and filter them by date or even by source. Most websites do full RSS feeds, but for those that don’t, it can be useful to pass them through Instapaper first in order to read the entire article within Reeder. The only bug I can see so far is that Instapaper syncing can sometimes time out if you try to sync it manually. This goes away after restarting the app, but it’s not as consistent with syncing as the official Instapaper app.

Reeder 3.0 feels mainly like a compatibility update to me. I’m sure that the Instapaper integration took time, but it isn’t a headline feature for me at the moment because I don’t take full advantage of the service. But that’s all right by me. Reeder is one of those apps that feels tailor-made for me, and all I really need from it is to stay compatible with each subsequent iOS and OS X update. Reeder 3 is free for existing users

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Deals: SNES30 Bluetooth Game Controller at 14% off

SNES30 Bluetooth Game Controller

Today’s featured deal is great for all those iPad users who are diehard gamers and want to enjoy some nostalgia at the same time. Now you can play modern games with this classic controller, and take a break from your day-to-day responsibilities–even if t’s just a little while . With the SNES30 Bluetooth Game Controller  you’ll get just that, and right now it’s also 14% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $29.95 – instead of its standard price of $35!  Here’s some info about the SNES30 Controller and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

Remember the glory days of playing Super Nintendo on that classic gray controller with its signature purple push buttons? 8Bitdo is bringing it back again with the SNES30, a 1:1 original design that supports both Bluetooth and USB connections. Connect with your favorite device or computer to play any modern game with arguably the greatest controller of all time.

  • Play all the latest games w/ an old school controller
  • Connect via Bluetooth or the included USB cable
  • Use w/ your PC, Mac, iPad, Android & more
  • Play multiplayer games using the dual-keyboard code system for iOS
  • Play w/ up to four players on Wii w/ Wiimote emulation support
  • Carry it in your back pocket thanks to its slim, portable size
  • Game for up to 20 hours without taking a break to recharge the battery
  • Play touchscreen-only games w/ touchscreen simulation
  • Recharge the battery 1000+ times

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Multitasking on the iPad Pro


One of my primary reasons in testing the iPad Pro was to see how much of a difference it would make to multitasking. I was playing around with a few apps in Split View on my iPad Air 2, but it was more like a mode that I would activate intermittently — not my default way to work. Split View came in really handy as I finished articles up on the Air 2. I’d split iA Writer and Safari and copy links across the two halves of the screen, without ever having to leave the app. This was a lot less work than tabbing back and forth between the apps in iOS 8.

Portrait of Two iPads

The iPad Pro’s gargantuan screen is large enough to display two full iPad apps in landscape mode. I say “full” because running two apps in Split View on the Air 2 will result in two iPhone-class apps running adjacent to one another. For some apps this just means the sidebar will disappear, but it can be a more drastic difference in other apps. Safari, for example, stops displaying tabs along the top of the screen and adopts the tab button (displayed along the bottom bar) of the iPhone version of the app. These UI changes can be a little jarring, even though the content of the app stays the same.

It has to be said that multitasking on the Pro is just silky smooth if you’re just using touch. The Air 2 isn’t slow, but the Pro is like butter. There are some really great combos I’ve played around with over the past week:

  • Safari + Evernote for note-taking
  • Safari + Procreate for drawing
  • iA Writer + OmniFocus 2 for attacking work
  • Tweetbot + Messages for idle chatting while I watch TV

This doesn’t look like much when I condense these app combinations into bullet points, but it’s the first use case that has proven really interesting to me. Having a full-width version of Evernote beside my browser has been indispensable for doing research. I’m thinking about a trip to Japan next year and I made copious use of Split View to copy itineraries from Safari into Evernote for later comparison. Things got even better once I added the Pencil to the equation because I no longer had to disrupt the flow of researching and writing.

It has also been very useful to write a draft outline in bullet points and have that displayed beside iA Writer on the Pro. I usually do a 75/25 split in these cases, as I like having a lot of room for text. But it’s a lot better than keeping my outline below the text, which is how I used to work on the Air 2.

Pro Optimization

The only downside to getting used to Split View is that you really notice when it doesn’t work. We’re still waiting on Google apps like Hangouts, YouTube, and the entire Google Docs suite to support iOS 9 multitasking. These apps are starting to be a thorn in my side because they will always launch in full-screen and they aren’t optimized for the iPad Pro’s larger screen (so the UI is just a blown-up iPad Air 2 UI). This will eventually be solved over the coming months as apps catch up to iOS 9, but it does affect my workflow in the mean time.

The Split View Launcher Already Feels Outdated

For the purposes of discussing Split View in this article, the primary app is the one running on the left side of the screen (using the existing card-view app switcher), while the secondary app runs on the right (and uses the Split View switcher).

With that said, I stand by what I wrote a few months ago: the Split View launcher isn’t designed to scale. Swiping down on the secondary app to reveal a single column of app icons just sucks. It’s slow, there’s no way to activate search, and you end up having to scroll through a very long list of icons if you haven’t used a particular app in a while. I only mention that in this article to state that: yes, this still sucks, even on the iPad Pro. Perhaps especially on the iPad Pro because you’ll want to do more multitasking on this device.

Preserving App States in Split View

It’s taking me a while to learn how iOS treats the secondary app in Split View. Let’s take an instance where Safari is my primary app and OmniFocus 2 is running as the secondary. If I press the Home button and check Google Hangouts (which does not support Split View), Hangouts will display as a fullscreen iPad app. I could still load OmniFocus 2 over Hangouts at this point, but only as a SlideOver app (which basically runs it as a layer on top of my current primary app). Still with me?

split view mechanics

Here’s where it can get a little disorienting, and it’s the part that I’m still trying to get used to. Once I’m done in Hangouts I’ll press the Home button and want to get back to what I was doing before (Safari + OmniFocus 2). I could tap the Safari icon, but since OmniFocus 2 was loaded as well, I should also be able to tap on that.

What I expect when I tap on OmniFocus 2 is to return to my previous setup: Safari as primary and OmniFocus 2 as the secondary app. That was the layout I had specifically set up before I went to check Hangouts. As a user I expect that iOS will remember and respect state that I left my apps in.

However, what actually happens when I tap on OmniFocus 2 is that it loads up and displays full-screen. There are no secondary apps, just OmniFocus 2. In order to turn OmniFocus 2 back into a secondary app I have to go back to Safari, reactivate Split View, and tap the black divider bar to finalize the arrangement.

I think I understand Apple’s logic here — that any icon you tap on the home screen will become a full-screen app — but I don’t think it plays very well with how multitasking is presented on iOS 9. Apple is obviously trying to offer a sense of app persistence in multitasking with Split View and Picture-in-Picture. However, I think this current implementation misses the mark.

A better solution would be to allow two ways to return to my Split View setup. I should be able to tap either Safari or OmniFocus 2 to return to my custom arrangement: Safari as primary, OmniFocus 2 as secondary.

The Best Split View Use Case

I haven’t had terribly long with the iPad Pro, but I have had a few months’ experience with Split View with the iOS 9 beta on my iPad Air 2. So I know that Split View works smoothly without any lag on the Air 2 and Pro, but that it has some significant gaps while using a hardware keyboard. There are times when keyboard shortcuts need a few seconds to respond after you switch to an app, and other instances where keyboard shortcuts just don’t work (I’m looking at you, Spotlight!).

So my recommendation for taking full advantage of Split View on the Pro is to stick to a Smart Cover and Pencil. This keeps you from having to reach all the way up to the top of the iPad Pro’s 13-inch screen to hit “Done” or tap a search result. iOS in its current iteration heavily favours the finger over the keystroke. Luckily, the software keyboard experience on the iPad Pro is pretty good, so a sans-keyboard setup can work out.

In my final iPad Pro article I plan to talk all about the Apple Pencil and how I think it helps to define this device (far more than the Smart Keyboard does). Working with Split View and a Pencil for notetaking really is a different and markedly improved multitasking experience that no other device can replicate.

More on that soon! :)

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Deals: Executive Restt 6-in-1 Keyboard Desk Organizer at 27% off

Executive Restt

Today’s featured deal is great for any iPad user who is looking for a way to stay organized and get the most out of their iPad set-up . With the The Executive Restt keyboard Desk Workstation you’ll get just that, and right now it’s also 27% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $39.99 – instead of its standard price of $55!  Here’s some info about The Executive Restt and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

This incredibly crafty tablet rest rolls up a Bluetooth keyboard, stand organizer, pen and stylus stand, business card holder, credit card slot, and hidden desktop organizer into the perfect place to get work done. The handy Bluetooth keyboard transforms your device into a computer, putting frustrating tablet typing struggles to rest for good. And the Executive Restt’s nifty, patented desktop organizer becomes a makeshift desk to store your office essentials when you’re on-the-go. Now, you can literally bring your office wherever you go.

As seen on the NBC’s Today Show!

  • Small Bluetooth keyboard w/ full-sized keys makes typing on your tablet or smartphone a breeze
  • Ultra-durable Flex Plus silicone is anti-slip & anti-scratch
  • Tablet can be viewed in landscape or portrait orientations
  • Dual pen holders provide easy writing-utensil access
  • Trays hide clutter on your desk & store paperclips, stationary, ear buds & more
  • Two business card holders deliver instant networking tools
  • Tablet slot orientates your tablet at the perfect viewing angle
  • Rest fits both a tablet & a phone

Also available in white!

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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Writing On iPad Pro Without A Hardware Keyboard

I’ve written before about the strange fascination I have with the concept of using just an iPad and a stand (usually a Smart Cover) for writing. The major problem for me is that my wrists really haven’t liked it in the past. I’ve tried all manner of wrist positions and chair heights. I’ve kept the iPad farther in on the desk so my elbows had support, and I’ve tried leaving the iPad near the edge of the desk, so my wrists didn’t have to bend so far up to hit the keys. None of that has really worked on previous iPads and I do think it has to do with the fact that I can’t rest my fingers on the keys. Without having somewhere to give my wrists a break, my fingers and palms can quickly start to sweat. That usually forecasts some wrist pain soon after.
What’s interesting to me is that some other writers on Twitter have been trying to use the iPad without a hardware keyboard. Ben Brooks at stated he typed 1800 words on the iPad Pro, and Josh Ginter told me he got more used to the iPad Pro after the first weekend. They don’t have any history of wrist pain or RSI, but they still piqued my interest in the device’s software keyboard. The iPad Pro may lack Force Touch, but its software keys very closely mimic the size of a full hardware keyboard. That’s a first for an iPad.

I’ve now written over 3000 words on this keyboard and my feelings are are still up and down. I’m still slower in writing on an iPad, and I still try to type far too quickly for my own good. I’m a pretty fast and accurate typist on hardware keyboards, and my finger as often fly too quickly for the software keyboard to register keystrokes or gestures properly. A big part of learning to use this iPad pro has been to slow down a little bit.

However, to my surprise, this experiment has been working out. I started out by just leaving the iPad flat on the table. It actually works quite well and makes the keys very easy to press. However, it’s definitely a recipe for a sore neck if you’re going to type more than a few hundred words in a sitting. I tried using the Compass stand from TwelveSouth, but the iPad Pro is just too large for it. The best stands for the iPad Pro are actually those designed for laptops. I pulled out my old AviiQ foldable laptop stand and it’s working wonderfully for the Pro. The entire tablet screen is supported, so there isn’t any shaking of the device as I type.

The full keyboard layout is definitely an asset. It’s easier to hit the keys because the spacing is a little more generous. It’s also far more convenient to reach numbers and symbols without ever having to dig into the specialized symbols menu. Writing in Markdown on the iPad Pro is awesome, especially with the trackpad mode added in iOS 9. I’m starting to prefer this trackpad style selection to using the arrow keys on a MacBook.

I still think that Force Touch could be an asset to the iPads that Apple releases next year, and I really hope they find a way to let us rest our hands on the screen. However, for the first time in the history of the iPad, I can actually write on this device without pain long enough to pump out 600-word posts like this one — which is something I haven’t been able to say of any previous generation iPad. A MacBook would still be the more sensible portable computer for me, but I have to admit that there’s some charm to an iPad-only writing setup.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this is defining feature of the iPad Pro, but it’s definitely useful for other writers who have wanted to use “just the iPad” but always required a hardware keyboard for the previous models. 

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The Problem With Importing XAVC-S Video On The iPad Pro

iPad Pro video import

Read most any iPad Pro review and you’ll see the same line written in different ways: the iPad Pro is powerful enough to render three streams of 4K video simultaneously in iMovie. That’s quite a lot. It’s something my own 2013 Retina MacBook Pro would probably have issues handling. But nobody ever seems to talk about how the heck you’re supposed to get those high resolution files onto the iPad in the first place. I’ve tried asking around on Twitter but haven’t heard any responses from early access reviewers. I have a feeling that they either AirDropped 4K videos from an iPhone 6S, or simply transferred high resolution footage from a computer.

iPhone 4K video looks gorgeous, but I did buy a mirrorless camera and fast lens for a reason. I want to get shallow depth-of-field videos that the iPhone just can’t achieve right now, so simply relying on AirDrop of iPhone videos isn’t a great solution for me. Transferring files from a laptop works, but if you’re going to do that, why not just use the laptop? Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere are far more powerful than any current video editing app on iOS, and they make the cutting process so much faster to boot. Unless the portability of the iPad is of paramount importance, I will always do my video editing on a desktop machine with desktop-class software to achieve better and faster results.

One of my personal tests for the iPad Pro is to see if it can help me edit movies while out and about. Given its price — $1600 CAD for 128 GB Wi-Fi and a Smart Keyboard — and its positioning as pro-level tablet, I think it’s reasonable to expectation to import videos in XAVC-S format from my Sony A6000. I do not expect to create an elaborate movie — just preview and play a bit with what I’ve shot in a day.

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Deals: Touchfire iPad Case & Accessory Bundle at 35% off


Today’s featured deal is especially useful for those who like to type directly on their iPad, but prefer the natural feel of a physical keyboard. As a bonus, when you purchase this iPad Case, you also get a premium accessory bundle that includes a wall mount that turns any vertically flat surface into a viewing platform for your iPad. You can get your Touchfire iPad Case & Accessory Bundle at 35% off! It’s a great deal that will run you only $79.99 – instead of its standard price of $125!  Here’s some info about the Touchfire and how you can take advantage of this deal while it lasts…

This Touchfire Case Bundle is an absolute dream for any iPad owner. Touchfire fits your iPad like a glove – slim and lightweight, yet highly protective. A magnetic tab even keeps the cover securely closed while traveling. If you’re sick of the ordeal that is typing on a slippery tablet, snap the keyboard onto your screen and tap away, then place it in the storage case when not in use. And that’s not all. Stick the wall mounts wherever you’d like to magnetically hang your iPad, turning any vertical surface into a makeshift workstation or entertainment portal.

  • Guard your tablet from drops & scratches
  • Attach the case magnetically to your tablet
  • Use the snap-on keyboard to quickly & accurately type on your iPad
  • Rest your fingers on the home row without triggering the touchscreen
  • Securely store your keyboard when not using it
  • Avoid adding bulk or weight to your device
  • Take advantage of easy to use, intuitive designs
  • Enjoy the versatility of over a dozen typing & viewing positions
  • Magnetically hang your iPad on any vertical surface

To see more details, and to place an order, visit this iPad Insight Deals page.

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So About That iPad Pro…

Hmm, I really didn’t except to be writing this any time soon, but I listened to so many darn podcasts about the iPad Pro that I wanted to give it a shot. However, it wasn’t the extra RAM, more powerful processor, or the larger screen that piqued my interest. It was all of the talk about the full-sized software keyboard.

I found it really intriguing to hear that people are writing longer form pieces on the software keyboard alone. I’ve written a little about the ergonomics of the iPad’s software keyboard and I thought it would be impossible to make the keyboard ergonomically viable without Force Touch. Typing with a software keyboard and Smart Cover for ten minutes is enough to give me wrist pain, and I thought the only solution would be to allow me to rest my hands on the glass without triggering keystrokes (hence the requirement for Force Touch). But maybe a full-sized keyboard is enough.

That got me thinking about what else I might want to test if I got an iPad Pro. The Smart Keyboard is interesting from a portability standpoint, but it doesn’t seem like anything special for the iPad itself. I really liked the keys when I tried them in-store, but I was disappointed by the single viewing angle afforded by the accessory. I’m far too spoiled by my Logitech Ultrathin. The Logitech Create looks cool, but adds far too much bulk and weight for me to consider it. The iPad Pro already weighs 1.5 pounds and I don’t want a keyboard that will double its weight.

That just left the Pencil, which is the killer accessory of the Pro, in my opinion. I see a lot of articles discussing the Pencil as if it’s a tool for Other People…as if only a subset of people are really qualified to discuss its merits. I disagree with that take on it, and although I think professional artists and designers will benefit the most from this accessory, I wanted to see how a heavy note taker might take advantage of the Pencil as well. I love using Paper and Evernote was recently updated with support for drawing within notes, so I have plenty to test in two of my most-used apps. If the Pencil is as good as Apple promises, it really will allow us to do something that we never have been able to before: to treat a metal and glass like a piece of paper.

So I went out today and nabbed a 128 GB Wi-Fi model + Pencil to write about a few very specific use cases:

  • multitasking on the Pro vs the Air
  • whether the software keyboard is actually more usable than on previous iPads
  • the Pencil in extended use for non-artists
  • using the iPad Pro at a desk for extended periods of time

There are plenty of overall reviews for this device, so I’ll plan to hit up just a few specific subjects and decide whether or not to keep the Pro. I still think it’s inordinately expensive for what iOS file limitations and the available storage ($1500 CAD for the Pro and Pencil), but I was too curious to dismiss the device without ever really trying it out.

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The iPad Pro is a glaring reminder of the need for an iOS Home Screen refresh

iOS 9-Homescreen

iOS is arguably the most sophisticated, seasoned mobile operating system available today.  Love it or hate it, we are currently running the ninth version iOS–and there are no signs of slowing down any time soon.  Apple has approached updates to iOS with the “slow and steady” mindset.  There has never been a silver bullet update to end all updates, and I’m ok with that–mostly.  It’s hard to be patient, especially when there are whispers each year of purported upgrades, and new features planned for iOS. One thing we can count on, though–Apple won’t release/introduce a new feature unless it’s ready for primetime.  This can be frustrating at times, especially when we crave the next big thing.  However, in the end, the user experience is king regardless of any features added to the latest version of iOS.

Over the years, one of the biggest enigmas with iOS has been the stale, unchanging home screen layout.  The first screen we see when we power on our iPad’s and iPhone’s, is in need of major upgrade.  The current layout has become boring and outdated.  It’s true that many new iOS users may find comfort in knowing that a quick press of the home button will always bring them to the same screen _every_ time.  But does this mean that this screen has to remain a boring grid of icons–even after 9 iterations of the OS?  I say no, and it has never been more clear than after the introduction of the iPad Pro.

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