Use lower quality images in iMessage to free up some space and bandwidth

Space and data are at a premium on every smartphone out there. It may seem counter-intuitive that you may want to lower image quality in iMessage, but think about it this way, when you’re just adding for fun photos to chats, do you really expect the person on the other end to save and print them out every time? Probably not. Some photos, maybe there’s an incentive, but if it’s just a picture of some flowers or a cup of coffee or a landscape shot or a look at my silly pet type photo, why would they need to?

If they’re going to want to save anything, it’s probably going to be pictures of people, that’s just human nature. Front facing cameras tend to have smaller MP camerasiMessage on iPhone anyway. So why not agree to use lower quality images in iMessage and save yourself some bandwidth and local storage. Now keep in mind that this solution only affects messages sent from one iPhone to another, and it’s an all or nothing scenario.

Turn it off and it’s going to be off until you remember to turn it back on. You cannot, decide that you’d rather have it apply to only certain contacts for instance. To set it up just open up Settings and scroll down until you see Messages and then tap to the next screen. From there, just scroll to the bottom of the screen and find the section marked Low Quality Image and then tap to turn it on. That’s it, it’s not a super noticeable difference on a small screen, the only place where it’s going to become noticeable, is if you’re trying to back it up somewhere.

Sources: How to Geek 

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How Universal Clipboard works with macOS Sierra and your iPhone or iPad

With iOS 10 Apple has rolled out its Universal Clipboard feature which is clustered among the growing list of Continuity features which include things like Handoff, Calls, Instant Hotspot, Auto Unlock etc. Specifically Universal Clipboard is designed to let you copy something on your Mac and paste it to your iPhone or vice versa. It’s designed to work with devices running macOS Sierra and iOS 10 respectively and is designed to work based on proximity (your devices have to be physically close to each other) with Bluetooth and WiFi turned on.Black and white typing Mac

First things, first this is designed to help you copy text, photos and videos. It’s an extension of normal clipboard features, so make sure the thing you’re trying to copy falls into those categories.

To set it up you have to sign in to iCloud with the same AppleID on both devices. You have to make sure Bluetooth is turned on, for both devices and WiFi for both is turned on as well. Physically, both devices must be near to one another. This is not the method to choose if that’s not the case. From there you just select and copy the text, photo or image on one device and paste it to the other device.

You may run into issues in moving from one device to the other, but the first step is making sure your Mac is running macOS Sierra and not a different version and your iPhone or iPad needs to be running iOS 10. Both Bluetooth and WiFi needs to be turned for both devices. Also keep in mind that the clipboard does clear itself after a period of time, so you may need to copy the text, photo or video again.

The official list of supported devices is:

  • iPhone 5 or newer
  • iPad Pro
  • iPad (4th generation)
  • iPad Air or newer
  • iPad mini 2 or newer
  • iPod touch (6th generation or newer)
  • iMac (late 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook (late 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (mid 2010 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac mini (mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (mid 2010 or newer)

Sources: iMore

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Review: iPhone 7 Plus – dual cameras with extra zoom AND a bigger screen

When it comes to iPhone 7 Plus versus the plain old iPhone 7, your biggest, most obvious, difference, is its slightly larger 5.5-inch screen. There is one other major difference, and that’s the inclusion of a two 12MP rear-cameras and the new photographical possibilities that they open up. One camera is designed to act as a wide angle lens, while the other acts as a telephoto lens, which then get mixed together to create excellent images. Furthermore Apple has not only substantially improved its zooming using these cameras, but it’s added a simple button in its camera app (in addition to pinch to zoom) to help you take advantage of it.

Yes, before we go further, the wired headphone jack is indeed a thing of the past, but it does offer you a variety of options to play audio, which is why we’ve included a special section devoted to understanding that very issue. In other news, if you’re buying the smaller storage size, you don’t have to suffer at 16GB. The new default smallest storage size is 32GB, with 128GB and a huge 256GB option available. The 256GB option is perfect if you find yourself shooting a lot of video or if you’re just into pushing back that dreaded moment when your iPhone says you’re out of room, this will work well too.

So come to one of our eight Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island locations to get yours!

iPhone 7 Plus – specsiPhone 7 Plus colours

  • OS: iOS 10
  • Screen: 5.5″ retina HD display with 3D Touch
  • Cameras: 
    • Rear: 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
    • Front: 7MP
  • Average download speed: check the mapfor the most up-to-date speeds
  • Fastest download speed:  check the map for the most up-to-date speeds
  • Processor:A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture with Embedded M10 motion coprocessor
  • Battery: 2900 mAh
  • Storage space: 32GB or 128GB or  256GB
  • Weight: 188 grams
  • Size: 158.2mm x 77.9mm x 7.3mm
  • Type of SIM Card: V3 Nano SIM

iPhone 7 Plus – prosiPhone 7 Plus dual camera

  • It’s all about the dual camera. With iPhone 7 Plus, Apple is moving into the dual camera arena offering two 12MP cameras with one acting as a wide angle lens (28mm with f/1.8 aperture) and the other acting as a telephoto lens (56mm with f/2.8 aperture). You can in fact take images that use one of those lenses only or photos that blur both together.  In fact, iPhone 7 Plus’ camera easily puts it at the upper end of the smartphone spectrum, it may even arguably be the best on the market.
  • Its other most notable camera feature is the new zoom options exclusive to iPhone 7 Plus. Basically, it allows for greater zooming with less noise while adding a button to make zooming easier than just pinch to zoom. When you take a picture there’s a 1x button, tapping it takes you up to 2x zoom (using physical zoom) you can move the slider up to 10x, but physically zooming only goes as high as 2x. Now digital zooming works best in conditions with more light, for best results you should stick to the 2x physical zoom. But it is still very cool.
  • Its front-facing camera has made the leap to 7MP. Other notable tweaks for amateur and expert photographers include a new and improved ISP, which means better white balance, autofocus, auto-exposure, face recognition, and object discovery, among other features. Also added is a 4 LED flash to improve your low light pics. And it’s finally added support RAW images in its Lightroom photo editing app.
  • Like iPhone 7, it’s Apple’s first foray into water resistant phones. Like iPhone 7, it has an IP67 certification which means it’s sealed against dust and it’s built to survive immersion for up to half an hour in depths of less a metre.
  • It offers those of you familiar with “storage space is full” error messages hope when purchasing the smallest storage size. Instead of a measly 16GB, you get 32GB on the smallest size and after that your options seriously increase. The larger sizes are 128GB and 256GB.
  • It offers new colour options consisting of two variations of black, in addition to the now familar, rose gold, silver and gold options. (There is no Space Grey colour option). The first option is a matte black (it has the same grippy backing as the Space Grey did) that’s available on every size including 32GB version. The second option is the flashier of the two, a highly glossy (but not slippery), Jet Black version, it’s only available on 128GB and 256GB options.
  • It has also made some technical changes to its displays including wide gamut standard and colour management. (Keep in mind that not everything like non-Apple apps is designed to take advantage of this, yet). If that sounds like word salad to you (it sounds like that to me too), what it means is deeper, richer, truer to life colours. Its display is also brighter than previous versions, but it’s not a major noticeable change for everyone.
  • It’s added dual speakers with one firing out of the earpiece and the other coming out of the bottom of the iPhone 7 Plus stero audioscreen. It’s kind of weird that they don’t face the same direction, but it’s still a major improvement on past models when listening to music or watching videos. It’s doubly prudent that they’ve added this given the lack of a standard headphone jack.
  • It has a whole new taptic engine inside, which does more than the smaller one in the iPhone 6s with a slew of new features to go with it. One of the cooler features gives you haptic (touch-based) feedback in games (like vibrations), so that firing one type of gun in a first person shooter game will feel very different from firing a different type of gun. All in all, some of the new haptic feedbacks work a bit more like touch versions of transitional animations, like the buzz you get when getting to the end of a list.
  • It ships with iOS 10 right out of the box and that means a ton of new features and changes from the minor to the major. (We will be posting future articles that get delve deeper into the changes and the nitty-gritty of what iOS 10 has to offer). One of the more noticeable changes are those made to iMessenge which add sticker packs, new animations and whole bunch of extra bells and whistles, including integration with other apps. Now either you’ll be into the new iMessage or you won’t, but if you love sticker packs and want to go on beyond simple emojis for everything, you’ll like these new features.
  • It has an all-new multi-core processor inside, which is the kind of thing it’s hard to translate into what it can offer. It has a two high power cores and two low power cores. But basically, it’s better at handling graphic-heavy apps and it’s faster, not necessarily noticeably faster, because you have to be doing a lot of things at once for it to really matter, but all in all it offers a smoother performance, compared with previous models.
  • Future iOS updates (purportedly coming late in October) will allow a new bokeh mode to take further advantage of the dual camera in a way that allows you to artistically blur the background and keep the foreground laser sharp.
  • With the new taptic engine, it’s open for developers to design apps that make use of it, which can help you get a more exciting device, once they’ve had a chance to make apps that use it to their advantage and yours. The new wide colour gamut support is open for use by other app developers, so they too can completely overhaul how they process photos. Instagram has already decided to support it.
  • It’s true, the headphone jack is gone. But Apple has made some concessions and you will have some different choices for adding different kinds of headphones, so see the section below.

What’s the deal with headphones now?

There is no separate headphone jack, so now you’re given a few different ways add headphones to your device. As we mentioned before you now have dual speakers, so you can always just forgo headphones all together and inflict your music on those around you, but if you can’t do that, here’s what you need to know.

In the box with every iPhone 7 Plus you get wired Ear Pod headphones (that plug into the Lightning port) and a dongle that allows you to plug your wired headphones into your iPhone 7 Plus using the Lightning port. Now you are not limited to using your iPhone with only Apple’s own Ear Pods. You can use that same Lightning port to headphone dongle to connect any other wired headphones you own. And replacement dongles are just $10. You can also use your Bluetooth connection to pair with the wireless headphones of your choosing.

Finally, you can choose wireless headphones from Beats that still use Apple’s proprietary W1 Bluetooth connection, to pair quicker with a single tap or you can purchase Air Pods from Apple. Air Pods are basically Ear Pods, well they look like them, but without a cord attached. They also use the proprietary W1 connection and they come with a case that can charge them for 24 hours.

Air Pod – pros

  • You will never have to deal with tangled wires again, at least in terms of headphone wires.
  • As mentioned above they pair quickly and easily with a single tap.
  • They also have a microphone allowing you take calls without removing them and making it easier to have hands-free calls.
  • They are built with noise cancellation in mind, keeping the outside world from interrupting your ability to rock out.
  • They also have built-in Siri, so it’s easy to use her to complete tasks on your behalf.

Air Pod – cons

  • Without wires attaching them to your phone directly, Air Pods can be easy to lose. It’s even easier to misplace them in a large purse, because you can’t just grab the end of a wire and follow it to your headphones.
  • They require charging every five hours, which just put extra pressure on using them for longer road trips or flights.
  • Smaller headphones without wires, makes them a possible choking hazard for young children, but honestly I wouldn’t leave any headphones around kids that are in the “everything goes in my mouth” phase.
  • This is the biggest one, AirPods cost $219 when purchased directly from Apple. They don’t really do enough to justify that price tag or offer the kind of noticeably enhanced audio experience that might warrant it.

iPhone 7 Plus – cons

  • It does not have a headphone jack. This is the singular feature that has people up in arms. Some people want Apple to improve Bluetooth audio, if it’s going to push for a wireless route and other people are just made about the fact that you’ll no longer be able to get new cheap headphones to replace broken ones at gas stations. The other thing is you can no longer use wired headphones while charging your iPhone.
  • Apple has admitted that the ultra-glossy Jet Black variant is prone to scratching and a fingerprint magnet. So you will need to put a case on it (maybe choose one with a clear backing to show off that shiny finish). Also Jet Black as previously stated is limited to 128GB and 256GB options.
  • Its antenna lines, if you know what those are, then this is information for you to consider. Apple has improved antenna line blending by pushing them to the top and bottom of the phone, which is excellent. Okay so bad news time, design nerds, if the colour of the lines was bothering you, you should know the near invisible effect acheived on the black versions, does not carry over the other colour variants, which still use that same grey option.
  • Battery life is being reported by reviewers as kind of a mixed bag. If you’re coming from a newer iPhone 6s or 6s Plus and play a lot of graphic-heavy games, you may not notice a huge difference. Apple’s official position is that you’ll be able to get an extra hour of battery life compared to previous versions and its new chip has done much to improve the energy efficiency of the device.
  • When it comes to the new processor, the improvements are much more pronounced if you’re coming from an iPhone 6 or older. The other thing to note is that benchmark tests that put processors through their paces don’t really tend to reflect normal, day-to-day use. Unless you’re using a lot of graphic-heavy games and complex apps, you may not notice a huge difference. The whole point of the A10 high power cores is that they pick up the slack from the low power cores to deliver better performance over all.
  • The change from a physical home button to this new home button, which is basically a fixed button-shaped area that offers haptic feedback when pressed, is very jarring. You’re going to have to take some time and get used to it, you can customize the kind of haptic feedback it provides. On the one hand, home buttons are prone to breakage, it’s a physical button that can degrade with constant use, on the other hand you may hate it a bit at first.
  • Some people are finding the new lockscreen a bit confusing. There is no slide to unlock anymore, you just press the home button instead (even if you want to unlock it using TouchID). If you slide right you’ll get a ton of widgets, instead of unlocking the phone. There is a raise to wake feature to attempt to mitigate the confusion, but it doesn’t unlock the device, however there is a way to turn the new lockscreen off and get back to basics.
  • It is not an iPhone for the budget-conscious. Most iPhones aren’t for you if price is a major concern. You can buy the 32GB version starting at $350 on a two-year Premium Plus smartphone plan (that starts at $90 per month) or $550 on a two-year Premium smartphone plan (that starts at $80 per month). (It’s $1075 to buy that same version outright without a term contract). If you are looking for a less expensive iPhone, you’re better off with something else like an iPhone SE.
  • It has been said by some die hard Apple fans that this iPhone kind of feels more like it’s laying the groundwork for next year’s supposedly much more exciting iPhone. So if it’s really obvious innovation and a complete redesign that you’re looking for, this may not be the iPhone for you. But the improvements that have been made are solid ones.

To learn more about this smartphone, check out its product page or come into one of our eight convenient locations.

Sources: CNET, DigitalTrends, Engadget, Techradar, WIRED, PCMag, GSMArena

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Review: iPhone 7 – It’s the first water resistant iPhone and black is the new rose gold

iPhone 7 is here. It’s Apple’s first water resistant iPhone. It has two new blacks to choose from matte black which gives off a secret agent sort of vibe and the ultra-shiny, glossy-to-the-max, Jet Black. Yes, it doesn’t have a headphone jack, but it does give you a variety of options and therefore we’ve included a special section in this review to explain everything you need to know about the change.iPhone 7 Plus colours

It also has a new processor, a totally revamped 12MP camera that includes optical image stabilization, among other features and it has seriously upped its onboard storage options. Instead of the smallest size starting at 16GB and being ridiculously easy to fill up, (with no option to add a microSD card), the smallest size is now 32GB. Larger storage sizes then jump to 128GB (previously, the highest possible amount of onboard storage) and the largest size is a whopping 256GB, which is perfect for shooting a lot of video or just not having to reach that point where your iPhone says you can’t take anymore pictures, because your storage is full.

All in all, it’s far from the most exciting upgrade from one iPhone to the next, if you’re coming from an iPhone 6s, but it’s a necessary upgrade that does add some worthwhile features and hardware tweaks. So come to one of our eight Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island locations to get yours!

iPhone 7 – specsiPhone 7 display with writing

  • OS: iOS 10
  • Screen: 4.7″ retina HD display with 3D Touch
  • Cameras: 
    • Rear: All-new 12MP camera
    • Front: 7MP
  • Average download speed: check the mapfor the most up-to-date speeds
  • Fastest download speed:  check the map for the most up-to-date speeds
  • Processor: A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture with embedded M10 motion coprocessor
  • Battery: 1960 mAh
  • Storage space: 32GB or 128GB or  256GB
  • Weight: 138 grams
  • Size: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm
  • Type of SIM Card: V3 Nano SIM

iPhone 7 – prosiPhone 7 answering WhatsApp call

  • It’s Apple’s first water resistant iPhone with IP67 certification rating. What that means, is that it’s sealed against dust and able to withstand 30 minutes of immersion in water less than one metre deep.
  • It finally offers hope for those buying the smallest storage size. Instead of starting at 16GB, the smallest storage size is 32GB, with larger sizes jumping to 128GB and 256GB respectively.
  • It offers new colour options consisting of two variations of black, in addtion to rose gold, silver and gold options. (There is no Space Grey colour option). With 32GB storage size you can choose a flat, matte black that kind of has a secret agent aesthetic or the standard three other colour options. Any of the other storage sizes include those four colours and a super-glossy jet black option.
  • While on the surface it may seem like the rear camera hasn’t changed that much because it’s still 12MP, it in fact has been entirely redesigned. Its camera sensors are now 60% faster and 30% more power efficient. Your aperture is now f/1.8 and a 6 element lens which lets in more light, coming in handy in low light situations. And it adds optical image stabilization, which was previously only available on the iPhone Plus models.
  • Its front-facing camera has made the leap to 7MP. Other notable tweaks for amateur and expert photographers include a new and improved ISP, which means better white balance, autofocus, auto-exposure, face recognition, and object discovery, among other features. Also added is a 4 LED flash to improve your low light pics. And it’s finally added support for new manual features including RAW support.
  • It has also made some technical changes to its displays including wide gamut standard and colour management. If that sounds like word salad to you (it sounds like that to me too), what it means is deeper, richer, truer to life colours. Its display is also brighter than previous versions, but it’s not a major noticeable change.
  • It has added dual speakers with one firing out of the earpiece and the other is on the bottom of the phone. It’s a bit weird that they’re not facing the same direction, but sound still comes through crisply and cleanly. Dual speakers make it easier to listen to music or podcasts or watch videos without dealing with the whole lack of wired headphones thing.
  • It has a whole new taptic engine inside with a slew of new features to go with it. One of the cooler features gives you haptic (touch-based) feedback in games (like vibrations), so that firing one type of gun in a first person shooter game will feel very different from firing a different type of gun. All in all, some of the new haptic feedbacks work a bit more like touch versions of transitional animations, like the buzz you get when getting to the end of a list.
  • As for iOS 10 and its improvements, expect us to cover that in a future blog post, but easily the most notable change is with iMessage. The new version of iMessage, now includes sticker packs and a whole bunch of new bells and whistles, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s gone from being a very simple messaging app, to being more like every other WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger in the App Store. While that change gives you hope of one day using a single messaging platform for everything, undoubtably some of you will miss the more streamlined design.
  • It has an all-new processor inside, which is the kind of thing it’s hard to translate into what it can offer. But basically, it’s better at handling graphic-heavy apps and it’s faster, not necessarily noticeably faster, because you have to be doing a lot of things at once for it to really matter, but all in all it offers a smoother performance, compared with previous models.
  • With the new taptic engine, it’s open for developers to design apps that make use of it, which can help you get a more exciting device, once they’ve had a chance to make apps that use it to their advantage and yours. The new wide colour gamut support is open for use by other app developers, so they too can completely overhaul how they process photos. Instagram has already decided to support it.
  • It’s true, the headphone jack is gone. But Apple has made some concessions and you will have some different choices for adding different kinds of headphones, so see the section below.

What’s the deal with headphones now?

There is no separate headphone jack, so now you’re given a few different ways add headphones to your device. As we mentioned before you now have dual speakers, so you can always just forgo headphones all together and inflict your music on those around you, but if you can’t do that, here’s what you need to know.

In the box with every iPhone 7 you get wired Ear Pod headphones (that plug into the Lightning port) and a dongle that allows you to plug your wired headphones into your iPhone 7 using the Lightning port. Now you are not limited to using your iPhone with only Apple’s own Ear Pods. You can use that same Lightning port to headphone dongle to connect any other wired headphones you own. And replacement dongles are just $10. You can also use your Bluetooth connection to pair with the wireless headphones of your choosing.

Finally, you can choose wireless headphones from Beats that still use Apple’s proprietary W1 Bluetooth connection, to pair quicker with a single tap or you can purchase Air Pods from Apple. Air Pods are basically Ear Pods, well they look like them, but without a cord attached. They also use the proprietary W1 connection and they come with a case that can charge them for 24 hours.

Air Pod – pros

  • You will never have to deal with tangled wires again, at least in terms of headphone wires.
  • As mentioned above they pair quickly and easily with a single tap.
  • They also have a microphone allowing you take calls without removing them and making it easier to have hands-free calls.
  • They are built with noise cancellation in mind, keeping the outside world from interrupting your ability to rock out.
  • They also have built-in Siri, so it’s easy to use her to complete tasks on your behalf.

Air Pod – cons

  • Without wires attaching them to your phone directly, Air Pods can be easy to lose. It’s even easier to misplace them in a large purse, because you can’t just grab the end of a wire and follow it to your headphones.
  • They require charging every five hours, which just put extra pressure on using them for longer road trips or flights.
  • Smaller headphones without wires, makes them a possible choking hazard for young children, but honestly I wouldn’t leave any headphones around kids that are in the “everything goes in my mouth” phase.
  • This is the biggest one, AirPods cost $219 when purchased directly from Apple. They don’t really do enough to justify that price tag or offer the kind of enhanced audio experience that might warrant it.

iPhone 7 – cons

  • It doesn’t have a headphone jack. This is the biggest thing that has everyone talking. People are calling for Apple to improve its Bluetooth audio capabilities if it’s going the wireless route and others are just pissed that they won’t be able to pick up dollar store headphones to replace their headphones when they break.
  • Apple themselves have admited that the new jet black colour scratches easily. You may also be a bit miffed to know that jet black is only available on 128GB or higher versions.
  • Design nerds are pleased that Apple has improved antenna line blending, but the bad news is that this only applies to black or jet black versions. Apple has stated that they’re stuck with limited colour options (you’re stuck with that same dull grey on the other colours), so stick to black if you don’t want those minutely visible lines ruining your Apple aesthetic.
  • Battery life is being reported by reviewers as kind of a mixed bag. Apple’s official position is that you’ll be able to get two extra hours of battery life compared to previous versions and its new chip has done much to improve the energy efficiency of the device. But at the same time if you’re coming from an iPhone 6s and you don’t do a lot of gaming or editing photo/videos it’s not necessarily a change you’d notice.
  • If you don’t use a lot of graphic-heavy, complex apps you probably won’t notice much of a difference with new processor performance. You will though if you’re coming from a much older iPhone model like an iPhone 5.
  • Its new home button is no longer a physical button. Instead it’s a fixed button shaped area that offers haptic feedback to make it feel like you pressed something. This can take a bit of getting used to, however home buttons are definitely one of the parts that it’s easier to accidentally break, so this prevents you from having to deal with that.
  • Some people are finding the new lockscreen a bit confusing. There is no slide to unlock anymore, you just press the home button instead. If you slide right you’ll get a ton of widgets, instead of unlocking the phone. There is a raise to wake feature to attempt to mitigate the confusion, however there is a way to turn the new lockscreen off and get back to basics.
  • It has increased its brightness settings, however some users may be miffed that brightness settings can only reach maximum when autobrightness is enabled.
  • If you were excited by the announcement about dual cameras, you should know that dual rear cameras are only available with iPhone 7 Plus.
  • It is not an iPhone for the budget conscious, most iPhones aren’t. You can buy the 32GB version starting at $200 on a two-year Premium Plus smartphone plan (that starts at $90 per month) or a $400 Premium smartphone plan (that starts at $80 per month). (It’s $915 to buy it outright without a term contract). If you are looking for a less expensive iPhone, you’re better off with something like iPhone SE.
  • It has been said by some die hard Apple fans that this iPhone kind of feels more like it’s laying the groundwork for next year’s supposedly much more exciting iPhone. So if it’s really obvious innovation and a complete redesign that you’re looking for, this may not be the iPhone for you.

To learn more about this smartphone, check out its product page or come into one of our eight convenient locations.

Sources: GSMArena, TechRadar, The Telegraph, WIRED, Engadget, CNET, The Verge

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