Phandroid » Handsets Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 22 Nov 2014 03:05:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nexus 6 is hiding an RGB LED, can be used for notifications if you’re willing to root Sat, 22 Nov 2014 02:50:05 +0000 Nexus 6 LED notification light

Seems the more we learn about the Nexus 6, the more it’s sounding like it was quickly hurried out the door. Another piece of evidence? The smartphone’s dormant (hidden) RGB LED light as discovered by some folks over on XDA. Yes, it’s there. Right smack dab in the center of the top speaker. Like most things, you’ll need root if you’re looking to activate it and an app like Light Flow to configure it.

Nexus 6 Red Blue LED light

If you need more help, check out the thread over on XDA. In the meantime, gawk over these pictures imagine what life would be like if you had the option to choose ambient display mode, LED notifications, or both on your Nexus 6.

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Sprint’s Black Friday 2014: $200 off Samsung Galaxy S5, up to $300 off JBL and Harmon-Kardon audio equipment Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:03:45 +0000 Check out the top Black Friday 2014 Deals and Cyber Monday 2014 Deals!


Sprint has announced their Black Friday deals for 2014. The effort by the Now Network this year is quite moderate, though if you’re in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S5 or some new audio accessories you’ll want to see what they have to offer.

For starters, the Samsung Galaxy S5 and Samsung Galaxy S5 Sport can both be had for $200 less than they typically go for. The catch? This price only applies to those who opt to buy the phone for full price through Easy Pay or Sprint’s leasing program. The former will get you the device for $0 down and 24 installments of $18.75.

The leasing program, while a tad similar in nature, has its differences. You’ll pay $20 over the course of 24 months, though you’ll receive an $8.34 “Black Friday credit” every month, effectively bringing  payments down to $11.66. And that’s about it for cellular hardware. Sprint’s also holding some pretty nice promos for those who want to get the most out of their audio experience.

The biggest deal will come with the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio, a $400 piece of kit that promises to deliver superior Bluetooth audio. You can get a massive $300 off, but not without buying something else. If you buy three or more accessories, or any JBL or Harmon-Kardon product, you can get the wireless speakers for just $99.

The cheapest product listed on their website that fits that bill goes for $60, though considering you’re getting $300 off a pretty nice set of speakers we wouldn’t complain too much (and there’s also a chance they have more to choose from inside their actual storefront).

Finally, with any purchase you make you’ll get 50% off the purchase of JBL’s Synchro Slate Headphones or Harman Kardon’s SOHO II NC earbuds for $139 and $99, respectively. Sprint was quick to note that the deals for audio accessories will only be available in-store, so you’ll want to be quick to the punch on the morning of November 27th when their doors swing open.

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5 easy ways to make your AT&T Nexus 6 mostly pure again Fri, 21 Nov 2014 18:23:52 +0000 att-store-logo

So you’ve gotten your AT&T Nexus 6 and the carrier’s extra bit of customization doesn’t sit well with you. If you don’t know, AT&T’s  model comes with their classic logo on the back, an AT&T boot animation and other things Ma Bell decided to put their hands on.

Well, as the development community often reminds us, almost anything is entirely reversible with a bit of root and elbow grease. Below we list a few of the device’s impurities, as well as possible solutions (many courtesy of the fine folks at XDA) should you feel the need to do away with any of it. Let’s go!  (Disclaimer: you may void your warranty by doing any of this, so know that you proceed at your own discretion.)


AT&T bloatware is installed at setup

This one is actually quite simple and straight forward. We touched on it yesterday, but here’s a quick recap: you can avoid having AT&T’s apps pre-installed by first setting your device up without a SIM card, and then inserting the SIM after you have gotten to the home screen. Already have the apps installed? Thankfully they came straight from Google Play, so you can uninstall them just as you would any app if you so wish.

AT&T’s Nexus 6 is SIM locked

Nothing much we can do here, yet. You can request an unlock code from AT&T after your contract expires or device is paid off in full, and they’ll most likely be more than happy to oblige. They probably won’t give you a hand if those conditions aren’t met, though, so you may have to look to a third-party unlock service for your needs (as long as you know you do so at your own discretion).

The AT&T Nexus 6 has the company’s logo on the back

Thankfully Motorola didn’t use any tough paint to slap AT&T’s logo on the back. If, for whatever reason, this visual impurity is affecting your ability to enjoy an otherwise perfectly fine device, we hear you can take it off with the light scraping of a knife, credit card or some other tool with a thin, sturdy and/or sharp edge.

AT&T’s boot animation shows when booting the Nexus 6

If you want to remove the boot animation you’ll need to root your Nexus 6, and download a file manager that can handle root operations. From there, follow these simple instructions:

  1. Open /oem/media
  2. Mount r/w.
  3. Remove or rename the file
  4. Reboot

You can likely replace that animation with a custom one if you so wish, but you’ll need to look around for one that’s suitable for the Nexus 6’s display size and resolution.

Nexus 6 Data tethering requires an AT&T subscription

Edit your build.prop file with the following line:


Reboot the device, and you should now be able to use Lollipop’s built-in data tethering without the need to check for a subscription. This step may require root.


And now you have a mostly pure Nexus 6! Getting carrier-branded phones will almost always come with a few quirks that you’ll have to put up with, but the versatility of Nexus devices makes it easy for you to pretend AT&T never had their grubby paws on the thing. Let us know if you’ll be looking to do any of this to make your Nexus 6 feel “right” again.

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Here’s how to restore LTE to your Nexus 4 following Android 5.0 Lollipop update Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:46:31 +0000 Nexus 4

Those who upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop on their Nexus 4 ran into a bit of trouble with its LTE radios. If you don’t remember, the Nexus 4 shipped with LTE radios inside, but the device was not approved for LTE use by the FCC here in the United States. As such, Google ended up having to disable the radios via a software patch.

That didn’t hold the community back from bringing support in an unofficial capacity, of course, but those who upgraded to the official Android 5.0 Lollipop firmware recently have found themselves in the same pickle. And, well, today’s development proves history repeats itself quite a bit: you can now get an updated hybrid modem to enable LTE on your Lollipop-equipped Nexus 4. You’ll have to be rooted, though that should be no big task with Chainfire’s latest goods.

Once you’ve taken care of root then it’s as simple as this:

  1. Flash to “enable” LTE in the build.prop
  2. Flash this hybrid modem (in fastboot or recovery)
  3. Perform a full data wipe, or use these instructions if you’re knowledgeable on ADB to get the settings to stick
  4. Reboot

And that’s it. Not the most elegant solution out there, but if you’re not ready to loosen the grip on your Nexus 4 in favor of one of the newer devices then this is what you’ll have to work with. Be sure to back everything up before attempting this, and remember that anything you do on your phone is at your own discretion.

[via XDA, thanks Carl!]

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HTC One M8 Google Play edition’s Android Lollipop update has been delayed again Fri, 21 Nov 2014 14:10:47 +0000 HTC One M8 Google Play edition

Many of you HTC One M8 Google Play edition owners likely woke up this morning excited to take the wrapper off of Android 5.0 Lollipop as HTC told us to circle today’s date on our calendars, but it looks like you won’t be able to enjoy that tasty treat just yet. HTC VP of product development Mo Versi responded to a concern on Twitter that the update hadn’t yet rolled out to one user’s handset.

The user wasn’t just being impatient or unreasonable, though — that’s because there’s currently no upgrade to be had (nor will one be made available later in the day). Here’s what Versi had to say about it:

@AshDeezy @htc Sorry Ash, New SW required. Will advise once approval from Google is received. Thanks.

It sounds like HTC might have run into some last minute bugs that they didn’t want users to have to deal with. It’s always frustrating when an upgrade receives multiple delays, but even more frustrating is getting the upgrade installed and finding out that it completely screws something up. Better for HTC to take their time and get it right than to rush it out for the sake of the public’s sanity.

Unfortunately HTC didn’t go into any detail about how long another approval would take, so the only advice we can give is to sit tight and keep your eye on HTC’s Twitter account, especially considering they’re usually one of the more open companies out there in terms of communication.

[via Twitter]

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Pro Tip: Setup your AT&T Nexus 6 without SIM Card to avoid carrier bloatware Thu, 20 Nov 2014 18:30:50 +0000 nexus 6 phandroid upright

A while back, word got out that Google equipped carriers with the ability to have their apps automatically installed on the Nexus 6 or any other device with Android 5.0 Lollipop during the setup process. In the case of the Nexus 6, many cringed at the thought of having devices meant to be “pure” loaded up with obscene carrier apps, and for good reason — some of them just go absolutely overboard when it comes to bloatware.

Thankfully it seems you can avoid the bloatware altogether. Testing out our Nexus 6 units, we found that the installation will only be triggered during the setup process while a SIM card is inserted. To test this, Phandroid’s Derek Ross had a friend use a Straight Talk SIM (working on AT&T’s network) before setting up a Nexus 6. As reported, AT&T’s apps popped right up (they opted to include two apps that help you manage your account and monitor usage).

Derek decided to go through the setup process on a different Nexus 6 unit before inserting a different Straight Talk SIM (again, via AT&T’s network), and sure enough there were no extra apps to deal with. Inserting the SIM into the Nexus 6 after the process was over didn’t trigger any installs either, so it appears this step will only occur if you’re going through the initial setup process while the SIM is inserted.

The cherry on top is that even if you didn’t manage to dodge the extra downloads you can easily uninstall the apps as if you downloaded them from Google Play (in fact, our understanding is that the apps download straight from Google Play during the setup process). This is a great alternative to the norm which would typically include carriers pre-installing apps on the system partition and effectively blocking you from uninstalling them.

And even if uninstalling the apps wasn’t an option, we’re glad to see AT&T kept their count of automatically installed apps to just two instead of trying to shove every last bit of their wares down our throats. Let’s just hope the other carriers follow suit for their respective units. Be sure to keep all this in mind when you finally receive your Nexus 6 at some point in the near future

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Meizu MX4 Pro packs 2K resolution, Octa-Core Exynos, 3GB of RAM and 20 megapixel camera Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:01:15 +0000 meizu mx4 1

Who says you have to settle? Meizu has introduced a pro version of their MX4, and it certainly offers enough of an upgrade over the original to make us take notice. The spec sheet for this thing reads about as good as any phone on the market right now. Here’s the quick rundown of its internals:

  • Exynos 5430 (4x ARM Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz and 4x ARM Cortex-A7 @ 1.5GHz)
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch 2560 x 1536 display
  • 20.7 megapixel Sony Exmor RS IMX220 rear camera, 5 megapixel front camera
  • Dual-band WiFi AC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, aGPS w/ GLONASS, NFC, Fingerprint Scanner
  • 3,350mAh batte
  • 150.1 x 77.0 x 9.0mm, 158g

Speaking more on its features, Meizu says the display is the absolute most power efficient in the game. Most 2K displays tend to get a bad rep for their tendency to guzzle on battery juice, but their JDI-based panel uses a technology called Panel Self Refresh to cut down on power consumption.

meizu mx4 pro 3

Moving to the audio, the MX4 Pro sports “Retina Sound,” which is a really pretty name for hi-fidelity audio. They pride themselves on their history of making audio products in other categories and for being able to bring that same goodness to mobile. It features Meizu’s top-line amplifier OPA1612, as well as a passive audio filter (which is apparently an industry first).

meizu mx4 pro 2

Other features include voiceprint identification (touchless control, even while the phone is in sleep mode) thanks to a specialized audio chip, and the first “front-press” fingerprint scanner in an Android phone.

meizu mx4 pro 4

By front-press, they’re referring to the ability to simply place your finger on the scanner and have it read by the phone, instead of the swipe motion you need on other handsets with fingerprint scanners. It should be comparable to Apple’s Touch ID scanner on the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+. If it works anywhere near as smoothly as it does on Apple’s phones we’re definitely all for it.

Adding to the premium feel at every corner of this device is a metal alloy chassis with a very nice, clean finish. Unfortunately all this goodness won’t be available worldwide immediately as Meizu didn’t give any information for folks other than those living in China.

If you’re lucky enough to be in that region then you can expect its arrival December 6th at prices of CN¥2,499 ($410), CN¥2,699 ($440) and CN¥3,099 ($510), for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, respectively. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a feeling Meizu is about to challenge Xiaomi and take the ultra-competitive Chinese market by storm.

[via Meizu]

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Chainfire releases SuperSU root for the Nexus 6 Thu, 20 Nov 2014 05:47:17 +0000 tmp_1155--1203866297It’s been a busy Wednesday for the Nexus 6 between T-Mobile finally having it available a week later than planned, Dees Troy releasing TWRP Recovery for it, and now legendary root guru Chainfire releasing SuperSU auto-root for it. Oh, and our own Derek Ross got to spend some quality time with it.

If you’re not familiar with the world of in-depth modding for Android phones and tablets, the developer-oriented Nexus line is almost always the first to get root and recovery due to its easily unlockable bootloader and its relative lack of proprietary code in the operating system. It’s also usually the first lineup to have custom ROMs and kernels available for it due to the early release of source code from Google.

SuperSU is Chainfire’s take on Superuser, which gives you access to the entire operating system, vital for common root-dependent apps like Titanium Backup, Root Explorer and Tasker. Root access and recovery are also vital for installing most custom ROMs, although there’s been a recent trend toward ROMs that don’t include root access by default due to security concerns. Kernel tweaking apps and popular battery-saving placebos apps such as Juice Defender and Greenify also depend on root access.

To gain root access on your unicorn Nexus 6, simply boot to TWRP Recovery and flash the .zip file from the source link below.

Source: Chainfire SuperSU website





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Nexus 6 Unboxing and First Impressions [Video] Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:22:03 +0000 Nexus_6_Moto_X_Potatoe_Quality

There’s no doubt about it, the latest smartphone from Google, the Motorola built Nexus 6, is a whale of a phone. In the video below, I unbox the Nexus 6 and feast my eyes upon Google’s phablet for the very first time. Coming from a Motorola Moto X 2014 and previously the original Moto X, I can clearly tell how this phone dwarfs my previous daily drivers. While I haven’t been a fan of phablets in the past, I’m willing to give it a try, all in the name of the full Google Experience.

While myself and other Phandroid writers put our brand new Nexus phones through the daily grind, feel free to hit up our official Nexus 6 forums and ask us any questions while we work on our upcoming reviews.

It’s Nexus season fellow Phandroids, and it’s only just begun.


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TWRP Recovery already available for the Nexus 6 (now all you have to do is get one) Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:15:30 +0000 tmp_21442-maxresdefault604049789

Coincidentally (not really), on the day T-Mobile finally made the Nexus 6 available, Dees Troy of Team Win has released an initial Nexus 6 build of TWRP Recovery for your flashing pleasure. As you might expect this early in the game there are no ROMs, kernels or mods to flash yet, but at least the the groundwork for installing them has been laid. It’s only a matter of time before the forums get populated with unofficial builds of favorite custom ROMs and a few “stock-plus” newcomers.

With the new build comes a new version number with the following changes over

-Pull in all changes from Android 5.0 lollipop into TWRP
-Add decrypt support for Android 5.0 lollipop encrypted partitions including automatic decrypt when the default_password is in use
-Revert some changes to exFAT that were breaking exFAT support on some devices
-Other minor fixes and updates

Note: At this time we do not have a GUI representation for pattern unlock. You can still decrypt patterns though by translating the pattern dots to numbers. The pattern dots correspond to numbers in the following pattern:
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

So an upper-case L would translate to a password of 14789 entered on the keyboard. Eventually we plan to add a proper pattern unlock to TWRP but it is a relatively low priority at this point.

Before installing TWRP, you need to unlock the bootloader on your Nexus 6. The original post in the forum thread recommends installing TWRP Manager from the Play Store but you’ll already need to be rooted. If you’re not, you can download the image from the Team Win website and flash it manually in fastboot mode, after which you’ll want to flash the latest SuperSU root file for Lollipop and then you’ll be all set.

[via TWRP for Shamu]


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LG G2 gets Lollipop thanks to unofficial CyanogenMod 12 build Wed, 19 Nov 2014 22:59:31 +0000 1416432878055

If you’re itching to get your lick of the Lollipop but have the LG G2 rather than one of LG’s Nexus phones, you can now get your Android 5.0 fix via an unofficial “experimental” build of CyanogenMod 12 for most variants. Keep in mind that this is still early in the game, only 16 days since Lollipop was pushed to AOSP. CM12 is basically a stock Android build, with some variant-specific bugs that could prevent it from being a daily driver for you. Some of the bugs listed in the original post of the corresponding forum thread have since been ironed out, but others remain. Those present in the latest builds (mostly dated 11/19) are as follows:

  • GSM-based (D80x – AT&T, T-Mobile, some international variants): Bluetooth is skittish (video recording and playback bugs are also listed in the OP but have reportedly since been fixed)
  • Sprint (LS980): NFC is not working
  • Verizon (VS980): mobile data is incorrectly being reported as roaming on the status bar
The Verizon variant incorrectly reports roaming, but isn't that a pretty lockscreen? Here you can see the incorrect roaming indicator in more detail along with the new Lollipop notification shade. I prefer custom wallpapers on my homescreen over the stock Lollipop ones. Quick Settings gets a facelift but loses some valuable functionality in Lollipop. For the time being, this and working NFC on most variants are the only visible differences between this experimental CM12 build and stock Lollipop.

It is very important to follow the instructions in the OP for flashing this build, especially for the Verizon variant, since you’ll need to have the latest version of TWRP (currently Just to be safe, I flashed the Jelly Bean (12b) bootstack (baseband) since most CM builds will bootloop on the latest KitKat baseband for the Verizon variant. So far, it’s running like a champ on my VS980 with no random reboots, no NFC or Bluetooth issues, and no video recording or playback issues. For me, it’s as close to daily driver status as it can be without actually attaining it.

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Sneak peek at the HTC One M8 running Android 5.0 Lollipop (and Sense 6.0) Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:52:41 +0000 Lollipop-Forrest-Cropped large

We already got a few good looks at what Samsung’s vision for Android 5.0 Lollipop running on Galaxy devices, but now it’s HTC’s turn. A few screenshots taken from a leaked Sense 6.0 build have surfaced thanks to the infamous Android developer/hacker LlabTooFeR. The screenshots — taken from the HTC One M8 running Android 5.0 Lollipop — paint a clearer picture of what HTC has in store for their version of the update.

Really, it doesn’t seem to venture off too far from what we’ve already seen in Lollipop, with the most noticeable difference swapping out Android 5.0’s teal color scheme in favor of more muted greys. This gives Sense it’s usual distinguished look and should help compliment whatever icon/wallpaper theme you choose for your device.

HTC One M8 Sense 6.0 Android 5.0 Lollipop leak

You’ll also notice the same HTC style nav buttons and of course, their current set of icons are still present for a clean, minimal look. We have to admit, we are a bit disappointed to see HTC using Lollipop’s incredibly unintuitive Rolodex-styled recent apps menu (the tab colors have also been removed in favor of a more uniform grey).

We know a good many of you are still scratching your heads, wondering why OEMs skin Android in the first place. We don’t have as much a problem with it anymore. It’s a way of adding personality, features, and brand recognition to a hardware vendor’s devices and as long as its done right and doesn’t hinder the update process — like we saw with Sense 5.0 — we aren’t complaining.

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Watch this: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 running Android 5.0 LolliWiz, er – Lollipop [VIDEO] Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:15:34 +0000 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Android 5.0 Lollipop TouchWiz

Late last month we got a sneak peek at the Samsung Galaxy S5 running a leaked Android 5.0 Lollipop build and today, the folks at SamMobile are back yet again, this time giving us a look at Google’s latest update as it runs on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Really, there’s not too much here we haven’t already seen in the previous Galaxy S5 video, but for those curious to see how Samsung has butchered tailored the OS to fit on the big screen, including adding their new flavor of TouchWiz into the mix. Check out the video below.

Before any critiques can be made, it’s important to remind yourself that, again, this is an early version of Samsung’s software running on the Note 3. That being said, we’re not too enthusiastic about how Samsung hasn’t — at least at this point — adhered to Google’s new Material design guidelines but then again, this is Samsung we’re talking about here. They could be on the right track in terms of color scheme, but overall the OS seems dull and lifeless with none of the fancy animations we’ve come to expect from Lollipop.

No word on when a Android 5.0 rollout could begin, but given the excitement over the biggest Android update ever, we imagine Samsung wont be dragging their feet.

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T-Mobile starts selling the Nexus 6 today Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:23:36 +0000 nexus-6-desktop

If you’re with Magenta and looking to get the Nexus 6 through them, you’ll need to wake up and get going starting today. The company is now selling the Nexus 6 via their online storefront, and some stores are also expected to carry stock today. It’s not clear how many units will be available so you’ll want to stake your claim as soon as you can.

T-Mobile’s version of the Android Lollipop flagship retails for $649.92 off-contract, though you can get it through Simple Choice with $0 down for $27.08 per month for 24 months. Add another $50 to the off-contract price or another $3 to the monthly installments if you prefer 64GB instead of 32GB.

The Nexus 6 is the first smartphone in the series that journeys into phablet territory, and if you can get past that ridiculous 6-inch form factor there are some real treats under the hood. Highlights of its specs include a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 chipset, 3GB of RAM and a 2560 x 1440 AMOLED display. It’s also sporting a 13 megapixel camera on the rear, front-facing speakers and more.

Here’s the link you’ll want if you’re interested in getting it through T-Mobile, but be warned — we’re hearing many of the earlier orders placed are showing up as backordered once you make it all the way through checkout. Might be worth calling a few stores in your area to see about immediate availability if you don’t feel like dealing with that headache. Let us know if you’ll be grabbing one.

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HTC One M8 and M7 Google Play editions will receive Android 5.0 Lollipop this Friday, Nov 21st Wed, 19 Nov 2014 02:20:51 +0000 HTC One Google Play Edition DSC01017

It’s safe to say the road to Android 5.0 Lollipop has suffered from its share of road bumps along the way. Although Google never actually came out and said the update was delayed, last minute bugs and over-the-air updates could have been the reason for the hold up. Maybe that’s why we nobody was too upset that the HTC One M8 and HTC One M7 Google Play editions still haven’t received their Lollipop upgrades.

For the few who purchased one of these 2 devices, you wont have to wait too much longer before you too can partake in Lollipop goodness (hopefully with less bugs), HTC’s VP of Product Management Mo Versi revealed on Twitter that the update is scheduled to roll out this Friday after suffering from some last minutes delays. Now that’s the kinda transparency we like.

Ironically enough, we think the people most concerned with the new update are those with rooted, carrier branded HTC One M8/M7s. As soon as the update is issued they’ll finally have a new mostly “stock” Android 5.0 Lollipop ROM to flash onto their devices vs the mostly buggy AOSP ROMs compiled from source. Anyone out there with with an official Google Play edition HTC One M8 or M7?

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