Phandroid » SDK Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Mon, 06 Jul 2015 13:01:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Android Studio nears 1.0 with Release Candidate 1 Fri, 21 Nov 2014 01:02:18 +0000 tmp_15201--1203866297

If you’re an app developer who’s switched (or is considering switching) to Android Studio, you’ll no doubt be glad to learn that the popular IDE is nearing its first whole-integer release. Although based on IntelliJ Studio, the Android-focused spinoff hasn’t yet been considered worthy of a 1.0 version number, but Thursday’s announcement of Release Candidate 1 for the Canary channel indicates that day is fast approaching.

The Android Developer’s blog provided the following changelog beyond the standard bugfixes:

We’ve also updated the splash screen and branding graphics to include our new logo, and the settings directories for the IDE have been updated from AndroidStudioBeta to just AndroidStudio. When you run this version for the first time, it should offer to import your settings from the beta settings directory.

Finally, we are now bundling a local Maven repository containing the Android Gradle plugin and all its dependencies, which should allow you to create new projects without a network connection. (This is also why this patch is fairly large).

Did I mention “Canary channel”? If you want to take this release candidate for a spin, you’ll need to make sure your updates are set to Canary as opposed to Stable, Beta or Dev. Remember, your input will determine when Android Studio attains to 1.0 status in the Stable channel, so don’t be shy about reporting any issues you encounter.

[via Android Developers]

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Pebble Android SDK released: Will the project take off? Sat, 30 Jun 2012 20:35:38 +0000
The Pebble is yet another addition to the emerging smartwatch market. As such, it is still unclear if the project will be successful. Developers who want to start playing around with the product now have the SDK available, though, as it was released during Google IO.

This will give developers a head start developing apps for the e-paper smartwatch ahead of its Fall release. For those that jumped in on the kickstarter project, that is. The rest of us will have to wait until the device becomes available for sale at an unknown date.

The Pebble, along with every smartwatch out there, is stuck in a very delicate situation. The smartwatch market is very new, making it very unstable as well. Most users don’t see the benefit in paying for an accessory that is basically an extension to one’s phone. It’s much seen as a luxury or convenience, especially with these products going for over $100.

This brings us back to the chicken and the egg dilemma we are also seeing with Google TV. Developers would rather not waste their effort making apps for a product very few will be using. At the same time, users don’t want to buy products with a limited amount of apps or content.

This situation makes it rather hard to see how a project like Pebble would take off. The kickstarter was very successful, though, with about 85,000 subscribers pledging quickly after its launch. We will simply have to wait and see how developers commit to the platform.

More than a few of us are excited over smartwatches and would definitely pay to own one of these. It must be understood that we are also tech geeks, and the general consumer would see things very differently. Regardless, we would like to learn what our readers think of this. Do you think the Pebble will become a successful seller? Would you buy one? And what would be your sweet spot for a smartwatch, in terms of pricing?

[Source: Pebble Team]

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Jelly Bean headed to Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola XOOM in July, SDK available now Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:16:06 +0000

Google just took the wraps off their latest version of Android, Jelly Bean. Android 4.1 features plenty of awesome improvements, including the speed and smoothness of Project Butter, enhancements such as offline voice dictation, and a refined search experience featuring Google Now. So when can anxious Android users get their hands on all these awesome new features? For Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Nexus S, and Motorola XOOM owners, the answer is July. The update will touchdown via an over-the-air update.

Also available now is the Android 4.1 SDK for developers, who can dive right in and start crafting apps that take advantage of all the new features in preparation for the imminent launch of Jelly Bean.

Google wasn’t specific about if the July date includes both unlocked and carrier-bound devices, but we can only hope the wait for network-locked devices won’t be as long as the one Verizon users experienced leading up to the release of their Android 4.0.4 update.

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Google releases Translator Toolkit for developers looking to localize apps Sat, 31 Mar 2012 12:05:46 +0000

Want to translate your app into as many languages as possible? You may want to check out the Google Translator Toolkit, which provides auto-translation of strings stored in your resource files.

Now, we know Google Translate often provides some hilarious responses, and the limitation to translate your stored list of resource strings means a more limited implementation, but I can imagine a lot of developers who may find it useful.

Case in point is an app I’ll be releasing very soon myself, which aims to assist users in boosting their vocabulary. Those who don’t have English as their first language may find it useful to have the meanings provided in their mother tongues.

Anyhoo, here’s the announcement made on the Android Developers’ official Google+ page.

Today the Google Translator Toolkit (GTT) team is making it easier for you to localize your apps. A new version of the toolkit supports automated translation of strings in Android resource files. You upload your strings.xml file and the translation engine will create localized versions of the file for you. It’s fast, accurate, and free, and even has advanced features for localization specialists.

Give the toolkit a try and let us know what you think.

Localize your apps and content more easily – new formats in Translator Toolkit – Google Developers Blog

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Samsung updates S Pen SDK to version 2.0 Fri, 02 Mar 2012 02:50:30 +0000
Samsung’s latest contributions to the Android ecosystem include the recently launched S Pen functionality. It is not exactly new, but it is still in the process of taking off. And very few developers have integrated such functionality to their apps. In an effort to ease the transition, Samsung has just released a new version of their S Pen SDK, further enticing devs to make the jump.

SDK version 2.0 offers some good improvements over last version – 1.5. But lets take a look at exactly what these improvements include.

S Pen SDK 2.0 improvements:

  • The SCanvasView Class inherited from CanvasView has been added: Using this class and method, developers can animate their drawings and record/play audio files over it; Special effects such as scratch, mosaic, blur, sketch, etc are supported.
  • SAMM (Samsung Animated Multimedia Messaging) Library Class has been added: SAMM is the library encoding/decoding of multimedia data supporting drawing, text, stamp, icon, snapshot image, voice and data exchange between apps using the same SDK.
  • Several improvements have been made in drawings: Stroke and segmentation rendering have been enhanced; Undo function after clear all has been added; Developers can now add image and text to the CanvasView.
  • Sample source is added for new features.

Defects in SDK 1.5 have been corrected.

  • Errors occurred when exporting the package with proguard have been fixed.

Samsung S Pen functionality looks very promising, especially with Samsung being the most popular Android manufacturer. There is sure to be a good market in the future. I specifically likes the multi-screen functionality that the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 offers, and believe that creative developers out there can make some great products.

Hit the source link for more information about the new SDK, and let us know what you think. We will have to wait and see how well this takes off. But for now, tell us what apps you would like to see S Pen functionality in! Are any of you planning to get an S Pen-capable device?

[Source: Samsung Developers Via: intomobile]

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HTC Announces New OpenSense SDK for Developers – Wants Moar Apps Fri, 03 Jun 2011 01:13:18 +0000

It’s been a few years since HTC first unleashed their beautiful “Android skin” known as Sense UI. We first saw it on the HTC Hero and since then, it has evolved, matured and even become the central focus for HTC and the reason, they feel, consumers would want an HTC device over all the rest. There’s no denying the beauty of Sense and the amount of polish all the native apps have about them but that was offset by the majority of apps having a stock “vanilla” Android UI to them. But after years of honing Sense on a plethora of devices and refining it to what we see today, HTC has formally announced their commitment to the developer community and has opened up their new site

Now, using their OpenSense SDK, developers from all over the world now have the API’s they need to tinker around and create apps built around and tailored to HTC’s custom UI. One of the many API’s developers now have access to is the HTC’s Scribe Pen API. This could lead developers to create some truly unique/innovative apps and games using the Scribe Pen found on the Flyer. Or how about about HTC’s 3D API that devs can utilize for creating eye-popping 3D visuals in their apps? Pretty exciting stuff.

HTC is hoping this new move will help distinguish their UI from the multitude of devices from OEM’s all over the globe by giving them the edge where it matters most – apps. App exclusivity seems to be a hot topic going around these days and it looks like we’re just getting started. I, for one, am excited to see what developers will come up using the OpenSense SDK. Viva, la Android!

[Via Twitter]

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Making Your Own Android App Has Never Been Easier Thanks To Appsbar Fri, 06 May 2011 02:26:27 +0000 Ever wanted to build your very own Android (or iOS) app to show off to your friends and family just how tech savvy you are? Maybe you have a business or church and were wondering just how much know how it would take to make your own app. Well, today I came across this site called Appsbar.

Appsbar is a web service that allows you to build a multifunctional app for either Android or iOS. I’ve actually come across a few other sites that offer the similar services but none that offer as many features – and none that do it for FREE.

How in depth you want to get with your app is up to you. It supports all kinds of useful features like an event notifier for delivering real-time or scheduled notifications to users, support for RSS feeds, photos and videos. I know it may sound a little intimidating if you’re not too tech savvy (even I still consider myself a noob when it comes to “computer things”). Luckily enough Appsbar provided a video showing off just how easy it is to make an app and get that sucker published into the Android Market (or AppStore) in no time. Oh yeah, you may want to turn your speakers down before watching.

I’m going to tinker around with this as soon as I get off work and I already have a few good ideas for making a Mother’s Day app and even something fun for my church. If you guys get around to trying it out, please leave your feedback below. I would love to hear your experiences.

[Via IntoMobile]

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Palm Pre Gets In On Some Gingerbread AOSP Lovin’ Thu, 21 Apr 2011 04:04:00 +0000

Alright, you can definitely file this under “awesome.” A Palm Pre developer that goes by the name of k3dar over PreCentral Forums has managed to get Android dual-booting on his Palm Pre. The port is nowhere near ready for prime-time (and most likely wont ever be) but I was honestly impressed at how well he got AOSP Android 2.3 Gingerbread running on an old 600Mhz OMAP 3430 processor.

K3dar was also gracious enough to provide us with a video of his feat for your viewing pleasure. Protip: You might want to mute/turn down your speakers before watching.

While I appreciate a good Android port as much as the next guy, I’m still waiting to see someone port Web OS or even Windows Phone 7 over to non ancient hardware like an Evo or G2X. What about you guys? What mobile OS would you not mind dual-booting into from time to time? (Responding with iOS will get you immediately banned from the internet. For life.)

[Via PreCentral]

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Android 2.2 SDK Gets Refreshed To Match Official Nexus One Release Thu, 08 Jul 2010 18:29:06 +0000 Google-Nexus-One-Android-22-Froyo-Korea

Here’s a public service announcement for you: The Android 2.2 SDK for developers has been refreshed to match the official release of Froyo for the Nexus One. The SDK released along with the announcement of Android 2.2 at Google I/O was a preview of an early Nexus One build, but those using the older version are encouraged to update to the latest release using the SDK manager. Huzzah.

[via Android Developer’s Blog]

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App Storage on SD Coming To Android Soon Fri, 30 Apr 2010 19:55:36 +0000 The Google Code Android Issues page just updated the status of Issue 1151 to “Future Release.” What is Issue 1151 you ask? Well that would have a little something to do with native support for app installation to SD card media. Up until now to get this functionality one would need to root their phone and use Apps2SD.


Further corroborating that we should be seeing this feature in an upcoming Android release is a comment on the issue from a Google Engineer:

Apologies, but I’m not permitted to disclose scheduling information – suffice to say
it’s coming soon :)

Sorry for being vague, and thank you for your continued patience – I sincerely
appreciate it.

A quick scan also reveals this is no longer an “open” issue — having been closed just today — meaning it will most likely be ready to launch in the upcoming Froyo release of Android. We are expecting hear a whole lot of info regarding Android 2.2 (Froyo) at the upcoming Google I/O conference on May 19th, which will almost definitely layout the plans for the newest version of Android.

[via Google Code, thanks to Jeff for the head up!]

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Android 2.1 SDK Released! Mon, 11 Jan 2010 23:45:58 +0000 We were promised that once the Android 2.1 SDK was Open Sourced we would start to see existing devices get updgraded and guess what just happened? The Android Development Team just announced the release of the Android 2.1 SDK!


If you didn’t know, Android 2.1 is the build running on the Nexus One, currently the only device running this version of Android. Hopefully not for long!

Date: January 2010
API Level: 7

Android 2.1 is a minor platform release deployable to Android-powered handsets starting in January 2010. This release includes new API changes and bug fixes. For information on changes, see the Framework API section.

For developers, the Android 2.1 platform is available as a downloadable component for the Android SDK. The downloadable platform includes a fully compliant Android library and system image, as well as a set of emulator skins, sample applications, and more. The downloadable platform includes no external libraries.

To get started developing or testing against the Android 2.1 platform, use the Android SDK and AVD Manager tool to download the platform into your Android SDK. For more information, see Adding SDK Components.

There are a few new API updates and two of them are rather interesting:

  1. Live Wallpapers got 2 new APIs and an updated Wallpaper Manager
  2. New “Signal Strength” class that helps show information about a device’s signal strength. Could this have something to do with the 3G issues? I doubt it – it’s more likely this is made accessible to developers who have their apps make dynamic decisions based on network strength – for example, waiting to download/upload until a better signal is available. Possible though.

If you want a blow-by-blow list of the updates and additions, hit up the changelog!

PS: I know the image above is of Steve Jobs and the iPhone 2.1 update. I can’t wait to see how many people see the image and leap right to the comments to give me a piece of their mind about how stupid/foolish/careless I am. GOTCHYA – YOU’VE BEEN ZAPPED!

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Android 2.0 SDK Launches Tue, 27 Oct 2009 17:22:21 +0000 Remember what we told you about the Android 2.0 SDK requiring an NDA? Scratch that – the Android Developers Blog have just announced that the SDK now supports 2.0 Eclair! I’m guessing that NDA was used because the “test devices” were Motorola Droid and THAT was what should have been kept hush hush.

Check out the video Google put together to highlight the important updates and additions of our latest yummy dessert – Eclair!

Here is a quick overview of the reasons to be excited:

Android 2.0 brings new developer APIs for sync, Bluetooth, and a few other areas. Using the new sync, account manager and contacts APIs, you can write applications to enable users to sync their devices to various contact sources. You can also give users a faster way to communicate with others by embedding Quick Contact within your application. With the new Bluetooth API, you can now easily add peer-to-peer connectivity or gaming to your applications. To get a more complete list of the new capabilities you can add to your applications, please go to the Android 2.0 highlights page.

The Bluetooth API with peer-to-peer communication and proximity based social interactions looks absolutely AWESOME and I’m eager to see how developers utilize this new capability. Of course it’ll be difficult to test with unless you have an Android 2.0 capable device which there are currently ZERO of on the market… but that will Soon Change.

The centralized account manager will also provide a new level of tighter integration between your phone and your accounts elsewhere in the world. As one Android Developer told us:

This means developers can now have apps read (with permission, I assume) the accounts from the phone so tighter integration with google apps will be possible

What does this all mean in terms of new and updated features for the consumer? Some of the neatest and simplest updated include Exchange Support, combined inbox, digital zoom and other camera upgrades, multi-touch, HTML 5 support and calendar improvements.

20-quick-connect 20-mms-search

20-email-inbox 20-quick-connect


Google provided a more complete list:

Contacts and accounts

* Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
* Developers can create sync adapters that provide synchronization with additional data sources.
* Quick Contact for Android provides instant access to a contact’s information and communication modes. For example, a user can tap a contact photo and select to call, SMS, or email the person. Other applications such as Email, Messaging, and Calendar can also reveal the Quick Contact widget when you touch a contact photo or status icon.


* Exchange support.
* Combined inbox to browse email from multiple accounts in one page.


* Search functionality for all saved SMS and MMS messages.
* Auto delete the oldest messages in a conversation when a defined limit is reached.


* Built-in flash support
* Digital zoom
* Scene mode
* White balance
* Color effect
* Macro focus

Android virtual keyboard

* An improved keyboard layout to makes it easier to hit the correct characters and improve typing speed.
* The framework’s multi-touch support ensures that key presses aren’t missed while typing rapidly with two fingers.
* A smarter dictionary learns from word usage and automatically includes contact names as suggestions.


* Refreshed UI with actionable browser URL bar enables users to directly tap the address bar for instant searches and navigation.
* Bookmarks with web page thumbnails.
* Support for double-tap zoom.
* Support for HTML5:
o Database API support, for client-side databases using SQL.
o Application cache support, for offline applications.
o Geolocation API support, to provide location information about the device.


* Agenda view provides infinite scrolling.
* Events indicate the attending status for each invitee.
* Invite new guests to events.

Unfortunately pinch/zoom still appears to be a patented/licensed thing that Google hasn’t/cannot include in Android 2.0 but that may or may not appear on your device depending on the manufacturer/carrier. For example, we all know the HTC Sense devices have pinch/zoom functionality but that is a device-by-device determination.

We’re always excited about updates that improve device speed and we see some help on the graphics side with 2.0:

Revamped graphics architecture for improved performance that enables better hardware acceleration.

We’re told there are some pretty exciting things in Android 2.0 hidden underneath the surface, so when/if we dig up some extra info worth sharing we’ll make sure to let you know. In the meantime – enjoy all the 2.0 Eclair info out there and make sure to Tip Us if you uncover something awesome!

And by the way… nothing is ever perfect and you can already see the complaints rolling in! Valid or not?

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Android 1.6 (Donut): SDK Available, Big Backend Updates Wed, 16 Sep 2009 12:05:27 +0000 We teased you last week when we told you that Cupcake had arrived… but now it really has – at least for developers. In a post on the Android Developers Blog, Xavier Duchrohet announced the availability of Android 1.6 SDK and provided a list of changes. Among them are support for additional screen resolutions (QVGA, WVGA), CDMA telphony APIs (Yay Verizon/Sprint), gesture APIs, text-to-speech, Quick Search integration, Android Market updates, camera improvements and more:

One update that might SEEM small but sounds INCREDIBLY useful and not mentioned much elsewhere is the new battery status indicator:

A new battery usage screen lets users see which apps and services are consuming battery power. If the user determines that a particular service or application is using too much power, they can take action to save the battery by adjusting settings, stopping the application, or uninstalling the application.

With smartphones the increasingly long list of awesome capabilities often comes with the question – “but how is batterly life?” If this feature helps users to accurately make that assessment themselves, it’ll go a LONG way to improving overall usability of Android phones and devices.

By the way, the text-to-speech engine combined with the automatic language translation is absolutely AWESOME! I’m wondering if this requires an internet connection for translation and text-to-speech or not. This could be a godsend in a foreign country, but many people turn off their data services when abroad to prevent incurring ridiculous roaming fees. Anyone that can chime in on this?

You can learn about all the changes in more depth by reading the Android 1.6 Platform Highlights. A couple questions… what new feature are you most excited about? When do you think this will get pushed to phones as a consumer ready OTA update?

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Android 1.5 (Cupcake) Arrives For Dev Phones Mon, 27 Apr 2009 18:21:27 +0000 cupcake-robotsEarlier this month Google launched the Early Look Android 1.5 SDK. Today the SDK moves from beta to official release as Android 1.5 SDK release 1 and is now available for download to developers. It probably isn’t drastically different than the Early Look but it DOES mean that it is certifiably stable as witnessed by HTC launching the 1.5 system image available for download and use on Android Dev Phone 1.

You all know what this means, don’t you? Cupcake arriving on our plates is inching closer and close every single day. Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile USA, released the following statement about T-Mobile G1 software updates on Friday (referring to Cupcake update) saying it will be launched for new and existing G1 owners in the beginning of May:

T-Mobile has released a comprehensive software update that brings its innovative handset into line with the latest Android platform development. It comes with new functions, loads of enhancements, and more improvements to the design of most input screens. From the beginning of May, T‑Mobile will be shipping new handsets with this latest software, and will offer existing T‑Mobile G1 customers the mobile update for download with an automatic installation over the air and free of charge. Alongside its software updates, T-Mobile will be further expanding the Android cell phone portfolio during 2009 to introduce new handsets.

More convenience, more fun

One of the software’s new features is an automatic horizontal or vertical layout for the touch screen display. This allows the T-Mobile G1 to be used in landscape format even if the display is covering the physical keyboard. Another key new feature is the virtual keyboard, which makes it possible to input call numbers or text simply by touching the screen. T-Mobile G1 owners can therefore choose between a virtual or a physical QWERTZ keyboard. And, of course, the touch screen keyboard is available in portrait and landscape format.

The software update now allows film fans to use the 3.2 megapixel camera on the T‑Mobile G1 handset to film videos. A playback function gives their creativity an added boost. The highlight: films can be uploaded straight to YouTube™ and shown not only to friends and acquaintances, but to anyone visiting the popular website worldwide. Another advantage is that users can now upload photos shot with the T-Mobile G1 straight to their personal Picasa Web Album™. On the audio side, the Android developers have upgraded the Bluetooth interface. With the new software installed, the T-Mobile G1 handset can be synchronized via Bluetooth with in-car units and stereo headsets (support for the A2DP and AVRCP profile).

Beside these features, the software update enhances the design of numerous user interfaces and offers new widgets, e.g. for the calendar and the music player. Other improvements include the zoom functions, the e-mail client and the web browser.

Tick. Tick. Tick. We want cupcake.
Tock. Tock. Tock. Beginning of May.
Tick. Tock. Tick. This is dumb what am I even doing?

[Thanks  Ted!]

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Android Widgets To The Rescue! Tue, 21 Apr 2009 02:32:16 +0000 One of the new features in the Android 1.5 are widgets, supported in the new 1.5 SDK with the AppWidget framework allowing developers to write “widgets” that people can drop onto their home screen for quick access and interaction with information. I have to say this is poised to be one of my favorite additions in version 1.5 and I hope that app developers quickly make use of it.

wiktionary-widgetIn our Phandroid Podcast: Episode 5, I worried that “widgets” would become the next “themes” with developers launching widget-after-widget-after-widget and simultaneously crowding and dilluting the Android Market. It doesn’t appear that this concern has been alleviated… the Android Developers Blog provides a tutorial for widget programming by walking us through the creation of a quick widget that shows the Wiktionary “Word of the day” and they provide the full source code.

First of all I want to say that the fact they’ve open sourced a widget for all developers to use as an example is AWESOME. So congrats on that Mr. Jeffrey Sharkey and fellow Google folk. I just hope creating a widget isn’t too easy for our own good! If I see a billion widgets on the market as standalone apps for the most insignificant and random things, I might tear my hair out. So in advance I’m hoping Google has their finger on the “widget trigger” which would create a separate category for widgets in the market. Then again, we’re still waiting for a Theme category so I wouldn’t get your/my hopes up.

Something I hope every app developer takes into close consideration is the implication that widgets will have on battery life as Jeffrey Sharkey points out:

Finally, some words of wisdom. Widgets are designed for longer-term content that doesn’t update very often, and updating more frequently than every hour can quickly eat up battery and bandwidth. Consider updating as infrequently as possible, or letting your users pick a custom update frequency. For example, some people might want a stock ticker to update every 15 minutes, or maybe only four times a day. I’ll be talking about additional strategies for saving battery life as part of a session I’m giving at Google I/O.

Apparently the guys and gals at Google have already written Calendar and Music widgets but the ideas for other widgets/apps are endless. Hopefully devs will extend their current apps to include widget functionality (where appropriate) but I’m guessing this will bring a lot more functionality to everyone with an Android handset. I can’t wait for 1.5 to go live on the T-Mobile G1.

*hint*hint* T-Mobile *knudge*wink*

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