TouchMyApps » Louis http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Thu, 20 Nov 2014 21:22:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.5 Thoughts on Omnifocus 2 for iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/10/01/thoughts-on-omnifocus-2-for-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/10/01/thoughts-on-omnifocus-2-for-iphone/#comments Tue, 01 Oct 2013 23:32:38 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73186 Three years ago, my search for the best task manager on both the Mac and iOS led me to Omnifocus. I had tried numerous apps that implemented David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and in the end, I settled with Omnifocus and never looked back. Since OF’s release for the iPhone in 2008, it’s … Read more]]>

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Three years ago, my search for the best task manager on both the Mac and iOS led me to Omnifocus. I had tried numerous apps that implemented David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and in the end, I settled with Omnifocus and never looked back. Since OF’s release for the iPhone in 2008, it’s been considered among the top Todo apps on the platform. So naturally, with the release of iOS 7, the Omnigroup have released a new and completely revamped version of the app to match the latest OS’ flat and more modern design.

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OF 2′s Home Screen is a winner

Redesign

From the moment you open OmniFocus 2 for iPhone, you’ll see the drastic differences compared to its predecessor. Gone are the gradients, shadows, textures, and dull colors, which have been replaced by iOS 7’s bright color scheme and flat design. This fresh new look is very easy on the eyes and it’s among the best redesigns I’ve seen thus far for iOS 7.

Aside from the aesthetic overhaul, the home screen has also been given an all new layout. Instead of simply rows of headings like Inbox, Projects etc., we now have more user-friendly and larger buttons for all the essentials. For starters, Forecast is right at the top and you can quickly glance at the number of items that are past due, or due today (there’s a count next to “Forecast” for this) and beyond. The Flagged and Inbox buttons have count numbers within the app icon as well.

Upon tapping on an item, say Contexts, the top and bottom halves of the screen pull apart and reveal the targeted page. This visual effect gives users a sense of layering (a design philosophy behind iOS 7) and it’s a nice touch to the overall user experience.

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Pull down to reveal Sync, Settings, Search

The bottom toolbar found in OF1 is gone, and in its place is a “floating” Inbox icon on the bottom right corner. Tap at anytime to add items to your inbox. The Settings, Search, Sync and View options are now accessed by pulling down on the screen to reveal a grey menu with these functions.

Colors aren’t just a visual treat in OF2; they now play a more central role and act like visual queues. The old checkboxes for actions have been replaced by a smarter check circle. Tasks that are due soon will have a yellow circle, whereas overdue ones will be red. Likewise in Forecast view, any days that have overdue items will be red and so on. As for repeating tasks, they will have an ellipses appear within their circle.

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Inbox view: OF 2 vs OF 1

The Flag icon to denote a Flagged item has been retired. So flagging a task will instead show an orange circle. What happens if it’s overdue or due soon? The circle then gets two colors: the top half remains orange, while the bottom half changes from red to yellow depending on due date. In other words, an orange/red check circle signifies that the task has been flagged and overdue (meaning you should get on that ASAP). Personally I dig this new Flagging system and think that it’s well integrated into the “smart” check circle.

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Left: Edit page for Action, Right: Thumbnails for image and audio attachments

The individual Task (or Action) edit page has also been given a welcomed facelift. In Omnifocus 1, the interface for editing items dated back to the original iOS and it was definitely more cluttered. For instance, the item (or title if you will) was partly integrated to your Notes, so if you’d added some notes to the task, a big chunk of that will appear on this edit page. In OmniFocus 2, everything is neatly divided by taps (Info, Note and Attachments) and looks much cleaner. Here you can edit the Project and Context, add a Flag, set a due date, add as a repeating task, convert to a project and more. Audio and Image attachments appear as square thumbnails in this particular tab and both formats can be shared via email/messages. OF1 users will notice that “Start” has been changed to “Defer Until”, which is essentially the same thing and a term used in Omnifocus 2 for Mac (currently in beta).

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Quickly see how many tasks you have in each list with help of Dots

Finally, another significant addition from a design and visual perspective are the dots that appear under lists in Projects and Context. Each dot represents a task in that project/context and they change color as well based on due date (again red for overdue, yellow for due soon and grey for undated or future actions). This is a fantastic way of highlighting quickly how many tasks/actions you have in each folder and whether they’ll require your attention that day.

What’s New

Users hoping for loads of new major features in OF2 might be disappointed. The emphasis behind the new version of the app has more to do with design, and an improved user experience and workflow. That’s not to say there aren’t any new features, because there are several. Background Sync was introduced with iOS 7 and this ability has been brought over to version 2. What this means is that your tasks will sync with the Omni Sync Server (or Mac via Wifi / WebDAV) even if the app is not active. No longer will you have to open the OF app just to get your stuff in sync.

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Roll the dice with Defer Until Later option

As mentioned earlier, “Defer Until” has replaced “Start” and there’s now a neat little “Later” button if you want to Defer your tasks. This is if you don’t particularly care exactly when it’ll be deferred until; when pressed, a date will be randomly assigned up to 3 months ahead for you. For new Omnifocus users, Defer works great by allowing you to filter out things you don’t really need to see on that day, thereby helping you concentrate on actions that can be tackled at that moment. This is accomplished by going to View (pull down to show) and selecting a filter option from there.

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Mind Sweep / add multiple tasks with Save+

Since the bottom navigation menu bar has been axed, the home button is nowhere to be found in V2. Not to worry though, as it’s now a lot more intuitive. By tapping and holding the Back button (top left corner), it’ll take you back to the home page no matter where you are. Last but not least, my favorite (new) feature in OF2 is “Save+”. When adding a new task, users have the option of using Save+ instead of just Save, which immediately saves, closes the current window and opens another item for you to add. This is a huge time saver and makes life easier when performing a “Mind Sweep”, a process David Allen calls when emptying all the things in your head that you want to get done. In this case, it’ll be rapidly dumping all the tasks you want recorded into the Omnifocus inbox. Regardless of whether you follow the GTD methodology, the Save+ button is a great tool for adding multiple actions swiftly.

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Forecast calls for getting things done

Final Thoughts

I’ve been using OF2 now for a little over a week and just love the new flat design, interface and all the little details that went into making the app. The UI and color scheme blend extremely well with iOS 7 and the new features and visual queues help improve usability. Omnifocus 2 for iPhone is a paid upgrade and an awesome one at that for Omnifocus users running iOS 7. Yes it does cost $19.99 and OF1 customers will need to cough up some money again to use the latest version. Unfortunately Apple does not offer upgrade pricing on the App Store, so don’t expect the Omnigroup to sell it for, say, $9.99 even if you did purchase OF1 recently. So is OmniFocus 2 worth the 20 bucks? Absolutely. Assuming it’ll be another 5 years before Omnifocus 3 is released, that’s basically $4 a year to run the most current version of OF on the iPhone. Of course, if you already have Omnifocus 1, you can simply use that on iOS 7, but do note that it’s no longer being supported by the developers and there’ll be no future updates for it. If like me, you rely heavily on Omnifocus for managing your life, this is an easy buy.

What’s to like:

  • Gorgeous new design and interface
  • Home screen is more user friendly
  • New check circle with color scheme
  • Visual dots for Projects/Context overview
  • Improved thumbnail layout for attachments
  • Save+ Feature

What’s not to like:

  • No upgrade pricing on App Store
  • No iPad version for iOS 7 yet
  • No swipe gesture to go back to previous screen
  • Currently no support for textexpander and landscape mode

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Songsterr for iOS: Learn to play that favorite song on the Guitar with your iDevice http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/09/20/songsterr-for-ios-learn-to-play-that-favorite-song-on-the-guitar-with-your-idevice/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/09/20/songsterr-for-ios-learn-to-play-that-favorite-song-on-the-guitar-with-your-idevice/#comments Fri, 20 Sep 2013 21:59:56 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73130 Over the years, learning to play songs on the guitar by way of tabulature (or tab) have certainly become more interactive. What used to be an exercise of finding books and sheets of music for your favorite songs, chords and tabs rapidly made their way onto the web. Nowadays, dozens of sites host extensive libraries … Read more]]>

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Over the years, learning to play songs on the guitar by way of tabulature (or tab) have certainly become more interactive. What used to be an exercise of finding books and sheets of music for your favorite songs, chords and tabs rapidly made their way onto the web. Nowadays, dozens of sites host extensive libraries of tabs to help guitar players of all levels perfect that catchy riff or solo. One such site is Songsterr, which started back in 2008. Besides being an archive of over 500,000 tabs for the guitar, bass and drums, it’s highly unique in that it’s also an online tab player that lets users follow along each tab as the song (with audio) is being played. The Songsterr app for the iPhone and iPad works much like its web counterpart and practicing tabs on-the-go doesn’t get much better than this.

For those who’ve read tab or used a tab player online before, you’ll be in familar territory with the Songsterr app. Not to worry if you’ve never tried learning songs off tabs before. The Songsterr site has a great “How to Read Guitar Tab” page that’ll bring you up to speed in no time. Tabs and chords are primarily filtered by Guitar, Bass and Drums, and songs can be found via one of five sections: Popular, Tags, Favorites (user added), History and Search.

songsterr-ipad-app-tab-tracks

Once a song is found and selected, the tab page will be displayed along with musical notations like time signature, any pull-offs, hammer-ons, slides, vibratos and so forth. The magic then happens when you tap the play button, which starts the song and you can hear and see the notes that are being played on the tab in real time. This is aided by a green marker that automatically scrolls above the tab notes and you can easily follow along with you guitar or other instrument.

Multiple instruments are supported with Songsterr, so you won’t just hear the guitar being played as you’re playing along. Depending on the song, there could be multiple tracks. For instance, Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody has more than 10 tracks (distorition/overdriven Guitars, Bass, Bright Acoustic Piano, Drums etc) and you can select each one to view their own individual tab. There’s even a Solo mode that will mute all other instruments except the one currently selected. Coupled with the half speed option and loop feature (playback selected measures repeatedly), you can finally nail down those seemingly impossible solos.

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Chord view for “Sweet Child O’ Mine” with different variations for D chord

If reading tabs is not your cup of tea or you simply just want to strum along with a guitar, the Chords section (if available for that particular number) will display lyrics and chords to the song. Each chord letter can be tapped to reveal a chord diagram (with multiple finger/fret positions), meaning you’ll have all the visual aid needed right your fingertips.

The app does require internet access to pull all the tab data from the Songsterr servers to your iPhone or iPad, though favoriting a song will keep it right on your device. In other words, offline access when no internet is available. The cache size can be adjusted in the settings area, ranging from 50Mb to 1Gb. And being a universal app, it’ll run on both the iPhone and iPad. Naturally, it’s much easier to use on the iPad/iPad mini with it’s bigger screen and more real estate for multiple lines of tabs being displayed at one time.

With regards to song selection, there are over 500,000 tabs available and chances are you’ll find the artist/song you’re looking for. Songsterr is like the Wikipedia of guitar tabs; users can contribute new tabs and even make edits to existing ones.  The major differences between the web version and the iOS app is that the web flashed based player is more elaborate in that you can enable Solo/Mute and adjust the volume on multiple tracks. Whereas with the app, you can only “Solo” with one instrument at a time.

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Songsterr on the Web

Pricing wise, the Songsterr app follows a subscription model and is free to download. Initially it’s really just a demo of sorts as it’ll only play the initial part of any song. To fully unlock the app, it’ll cost $4.99 per month, using iTunes’ own recurring subscription payment system. Meanwhile Songsterr on the web is completely free to use (including the entire library of songs, albeit with limited features), and there’s Songsterr Plus, which costs $9.90 per month and includes all the extras like Solo, Tempo/Volume control, Loop and more right from your web browser.

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Playing “The Unforgiven” on the iPhone

Songsterr for the iPhone and iPad is a great tool for all levels of guitarists. It’s one of the best apps out there on iOS for learning tab and playing along with your guitar or bass. It’s not the cheapest option mind you as it’ll set you back $60/year, but it’s worth the investment if you’re serious about your tabbing and want access on your iDevice. I have encountered the occasional crashing when slowing down songs and I do wish that subscribing to the app will unlock Songsterr Plus as well on the web (you do get one month free of Plus membership), but overall I’ve really enjoyed taking my 2 Ovation guitars out of semi-retirement and learning some new riffs and solos with the app.

On a final note, if you are using Songsterr with an iPhone, the Guitar Sidekick should come in handy while reading tab.

What’s to like:

  • Huge catalog of tabs for guitar, bass and drums
  • Guitar engine sounds good
  • Half speed and Solo modes
  • Learn different parts of song depending on instrument
  • Favorite songs to access them offline

What’s not to like:

  • $4.99/month will add up over time
  • Doesn’t transpose chords
  • Occasional crashing
  • Subscription doesn’t include Songsterr Plus on the web
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Oxford’s $20 Dictionary app Free today, $0.99 until Sept 9th http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/09/03/oxfords-app-free-today/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/09/03/oxfords-app-free-today/#comments Tue, 03 Sep 2013 14:10:06 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73074 With school back in full swing, Mobile Systems – one of the largest publishers of dictionary apps on iOS – is offering Concise Oxford English Dictionary with Audio for the iPhone and iPad completely free. Normally sold at $19.99, this popular dictionary has over 240,000 words, phrases, and definitions, and over 50,000 audio pronunciations of both common and rare SPECIAL PRICE DISCOUNT 19.99$ > 9.99$

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is the most popular dictionary of its kind around the world and is noted for its clear, concise definitions as well as its comprehensive and authoritative coverage of the vocabulary of the English-speaking world. The dictionary app includes over 50,000 audio pronunciations of both common and rare words, available in… Read more]]>

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With school back in full swing, Mobile Systems – one of the largest publishers of dictionary apps on iOS – is offering Concise Oxford English Dictionary with Audio for the iPhone and iPad completely free. Normally sold at $19.99, this popular dictionary has over 240,000 words, phrases, and definitions, and over 50,000 audio pronunciations of both common and rare words. Suffice to say that this is probably more than adequate for the average person. To compare, the non-concise version ($49.99) includes over 350,000 words and 75,000 audio pronunciations. This freebie offer is only good for today (Sept 3rd), after which the price will stay at $0.99 until Sept 9th.

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SPECIAL PRICE DISCOUNT 19.99$ > 9.99$

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is the most popular dictionary of its kind around the world and is noted for its clear, concise definitions as well as its comprehensive and authoritative coverage of the vocabulary of the English-speaking world. The dictionary app includes over 50,000 audio pronunciations of both common and rare words, available in… Read more]]>
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Snapheal for Mac ($14.99) now free for a week http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/08/27/snapheal-for-mac-14-99-now-free-for-a-week/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/08/27/snapheal-for-mac-14-99-now-free-for-a-week/#comments Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:55:18 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73036 Macphun’s Snapheal, an extremely easy to use photo editing software for Mac and highlighted by Apple as “Best of 2012″ in the photography section, is now Free until September 3rd. Normally priced at $14.99, Snapheal lets users remove objects, blemishes, text and other unwanted distractions from photos - as well as perform general image enhancements - with "Inexpensive alternative to Photoshop" - Mashable.
Snapheal magically removes unwanted objects & people from your photos, fixes skin imperfections, restores old photos & much more. This is the most advanced image healing software to help you achieve great results even from the most hopeless shots.

FIX IMPERFECTIONS
- Get rid of unwanted objects, like wires, garbage bins, cars, etc
- Delete… Read more]]>

snapheal-mac
Macphun’s Snapheal, an extremely easy to use photo editing software for Mac and highlighted by Apple as “Best of 2012″ in the photography section, is now Free until September 3rd. Normally priced at $14.99, Snapheal lets users remove objects, blemishes, text and other unwanted distractions from photos - as well as perform general image enhancements - with just a few clicks. It’s certainly not as feature laden or powerful as Photoshop, but for what it does, it does it well and fast. To score your free copy, head over to Snapheal’s giveaway page and enter your name and email. Then share it either on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ and the download link and activation code will be sent to your inbox. Check out more info and the app in action after the break.

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"Inexpensive alternative to Photoshop" - Mashable.
Snapheal magically removes unwanted objects & people from your photos, fixes skin imperfections, restores old photos & much more. This is the most advanced image healing software to help you achieve great results even from the most hopeless shots.

FIX IMPERFECTIONS
- Get rid of unwanted objects, like wires, garbage bins, cars, etc
- Delete… Read more]]>
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The Lapdawg O-Stand – A Versatile iPad stand with 4 flexible legs http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/08/22/lapdawg-o-stand/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/08/22/lapdawg-o-stand/#comments Thu, 22 Aug 2013 16:36:53 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=73011 When it comes to stands for iPads and other tablets, the Lapdawg O-Stand surely has them beat – at least in the name department. Created by Lapdawg, the O-Stand is billed as the “Swiss Army Knife Of iPad Stands”, and there’s little doubt that it’s versatile. Resembling more like a alien from the War of … Read more]]>

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When it comes to stands for iPads and other tablets, the Lapdawg O-Stand surely has them beat – at least in the name department. Created by Lapdawg, the O-Stand is billed as the “Swiss Army Knife Of iPad Stands”, and there’s little doubt that it’s versatile. Resembling more like a alien from the War of the Worlds than a typical gadget stand, it can hold various tablets and e-readers and its 4 removeable flexy legs lets you position your iPad just how you like it.

From a design perspective, the Lapdawg O-Stand certainly is unique. It’s comprised of three main components: a retractable universal arm claw, 4 removeable legs and a center sphere that holds them together.

The arm claw is made of plastic and has a locking mechanism on its back that will allow the top and bottom claws to hold tablets/ereaders from 7“ to 11” in size. That means you can use it with your iPad (1–4), iPad mini, Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 and the Kobo Arc, among many others. Behind the arm claw there is a rotatable ball joint and bendable neck, so the tablet can easily be swiveled and held at the desired angle.

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The O-Stand’s four legs are the main reason why it’s so adaptable to how you prefer to setup your stand. They are 21.5″ each in length (54.6cm), highly flexible and coated with a rubber-like skin. At the end of each leg is a rubber ball end point that works much like JOBY’s GorillaPods, which help the Lapdawg stand latch onto various objects and surfaces. The great thing is that it’s entirely up to you how many legs you want to use – be it just one leg or two or all four. Installation is simple enough: the legs slide into one of four holes at the bottom of the sphere, then tighten the nuts with the included Allen key on the other end.

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As a stand for my iPad and iPad mini, I found the Lapdawg to work well. While on my desk in my home office, I often use to hold up my iPad as a second display next to my iMac. Coupled with Avatron’s popular Air Display app, this setup can come in handy. Reading ebooks on iBooks while lounging on the couch and not having to constantly hold up the iPad by hand is also great. The one thing in particular I do love about using the O-Stand is watching movies when tucked into bed. Thanks to the flexible legs, I can position it over my body and adjust the screen to a comfortable eye level. With a traditional stand, this is something I often found significantly more difficult.

Personally, I prefer using only 2 legs, as I find that it works just as well with a pair and it looks more tidy on a desk. Not to mention that you don’t have to fiddle with all four legs when trying to adjust to a new height or angle.

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Now as much as I like using the O-Stand, there are several drawbacks. For starters, the arm claw has a cheap plastic feel to it. That said, I haven’t actually had any issues with devices being held in place (it’s secure enough), but it just doesn’t feel as solid as the rest of the stand. The other being the way the legs are attached. Say you wish to go from 2 to 4 legs for more support (maybe you want it wrap around a chair or outdoor object ala GorillaPod), well first you have to find the Allen wrench, then screw each one on. This won’t take more than a few minutes, but it’d be so much easier and more convenient if the legs could be attached sans screws and tools. Finally, I wouldn’t recommend doing any serious typing while the stand is in use. Basically because of its more flexible nature, tapping on the screen will cause the iPad/tablet to slightly shake and vibrate.

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The Lapdawg O-Stand is unlike any other iPad stand, be it in design or practicality. Whether it’s in the office, the kitchen, on the couch or bed and even outdoors, it’ll have you covered if you ever need your tablet propped up. The price tag of $79.99 is not exactly cheap, but the stand can be used just about anywhere. It’s also nice knowing that it comes with a lifetime guarantee; so if it’s defective at any point, just contact Lapdawg for a replacement.

Pros:

  • Tablet stand that can be used nearly anywhere
  • Works with most tablets and e-readers (7 – 11 inches)
  • Removeable legs
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons:

  • Arm Claw doesn’t feel as solid as rest of unit
  • Removing legs requires allan key
  • Typing/tapping on the screen will cause tablet to “bounce”
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Infuse updated with AirPlay support and WiFi file transfers http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/08/07/infuse-updated-with-airplay-support-and-wifi-file-transfers/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/08/07/infuse-updated-with-airplay-support-and-wifi-file-transfers/#comments Wed, 07 Aug 2013 19:56:21 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72960 Infuse , my favorite video player on iOS, has been updated with some highly anticipated features, including AirPlay, TV out (with HDMI/VGA adapter), WiFi file transfers and more. Besides being able to play most popular video formats – thus saving you the time of first converting into MP4 format – and its beautiful interface, Infuse lets ** All-new version 3 includes fully licensed and certified DTS® and DTS-HD® audio! **

Ignite your video content with Infuse – the beautiful way to watch almost any video format on your iPhone or iPad. No need to convert files! Infuse is optimized for iOS 8, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with powerful streaming options, trakt syncing, and unmatched AirPlay & subtitle support. Gorgeous… Read more]]>

Infuse , my favorite video player on iOS, has been updated with some highly anticipated features, including AirPlay, TV out (with HDMI/VGA adapter), WiFi file transfers and more. Besides being able to play most popular video formats – thus saving you the time of first converting into MP4 format – and its beautiful interface, Infuse lets users easily download subtitles right from within the app and also integrates trakt.tv (keep track of all the movies and shows you’ve watched with a free account). Personally I’ve been waiting for AirPlay support since the app released and thankfully, streaming to an Apple TV works flawlessly from what I’ve seen so far. There have been no lags or video/audio quality issues with the dozen or so files I’ve tested. The only downer is that subtitles are disabled once AirPlay is enabled. Fear not though, as FireCore has just mentioned to me that this is something they’re working on and hoping to implement in the next update in 2-3 weeks.

Infuse is a free update for existing users and costs $4.99 on the App Store. More info after the gap.

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** All-new version 3 includes fully licensed and certified DTS® and DTS-HD® audio! **

Ignite your video content with Infuse – the beautiful way to watch almost any video format on your iPhone or iPad. No need to convert files! Infuse is optimized for iOS 8, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, with powerful streaming options, trakt syncing, and unmatched AirPlay & subtitle support. Gorgeous… Read more]]>
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lolo releases customizable 7-Minute Workout app for iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/25/lolo-releases-7-minute-workout-app-for-iphone/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/25/lolo-releases-7-minute-workout-app-for-iphone/#comments Thu, 25 Jul 2013 17:13:07 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72912 lolo, developers behind popular fitness apps like Easy Abs and Easy Arms (two apps that have helped me get back into shape), have released 7-Minute Workout (High Intensity Training) for the iPhone. In case you’re not familiar, the 7 Minute Workout first appeared on NY Times and is “based on science”, where you do 12 sets of exercises Featured by Apple in the App Store Best of 2013!

Get a complete full body workout in just 7 minutes! Based on the "Scientific 7 Minute Workout" originally published in ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal and seen in the NY Times, but improved upon by the expert trainers at lolo.

One size does not fit all so we took the principles of this fast and effective workout and tuned it so it could fit… Read more]]>

7-minute-workout-iphone-lolo

lolo, developers behind popular fitness apps like Easy Abs and Easy Arms (two apps that have helped me get back into shape), have released 7-Minute Workout (High Intensity Training) for the iPhone. In case you’re not familiar, the 7 Minute Workout first appeared on NY Times and is “based on science”, where you do 12 sets of exercises in 7 minutes. It does get pretty intense during this short span – especially if you push yourself. Since reading about it a month ago, I’ve done a number of these 7 minute workouts and I find them great when you don’t have a whole lot of time to exercise. Compared to the many 7 minute workout apps that have sprung up on the App Store, lolo’s is probably the most involved of the bunch.

lolo tries to improve upon the premise of the 7 Minute workout by implementing additional features not found in other similar apps. For starters, you get to choose between Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced levels, then you select exactly what types of equipment you have at your disposal. There are 200 unique exercises and each include video, voice and coaching pointers. In order words, this app is completely customizable based on your preferences.

7-Minute Workout (High Intensity Training) is now available for the iPhone for $1.99.

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Featured by Apple in the App Store Best of 2013!

Get a complete full body workout in just 7 minutes! Based on the "Scientific 7 Minute Workout" originally published in ACSM's Health and Fitness Journal and seen in the NY Times, but improved upon by the expert trainers at lolo.

One size does not fit all so we took the principles of this fast and effective workout and tuned it so it could fit… Read more]]>
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Roamer lets you keep your phone number while travelling abroad (and avoid high roaming fees) http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/24/roamer-helps-save-roaming/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/24/roamer-helps-save-roaming/#comments Wed, 24 Jul 2013 15:11:28 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72902 Have you ever wished that while travelling abroad, you could keep your own phone number AND not have to pay those exorbitantly high roaming rates? Well thanks a Latvian based company who also brought us VIR2SIM, their recently released Roamer app will let you do just that – keep your number while saving a bundle when overseas. Use Roamer to avoid roaming charges abroad. Receive calls in Roamer with your regular number. Make international calls to mobile and landline numbers at unbeatable rates when abroad or from home.

Welcome the long-awaited drastically new Roamer.

It’s the only calling app for travellers who would like to stay connected abroad with their regular numbers while avoiding roaming charges, as… Read more]]>

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Have you ever wished that while travelling abroad, you could keep your own phone number AND not have to pay those exorbitantly high roaming rates? Well thanks a Latvian based company who also brought us VIR2SIM, their recently released Roamer app will let you do just that – keep your number while saving a bundle when overseas. Basically, you’ll need an unlocked iPhone/Android phone and a local SIM card from the city you’ll be travelling to. Then after activating the new SIM with the Roamer app, whenever calls are made to your home number, they’ll be re-routed to your new local number. According to Roamer, you can save up to 96% on those pesky roaming rates. For example, if you’re traveling to the UK, €10 credits is good for 250 minutes of incoming calls (€0.04/min). Outgoing calls are slightly more expensive (depending on destination), but the catch here – and this only applies to outgoing calls – is that they require an internet connection, be it via a data plan or WIFI.

According to Roamer’s FAQ, here’s how to use their service:

1) Install Roamer from AppStore or Google Play. The app is FREE! Don’t forget to add calling credits to your Roamer account before departure.

2) Launch Roamer and park your number before departure (Depart Now). It is done by forwarding incoming calls to our service number in your area, which is assigned exclusively to you. Call charges are debited from your Roamer account.

3) Activate local SIM card in Roamer. Buy a SIM card in destination country. Launch Roamer to activate your new SIM card. At the moment of activation you need an Internet connection: WiFi or GPRS or higher. Now, when somebody calls your usual home number, the calls will reach you while you are abroad. To make a call, just launch Roamer, choose the contact, press call and wait for a callback. Only when the call is initiated you need an Internet connection: WiFi or GPRS or higher. The other party will see your usual number as a Caller ID.

The key is to “park” your number before leaving your home country. If you do forget, you can still avoid roaming charges and take advantage of their low roaming rates, the only difference is that Roamer will assign you a new temporary number from your home city (basically you’ll have to give your friends/family/colleagues this new number so they can still call you without having to pay long distance).

As for credit packs, they can be purchased from within the app as an IAP if using an iPhone (paypal for Android users). Denominations are as follows: 9.99, 19.99, 29.99 and 49.99 EUR or US$ 12.99, 25.99, 38.99, 64.99. Check out the video below for more details or head directly to Roamer’s website for rates to all 216 supported countries.

] [appStore-appDetails] [yes] -->

 
Use Roamer to avoid roaming charges abroad. Receive calls in Roamer with your regular number. Make international calls to mobile and landline numbers at unbeatable rates when abroad or from home.

Welcome the long-awaited drastically new Roamer.

It’s the only calling app for travellers who would like to stay connected abroad with their regular numbers while avoiding roaming charges, as… Read more]]>
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Zyroshell: A sleek cradle for Smartphones http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/17/zyroshell-cradle-for-the-iphone-and-other-smart-phones/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/07/17/zyroshell-cradle-for-the-iphone-and-other-smart-phones/#comments Wed, 17 Jul 2013 19:44:31 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72852 If you’ve ever gone shopping for a car cradle/holder for your phone, chances are you’ve come across plenty of the same old designs with the arm grip and suction cup. Thankfully, there are those that look way more sleek and stylish – as evidenced by the Zyroshell, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in … Read more]]>

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If you’ve ever gone shopping for a car cradle/holder for your phone, chances are you’ve come across plenty of the same old designs with the arm grip and suction cup. Thankfully, there are those that look way more sleek and stylish – as evidenced by the Zyroshell, which was successfully funded on Kickstarter back in October of 2012. Made out of aluminum, the MacBook-inspired Zyroshell can be used just about anywhere, be it your car, office desk or home.

Based on a minimalistic (yet highly attractive) design, the Zyroshell complements a MacBook or iMac nicely with its anodized aluminum body. Essentially built like a flip open stand, the cradle is able to tilt 180 degrees, and even rotates 360 degrees. Beneath the circular dust cap found on the front is an equally large gel pad that is strong enough to hold an iPhone or Smartphone. Using non-adhesive sticky technology, the gel pad is reusable and washable with water and soap.

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The Zyroshell also comes with a separate “baseplate”, which is a larger gel pad with a magnet attached to it. Once the baseplate has been applied to the desired spot (windshield, dashboard or desk), the Zyroshell can then be placed right above it, and the magnets will securely click it in place. It is this action that allows the cradle to rotate 360 degrees, as the magnet and bottom cutout are both circular.

Throughout the past several weeks, I’ve really come to enjoy using the Zyroshell, particularly on my home office desk beside my iMac. The generous 10 viewing angles is great and the gel pads have held my iPhone 5 in place – even when I’m driving. Once stuck on properly, I haven’t had my phone inadvertently fall off. To be on the safe side, you’ll want to push your phone firmly against the gel pad and hold it there for a second or two, otherwise it might not give it a real strong grip.

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What I’ve ended up doing is leaving the the base gel pad in the car, as I’ve found that the Zyroshell works perfectly well without it on my desk. Sure I don’t get to spin it around, but it’s just as easy to reposition the base however you see fit. And when I need to get in my car to drive somewhere, I simply bring my iPhone 5/Zyroshell and plop it onto the gel pad’s magnet on my windshield.

Even smaller tablets work with the stand. I’ve tested it with my iPad mini and the gel pad can hold it up just fine either horizontally or vertically. As for bigger tablets, I’ve tried it with the original iPad and that is just too heavy for the hinge to stay up.

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The weakest link to the whole Zyroshell equation is the actual baseplate. The issue I have is that the magnet is attached to the gel pad via an adhesive tape of sorts; it just doesn’t seem all that secure in the long run. The other thing I’ve noticed is that the base gel pad doesn’t stick as well to my dashboard as other surfaces. This could be due to the fact that I’d waxed it before, but after scrubbing it down with some soup/water, it still doesn’t stick like it does on glass or a desk. Even so, depending on your vehicle there are still several other locations the cradle itself can go (with or without the baseplate), like on the windshield, tucked into the top of the visor or on the console area near the gear shift. A word of caution though: the combination of the aluminum and sun during a really hot day will heat up your phone and Zyroshell quite a bit. So it’s probably advisable to keep it out of the sun when it’s crazy hot.

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The Zyroshell is certainly one of the sexier and more versatile cradles out there for the iPhone. The fact that you can use it either at home/the office or in the car is an added bonus. It is also worth noting that the unit I received is among a new batch that have been improved with bigger gel pads and baseplates that provide more grip.

It’s available in both matte silver or black for $39.95 and can be purchased directly from the Zyroshell website.

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Otterbox Armor Series Case for iPhone 5 in Review – A multitalented case for your iPhone http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/06/19/otterbox-armor-series-case-for-iphone-5-in-review/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/06/19/otterbox-armor-series-case-for-iphone-5-in-review/#comments Wed, 19 Jun 2013 22:46:55 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72733 Otterbox is no stranger to iPhone cases that provide serious amounts of protection, and the Defender case was proof of that. Now with the recent release of the Armor Series case – one Otterbox calls the “toughest case ever built” – your iPhone 5 is finally safe from the ill-effects of water damage. Besides being … Read more]]>

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Otterbox is no stranger to iPhone cases that provide serious amounts of protection, and the Defender case was proof of that. Now with the recent release of the Armor Series case – one Otterbox calls the “toughest case ever built” – your iPhone 5 is finally safe from the ill-effects of water damage. Besides being waterproof, the Armor case boasts protection against dust, 10 foot drops and can even withstand two tons of crushing force.

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Armor Design and Specs

These impressive feats are all accomplished thanks to a completely redesigned case that ensures no components of the phone are left exposed to the elements, with a body that’s made primarily out of high-strength reinforced plastic that can take a hell of a beating.

Unlike the Defender, which has an inner and outer shell that can be cumbersome to put on/remove, the Armor is much more convenient to install with its two-piece design. The front half of the case acts as a holder for the iPhone, while the rear shell sandwiches it from the rear. Giving it a waterproof seal are the metal latches that securely lock the two halves together. And you don’t have to worry about your phone wiggling around once closed; the inside is lined with protective silicone that ensures a snug fit and absorbs shock from potential impact. Raised rubber buttons on the outside allow the use of the home, sleep and volume buttons, and a built-in screen protector is there to prevent damage to the iPhone’s glass screen.

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To help keep water and dust from entering the lightning port and headphone jack, the Armor case makes use of flaps that essentially plug the respective openings shut. They are moderately easy to pry open with a fingernail, though the seal is still tight enough to keep water out. If you’re wondering how sound from the speakers can still be heard properly through the case, a non-permeable membrane is used on the flap and case to allow sound to travel through, all the while keeping dust and water at bay. Surprisingly, I found the volume just as loud with the Armor on, which is great as I often like to catch up with my TV shows on my iPhone. Meanwhile, the rear camera is also protected by a glass covering that is resistant to scratches. Just think of the Armor case as a biosuit: once it snaps on, nothing gets in.

Using the Armor Case

The first thing that comes to mind when holding the Armor is that it’s one solid and hefty case. This right here is the Hummer H3 of all iPhone cases. Dimensions wise, it’s every bit bigger then the Defender, though not by a significan amount (140.2 mm x 75.5 mm x 17.8 mm vs 135.12 mm x 69.9 mm x 16.18 mm). Depite its added bulk, I’m still able to comfortably put it in my front pocket without getting weird stares from the ladies (at least none that I was aware of). One comment I do get nearly every time I take out the Armor is, “what case is that!?”. I don’t recall ever owning a mobile case that elicited as much attention.

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True to Otterbox’s word, the Armor is extremely tough. I’m a complete klutz when it comes to holding onto my devices and have already dropped it (by accident) several times in the past 2 months — once on my asphalt driveway and the rest on other hard surfaces. Save for some minor scuffing on the case’s corner, that’s about the only damage taken. My iPhone 5′s remained unharmed and not a scratch resulted from the drops.

The built-in screen protector is responsive (making it easy to type or play games) and I’d say it’s even a touch more clear than that of the Defender. Save for the slight reflection it gives off under certain lighting conditions, you’d hardly notice it’s even there. That said, I did find a slight trampolining effect when tapping on the screen. This normally happens when the built-in screen protector isn’t sitting 100% flush against the phone’s own display. As such, you can feel a slight depression when typing, and there’s a “popping” sound when contact is made.

Update: I was able to test out another Otterbox Armor case and the screen protector on this is significantly better, with no noticeable trampolining or the aforementioned tapping sound.

Voice quality wise when speaking on the phone, I have yet to have anyone complain, so that’s a good sign. As for the camera, while photos come out sharp and clean, I’ve found that after a period use, lint and dust start to build up on the camera port holes on the outside (particularly when you leave the iPhone in your pants’ pocket), which in turn causes images to appear more washed out and even cloudy. The remedy is to occasionally clean up these areas with a piece of cloth; once done, the images looks fine once again.

It should also be mentioned that the belt clip that comes included with the Defender has been replaced by a tough handstrap. Personally I much prefer this accessory anyway as I never did use the belt clip.

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Waterproof iPhone case

To test whether the Armor case actually keeps water out, I intially inserted a piece of paper into the case (instead of my iPhone naturally), closed it up and dunked it into a basin full of water about 5 inches deep and had it held down for a good 30 mintues (as recommended by Otterbox in video below). Having dried off the case completely, I opened it up to find the inside and piece of paper completely dry. It’s waterproof alright! Now that I was more confident of it’s water repelling abilities, I placed my iPhone in the case and dropped it in the basin for a quick swim. Alas, my iPhone 5 stayed nice and dry. According to Otterbox, the Armor case can take submersions of 30 minutes in up to 6.6 feet of water. Not diving deep, but certainly enough for those times when you carelessly drop it into shallow water – like a toilet or bath.

On a recent 3 day layover in Tel Aviv and extended vacation in Thailand, I was more than happy to have my Armor case with me. Despite the added size, I appreciated its ruggedness and waterproof feature on my travels. And the visit to the hotel pool was great knowing that I didn’t have to worry about carrying my iPhone too close to the pool.

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Final Thoughts

The Otterbox Armor case for the iPhone 5 does what it was intended and does it well. Few other iPhone cases on the market can make the claim that it’s crush/dust/drop/and water proof all rolled into one. Naturally, it was created for those who seek maximum protection for their iDevice, though the extra bulk and retail price tag of $99 could be too much for the casual user. However, if you’re looking for a case that can take a heck of a beating AND won’t damage your phone when dropped into water, the Armor should be right up there at the top of your list.

Note: The Otterbox Armor comes in three colors: Neon Green, Arctic Blue and Electric Orange. And as of writing, Amazon is currently selling the Armor cases for $73.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

What’s to Like:

  • Solidly contructed
  • Waterproof!
  • Keeps dust out
  • Metal hatch system makes it very easy to install/remove phone
  • Sound still loud through case
  • Quality of phone calls still good
  • Built to ensure physical abuse

What’s Not to Like:

  • Adds significant bulk to slim profile of iPhone 5
  • Headphone flap at bottom can put pressure on end of earphone cord
  • Quality of photos affected by dirty lens port hole
  • $99 price tag, though it can be had for less
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New MirrorCase for iPad Launches on Kickstarter, Provides More Usability http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/09/new-mirrorcase-for-ipad-launches-on-kickstarter-provides-more-usability/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/09/new-mirrorcase-for-ipad-launches-on-kickstarter-provides-more-usability/#comments Thu, 09 May 2013 17:00:44 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72604 Last week MirrorCase announced its iPad case on Kickstarter with a splash, raising about 75 percent of their goal in the project’s first week. Already available for iPhone 4, the MirrorCase case design uses a high-quality mirror to reflect back any image that is in front of the device, allowing users to capture images and video from … Read more]]>

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Last week MirrorCase announced its iPad case on Kickstarter with a splash, raising about 75 percent of their goal in the project’s first week. Already available for iPhone 4, the MirrorCase case design uses a high-quality mirror to reflect back any image that is in front of the device, allowing users to capture images and video from a more natural angle.

Features for the new MirrorCase for iPad include an adjustable mirror protected by Gorilla® Glass with an anti-reflective coating, Smart lid, kickstand, acoustic port and stylus storage. Use MirrorCase for iPad in conjunction with the free MirrorCase app, which flips and inverts the image so it appears correctly on your screen. The corrected media is then saved directly to the iPad Camera Roll.

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“We originally created the MirrorCase to help eliminate what we coined as ‘Phone Face,’ says John Palmeri, President and CEO of MirrorCase creator RHPMM. “Having your iPhone cover your face when taking videos and pictures ruins the moment. It’s even more awkward to take photos and video with an iPad, so we knew having a MirrorCase for the larger device would be a must.”

With its new features, the iPad MirrorCase is perfect for recording meetings, lectures or interviews, as well as protecting your device and using your iPad at a more comfortable angle for reading and typing.

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The MirrorCase for iPad on Kickstarter will help fund a second version of the app, which will include the ability to simultaneously record video and take notes, share notes with other users, convert files, Dropbox and email integration, etc.

MirrorCase for iPad is available now for pre-order, shipping in early 2013, with an MSRP of $79.95. To learn more about this nifty iPad case, pre-orders, or other MirrorCase products, visit www.MirrorCase.com.

The full press release can be found here.

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Write for Dropbox, a great writing app for the iPhone, is now free for a limited time http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/07/write-for-dropbox-a-great-writing-app-for-the-iphone-now-free-for-a-limited-time/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2013/05/07/write-for-dropbox-a-great-writing-app-for-the-iphone-now-free-for-a-limited-time/#comments Wed, 08 May 2013 05:06:17 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=72549 Write for Dropbox, an intuitive writing app with a slick interface, is now free for the iPhone after the release of its iPad version. Using Dropbox to sync all your work, the app opens to a blank note so you can quickly jot down your ideas or notes quickly. You’ll also find an extra row … Read more]]>

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Write for Dropbox, an intuitive writing app with a slick interface, is now free for the iPhone after the release of its iPad version. Using Dropbox to sync all your work, the app opens to a blank note so you can quickly jot down your ideas or notes quickly. You’ll also find an extra row of convenient keys above the keyboard that provides shortcuts to popular Markdown syntax. And aside from the host of sharing options available, one of my favorite little features is the cursor trackpad that lets you easily move the cursor around the screen and select desired text.

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Device Sharing: Use either your iPhone or iPad as a keyboard

Coinciding with the release of the iPad Write app ($1.99), Write for iPhone was updated with a unique new feature called Device Sharing, which has two functions: Remote Keyboard and Remote Clipboard. The former is fairly self explanatory in that you can now use either your iPhone or iPad as an external keyboard to type while the other device handles the main writingworkflow.

With Remote Keyboard, you’re able to clip text from Safari (or any other source) from, say your iPhone, and this will automatically be available for pasting on your iPad. I’ve tried this function out several times and it works really well, not to mention it saves time as I don’t have to constantly close up Write on one device while I look up something on the web. Do note that for Device Sharing to work, you’ll need to be connected to the same Wifi network.

Essentially now that the iPhone version is free for the next few days, you can grab both versions for the price of one (both $1.99). Write for Dropbox is one of the best writing apps for iOS and this is one awesome freebie you don’t want to miss. If you do any form of notetaking or even more serious writing on the go, I highly recommend that you download Write for the iPhone today.

Write for Dropbox - A Beautiful Note Taking App (iPhone Edition) Tanmay Sonawane, Write for Dropbox (iPhone Edition) - Free

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