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News publishers join battle against Apple over App Store revenue – Report Door



Apple’s App Store rebellion is growing.

A week after “Fortnite” maker Epic Games sued Apple for booting its mega-popular game off the App Store when it tried to circumvent the company’s steep 30 percent cut of all in-app purchases, major news publishers are banding together to seek more favorable terms on commissions.

In a letter released Thursday by Digital Content Next, a trade body that represents the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Washington Post, among other publications, the newsmakers asked Apple to explain what they need to do in order to receive the more favorable 15 percent rate secured by Amazon when it put Prime Video on Apple TV.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., which also publishes The Post.

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook was presented with an email exchange between Apple veteran Eddy Cue and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in which the two companies agreed on a 15 percent revenue-sharing deal for new customer sign-ups for Prime Video through the App Store.

Cook testified that the reduced rate was available to any developer that met certain conditions.

“I ask that you clearly define the conditions that Amazon satisfied for its arrangement so that DCN’s member companies meeting those conditions can be offered the same agreement,” Digital Content Next CEO Jason Kint said in his letter.

Spotify and Tinder parent Match Group have both thrown their support behind Epic. Tinder — one of the iPhone’s most popular apps — offers customers a cheaper rate for its Tinder Gold subscription plan if they sign up via its website rather than in-app.

“We fully support Epic Games’ efforts today to show how Apple uses its dominant position and unfair policies to hurt consumers, app developers and entrepreneurs,” a Match spokesperson told The Post. “Regulators across the globe have expressed similar concerns and are examining Apple’s arbitrary practices.”

Spotify said in a statement that it “applaud[s] Epic Games’ decision to take a stand against Apple and shed further light on Apple’s abuse of its dominant position.”

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A tip from a kid helps detect iOS and Android scam apps' 2.4 million downloads – Ars Technica



Researchers said that a tip from a child led them to discover aggressive adware and exorbitant prices lurking in iOS and Android smartphone apps with a combined 2.4 million downloads from the App Store and Google Play.

Posing as apps for entertainment, wallpaper images, or music downloads, some of the titles served intrusive ads even when an app wasn’t active. To prevent users from uninstalling them, the apps hid their icon, making it hard to identify where the ads were coming from. Other apps charged from $2 to $10 and generated revenue of more than $500,000, according to estimates from SensorTower, a smartphone-app intelligence service.

The apps came to light after a girl found a profile on TikTok that was promoting what appeared to be an abusive app and reported it to Be Safe Online, a project in the Czech Republic that educates children about online safety. Acting on the tip, researchers from security firm Avast found 11 apps, for devices running both iOS and Android, that were engaged in similar scams.

Many of the apps were promoted by one of three TikTok users, one of whom had more than 300,000 followers. A user on Instagram was also promoting the apps.

“We thank the young girl who reported the TikTok profile to us,” Avast threat analyst Jakub Vávra, said in a statement. “Her awareness and responsible action is the kind of commitment we should all show to make the cyberworld a safer place.”

The apps, Avast said, made misleading claims concerning app functionalities, served ads outside of the app, or hid the original app icon shortly after the app was installed—all in violation of the app markets’ terms of service. The links promoted on TikTok and Instagram led to either the iOS or Android versions of the apps depending on the device that accessed a given link.

Targeting “younger kids”

“It is particularly concerning that the apps are being promoted on social media platforms popular among younger kids, who may not recognize some of the red flags surrounding the apps and therefore may fall for them,” Vávra added.

Avast said it privately notified Apple and Google of the apps’ behaviors. Avast also alerted both TikTok and Instagram to the shill accounts doing the promotions.

A Google spokesman said the company has removed the apps, and Web searches appeared to confirm this. Several of the apps for iOS appeared to still be available in the App Store as this post was being prepared. Representatives from Apple and TikTok didn’t immediately have a comment for this post. Representatives with Facebook, which owns Instagram, didn’t respond to a request to comment.

Android users by now are well-acquainted with the Play Store serving apps that are either outright malicious or that perform unethical actions such as deliver a flood of ads, often with no easy way to curtail the deluge. Abusive apps from the App Store, by contrast, come to light much less often—not that such iOS apps are never encountered.

Last month, researchers discovered more than 1,200 iPhone and iPad apps that were snooping on URL requests users made within an app. This violates the App Store’s terms of service. Using a software developer kit for serving ads, the apps also forged click notifications to give the false appearance that an ad viewed by the user came from an ad network controlled by the app, even when that wasn’t the case. The behavior allowed the SDK developers to steal revenue that should have gone to other ad networks.

People considering installing an app should spend a few minutes reading ratings, reviewing prices, and checking permissions. In the case of the apps found by Avast, the average rating ranged from 1.3 to 3.0.

“This all is bad don’t buy,” an iOS user wrote in one review. “I accidentally bought it. 8 dollars wasted and it doesn’t work.”

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Five Tips for Easier Rearranging of iOS Apps – TidBITS



After Josh Centers wrote “iOS 14’s App Library: The FAQ” (9 September 2020), we got a great response in the comments. Several people noted that they have long relied on a technique not dissimilar to the App Library, in that they devote one or more Home screens to a carefully organized set of folders that contain all their less-used apps. I admire such attention to detail, and in an ideal world, I’d use a similar approach.

However, I have 352 apps installed (check your number in Settings > General > About). Since the loss of the organizational tools in iTunes, the immense effort in dragging hundreds of icons around has dissuaded me from cleaning things up. Adding Home screen widgets in iOS 14 can also mess up app organization—something I did while playing with widgets deleted about half of my folders on one Home screen. So I was stoked to read John Clark’s post explaining how to move multiple apps at once. Even better, as soon as I started using multiple fingers, I discovered yet another app rearrangement tip that makes life much easier.

So, as welcome as iOS 14’s App Library may be for many of us, particularly alongside being able to hide Home screens, here is a collection of tips that will help anyone rearrange their app icons more easily, regardless of iOS version or device.

The Basics

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.

  • To move an app, start by touching and holding it. In recent versions of iOS, you can start dragging the app as soon as you feel a click, or you can pause until you see a popover, in which you can tap Edit Home Screen. In earlier versions of iOS, you’d touch and hold until you entered jiggle mode. (Interestingly, the Apple Style Guide is clear that it’s not “wiggle mode.”) Drag the app to the desired location.
  • To put the app on a different Home screen, drag to the left or right edge of the screen and pause briefly to switch screens.
  • To create a new folder, drag one app on top of another and pause briefly. Rename the folder as desired.
  • To put an app in a folder, drag it into the folder. If you pause over the folder, it opens, and you can drag the app into place within the folder or even to other pages within the folder.
  • To delete a folder, drag all the apps in it to another folder or Home screen.
  • When you’re done, press the Home button or swipe up from the bottom of the screen to leave jiggle mode.

Want to see a demo of this? Josh Centers whipped up this quick video.

[embedded content]

Clear Space on the Dock and Use It as a Temporary Holding Zone

This tip isn’t new, but it’s worth repeating. If you’re doing a lot of app cleanup across multiple Home screens, dragging the app a long distance can be tiring and frustrating, particularly if you end up hovering over another app just slightly too long and invoking the folder creation process.

But if you think about it, you can save yourself a lot of the stress of moving apps by moving one or more of your Dock apps to a temporary spot and then using the Dock as a holding zone. You can then put some number of apps on the Dock, navigate to the desired Home screen, and drag them out in multiple small steps, without having to keep your finger down the entire time.

It’s much faster than moving each app, one a time, especially if you have a lot of Home screens.

Josh made another short video to show how this works.

[embedded content]

Move a Stack of Apps All at Once

John Clark’s tip takes the idea of working with multiple apps to a higher level, letting you assemble a stack of apps and put them in a new location with a single drop. Here’s how.

Start by moving one app. Once you’ve picked it up, I recommend dragging it to the lower-right corner of its Home screen. That’s not necessary, but it makes seeing what you’re doing easier. Without letting go of the app you’ve picked up, using another finger (from your other hand, most easily) to tap additional apps that are jiggling. Each app you tap is added to the stack you’re holding, and a blue badge increments to tell you how many are in the stack. Repeat as many times as you like—I found no limit to the number of apps you can stack up like this. You can also drag the stack to other Home screens to add icons from them as well.

Once you’ve assembled your stack, drag it to the desired location and lift your finger to drop the icons. They’ll fill in the destination folder or Home screen from left to right, top to bottom, in first in-first out order.

This snazzy tip would be great just for dumping apps in folders quickly to reduce the number of Home screens you have.

For a demonstration of how this works, see Josh’s video.

[embedded content]

Swipe to Change Home Screens While Dragging

John’s tip got me started using both hands to rearrange apps, something I’d never done before. But once I did, I stumbled on a tremendously useful and painfully obvious (well, it is now, anyway) tip.

Dragging an app or a stack of apps from Home screen to Home screen is slow and error-prone. All too often you end up hovering too long over another app, which causes iOS to try to create a folder. The only way out is to drop the app in the folder, pick it up again, and drag it out. Maddening!

But here’s the thing. If you start dragging an app or a stack with one hand and then use a finger on the other hand to swipe left and right to move between Home screens, it’s vastly easier. In essence, you’re moving the Home screen underneath the app or stack you’re holding. If you hold the app or stack in the lower-right corner, it’s easy to see everything that’s on each Home screen you reveal, and there’s no worry about hovering over another app or accidentally entering a folder.

Is this not quite clear from my description? Josh’s video will give you a preview.

[embedded content]

Search for an App’s Full Name to Find Its Folder

John Clark turned me on to this little fact as well. I hadn’t realized that, when you search for an app by swiping down on the Home screen and typing in the Search field, if your search reveals only a single app, iOS will also display the name of the folder that contains the found app. That gives you a better chance of being able to find the app, assuming you can find its enclosing folder.

Notice also that Apple’s Voice Memos app doesn’t appear in this search. I haven’t been able to find it in a search for years, across multiple iOS versions. There must be something corrupt in my settings or search index, but it’s the only app so affected as far as I know.

Obviously, this trick has its limitations. If the app you want to find is strewn among your Home screens but not in a folder, no folder name appears. And if you can’t narrow the search to a single result (I have too many apps whose names start with “Weather”), you’re out of luck.

It’s also unnecessary if you’ve upgraded to iOS 14 because you can always find the app and move it to a new Home screen location from within the App Library. But for those who haven’t yet upgraded, or who are working in iPadOS, it might be helpful.

(Don’t) Use Apple Configurator 2 to Rearrange Apps from Your Mac

There is one last way that you can theoretically rearrange apps more easily—by using Apple Configurator 2 to do it from your Mac. Apple Configurator 2 is designed to help IT admins create and install profiles on multiple Apple devices at once in an institutional setting, but it also lets you rearrange the icons on your iPhone or iPad from the comfort of your Mac.

Or at least it’s supposed to. I include the instructions below in case Apple releases an update that addresses the problem, but whenever I tried to save my changes by clicking the Apply button, I got this error dialog, and my changes were ignored. Apple released version 2.13.1 of Apple Configurator 2 just a few days ago, so I would have expected it to be compatible with iOS 14, but perhaps not. Plus, it does have quite a few reviews for previous versions suggesting that the Home screen layout feature doesn’t work even when this error doesn’t appear. So don’t waste your time, or if you’re testing a new version of Apple Configurator 2, verify that it works by moving a single icon before spending much time on it.

Apple Configurator 2 error dialog

Should it ever work, here’s how the process should go. To get started, download Apple Configurator 2 from the Mac App Store. When you first launch it with your iPhone connected via USB, you may get one of those inscrutable Mobile Device Updater dialogs that indicates your Mac lacks the software necessary to communicate with the version of iOS on your device. Unfortunately, Apple’s support note is useless, apart from confirming that it is an official alert and that there’s no problem with installing.

Mobile Device Updater dialog

Once you have Apple Configurator 2 and any necessary updates installed and your iPhone connected via USB, follow these steps:

  1. On the first screen of Apple Configurator 2, click your device to select it.
  2. Choose Actions > Modify > Home Screen Layout.
  3. In the sheet that appears, drag the app icons to rearrange them.
  4. When you’re done, click Apply.

Apple Configurator 2 interface for modifying Home screen layout

Although it’s relatively apparent what to do, the interface has a few hidden quirks.

  • There’s no indication that this is true, but the sheet displaying all your Home screens is resizable in every direction, which lets you make it much larger and easier to work with. Click and drag from any edge.
  • No scroll bars appear, but you should be able to scroll left and right with trackpad or Magic Mouse 2 gestures, or with a scroll wheel. You can also drag an icon to the edge of the sheet to scroll.
  • You can select multiple icons at once by Shift-clicking or dragging a rectangle around them, as you’d expect from a Mac-like icon view.
  • You cannot move more icons to a Home screen than will fit on it. In other words, if you select four icons, Apple Configurator 2 won’t let you drop them on a Home screen with fewer than four open spots.
  • Just as on an iPhone or iPad, drag one icon on top of another to create a folder.
  • To open a folder without adding an icon to it, double-click it.
  • To navigate out of a folder, click anywhere in the gray area around the white folder outline, or click the X button in the upper-left corner. Or press the Escape key.
  • To remove an icon from a folder, drag it to the X button in the upper-left corner.

Apple Configurator 2 folder interface

Have you come up with any other tricks for rearranging or organizing apps on your iPhone or iPad? Let us know in the comments!

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iPhone 12 rumors: Apple likely to launch new 5G iPhone in October – CNET



The current iPhone 11.

Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

During a virtual Sept. 15 event, Apple launched two new wearables, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Watch SE as well as a number of iPads. Unfortunately, those hoping for a new iPhone didn’t get anything, as the company kept mum about the new iPhone 12, 12 Pro and 12 Max (Apple has not confirmed the names of the phones, but we’ll go with those for now).

That’s because while we usually see new flagship iPhones in September, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced suppliers in China to shut down or operate on limited capacity. This affected not only Apple’s inventory in September, but it may affect sales, too. Apple also closed its US retail stores, though now some have reopened in limited ways. All this culminated with Apple confirming there will be a delay on the iPhone 11 sequels, perhaps as late as October. Our best educated guess for the iPhone 12 announcement is either Oct. 13 or 14.

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Despite such disruptions and Apple’s veil of secrecy, there are some things we do know about the iPhone 12. From what we’ve seen of iOS 14 (which is available for download now), we can expect the phone to have software features like widgets, app libraries and picture-in-picture. Unofficial hardware rumors include 3D depth sensing on its rear cameras and new screen sizes. Adding 5G connectivity would also make sense considering Apple’s main opponent, Samsung, launched several 5G phones this year, including the recent Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, as well as the flagship Galaxy S20 phones. The later timeline might have some unexpected positive consequences too, including giving carriers like Verizon more time to build out its 5G coverage.

Until any of that happens though, check back often as we will continue to update it with the most probable and compelling rumors. And if you’re already planning to get the device, here are three things you can do now to prep for the iPhone 12.

Top iPhone 12 rumors

  • Apple said the iPhone 12 will be available “a few weeks later” than the usual mid-September launch. An October release date is possible. 
  • There may be four iPhone 12 models in three different screen sizes: the iPhone 12 (5.4-inch), 12 Max (6.1-inch), 12 Pro (6.1-inch) and 12 Pro Max (6.7-inch).
  • iPhone 12 base model may be cheaper than the iPhone 11’s $699 starting price.
  • iPhone 12 phones may have 5G.
  • iPhone 12 may not come with earbuds or a power adapter.
  • iPhone 12 may come in dark blue.
  • iPhone 12’s rear-facing camera(s) may have 3D depth-sensing technology.

Announcement date: Possibly October

Back in August, in what appeared to be a misstep on Apple’s part, a Twitter user posted a screenshot of a possible Apple livestream event scheduled for Sept. 10. The event date and time appeared on Apple’s YouTube page and then was taken down.

The event actually ended up being held on Sept. 15, and it wasn’t at all about the iPhone. This still leaves the date of the iPhone 12 announcement up in the air. Another mobile leaker and Front Page Tech host Jon Prosser reported that the iPhone 12 will be introduced during an Oct. 12 event and will ship out Oct. 19, for instance.


Apple’s invitation to its Sept. 15 event. iPhones were not announced.


Release date: iPhone 12 may not ship out until October

Despite Apple’s largest manufacturer, Foxconn, assuring investors it should still make its fall timeline, The Wall Street Journal reported that the iPhone 12 could face delays. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic and its unprecedented effect on manufacturing and consumer demands. The report estimated that Apple may wait until October to announce or launch the phone, which is about a month after the iPhone’s usual launch. 

Apple CFO Luca Maestri all but confirmed this on a quarterly earnings call, saying, “This year, we project supply to be available a few weeks later” than last year’s mid-September launch. 

Others have suggested not a single launch date but several. A rumor floated by DigiTimes and picked up by MacRumors, suggested that Apple may launch its 2020 iPhones in multiple stages. The two 6.1-inch iPhone models may launch first, with the 6.7- and 5.4-inch variants coming later. (For more on the different speculated iPhone sizes, read more below.)

Price: iPhone 12 may be cheaper than iPhone 11

When the iPhone 11 debuted last year, we were pleasantly surprised that its base model cost $699, which was $50 cheaper than 2018’s iPhone XR. This trend may continue, with one tech analyst reporting that Apple will price the iPhone 12 at $649, the iPhone 12 Pro at $999 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max at $1,099.

5G: iPhone 12 may have next-gen connectivity

Several rumors are predicting that Apple will include 5G connectivity this year. More specifically, Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo expects the company to unveil three 5G phones, and Fast Company reported that Apple may use its own proprietary 5G antennas.

There are a couple of reasons why the company didn’t jump on the trend in 2019. First, Apple usually isn’t the first in on mobile trends, preferring instead to perfect an emerging technology before committing to it. For example, it was behind its competitors in making phones with 3G and 4G LTE connectivity when those networks just launched. 

Second, Apple stopped working with the leading 5G modem provider, Qualcommbecause of a dispute over Qualcomm’s licensing fees. The two companies settled their litigation in April 2019, and then agreed to a multiyear 5G chip deal. This led to Apple’s previous partner of 5G modems, Intel, to ultimately exit the 5G phone modem business altogether and Apple later acquired Intel’s smartphone modem business for $1 billion. Apple is still working with Qualcomm, but it got started too late to launch a 5G phone last year when a few of its rivals released their 5G models, like the Galaxy S10 5G, LG V50 5G and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

Whatever its start date though, Apple releasing a 5G phone is notable not only because the phone will be able to connect to the next-gen network, but also because this standout feature won’t be entirely under Apple’s control. 5G networks are built by carriers and Apple is taking a risk because users all across the country will have different experiences on this nascent network depending on their coverage. 

Design: iPhone 12 may be similar (or not) to iPhone 11

Every other year, Apple usually makes notable cosmetic changes to its iPhone to freshen up its look, much to the delight of anticipating buyers. But a report by Japanese publication Mac Otakara, citing an unnamed Chinese supplier, reported that the iPhone 12 will look similar to the iPhone 11. The only possible difference is that the iPhone 12’s edges will be slightly bowed.

On the other hand, Apple is also speculated to completely revamp the iPhone’s design with flat edges (similar to the new iPads). This could trigger what Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called “the perfect storm of demand,” which would drive up sales and result in a “super cycle” for Apple.

[embedded content]

Accessories: iPhone 12 may not come with EarPods or a power adapter

In one of the more unpopular rumors, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple may not include its wired EarPod headphones in the iPhone 12 box. This would be a move to encourage people to buy the company’s wireless AirPods instead. Apple has included EarPod headphones since the iPhone 5 release in 2012, so this would be a notable change. AirPod and AirPod Pro earbuds are currently priced at $159 (£159, AU$249) and $249 (£249, AU$399), respectively.


The iPhone 12 may not come with a power adapter.

Angela Lang/CNET

Ming-Chi Kuo expects that the iPhone 12 will ship without a power adapter as well, according to 9to5Mac. The reason is mainly for costs — by foregoing it, Apple can keep costs down while loading the phone with 5G components. It would also help lower freight costs as the size of the packaging would shrink.

Apple wouldn’t be alone in the change. Samsung’s Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra also don’t come with headphones — though if you really need a pair, Samsung will send them for free. But unlike the power adapter rumor, the Note phones still come with a charger in the box.

Processor: iPhone 12 will likely have A14 Bionic

Given that the latest iPhones have the A13 Bionic processor, it is highly probable that the next proprietary chipset will be called the A14 Bionic. And like every year, we expect this one to be faster and more efficient than its predecessor. More specifically however, one Apple leaker on Twitter, Komiya, reported that the A14 will have a CPU gain of 40% and a GPU gain of 50%. 

Colors: iPhone 12 Pro may come in dark blue

Last year Apple introduced a midnight green color on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Whether you like the shade or not, the color variant actually sold well compared to expectations. This year there may be a possibility that Apple will launch another new color, navy blue, on the iPhone 12 Pro according to XDA Developer. This would be on trend since blue is both Pantone’s color pick for the new year (“classic blue”) and Shutterstock included “phantom blue” in its color forecast for 2020.


Could this be the new iPhone color?


Specs and display: Four possible iPhone 12 models

One of the more enduring rumors about the upcoming iPhones is that Apple may introduce new screen sizes. One of the iPhone 12s could have a 5.4-inch screen (of the current iPhones, the new iPhone SE has the smallest display, which measures 4.7 inches). And the iPhone 2020 Pro Max could go as large as 6.7 inches (for reference, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display). 

There’s also speculation that the iPhone 12’s display will have a 120Hz refresh rate and that perhaps the iPhone 12 Pro may have a ProMotion display, which is currently featured on the iPad Pro. Most phones refresh at 60 frames per second, or 60Hz, but other phones, like the Galaxy S20 and the OnePlus 8 Pro refresh at 120Hz. With a higher refresh rate, a phone feels faster and smoother when scrolling through things like web pages and apps.


A render of what the iPhone 12 could look like. 

Phone Arena

With the possibility of new display sizes, rumors that Apple will expand its iPhone line have been swirling around. In December 2019, CNET’s Lexy Savvides wrote:

According to JPMorgan analyst Samik Chatterjee, Apple will release four new iPhone 12 models in the fall of 2020: a 5.4-inch model, two 6.1-inch phones and a 6.7-inch phone. All of them will have OLED displays.

These size predictions were also backed this week by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who believes the current 5.8-inch size of the iPhone 11 Pro may be going away. So the 5.4-inch and one of the 6.1-inch models will be the lower-end devices, presumably called the iPhone 12. Then the more expensive phones will be the other 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, respectively.

Read more: The best ways to sell or trade in your old iPhone in 2020

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Camera: iPhone 12 may have 3D depth sensing

Since the iPhone X, newer iPhones have front-facing cameras that have 3D depth sensing. Known as Face ID, this feature scans your face for unlocking your phone and authorizing digital payments. It’s been rumored that Apple may take it up a notch and introduce that same system to the rear cameras. In August 2019, CNET’s Vanessa Orellana wrote:

Longtime Apple analyst Ming Chi Kuo (via MacRumors and 9to5Mac) said he expects two of the 2020 iPhones models to have a new time-of-flight camera lens on the back of the phone. The setup would be similar to that of the current True Depth camera system used for Face ID on the front of the phone, except it would use a slightly different type of technology that could allow it to 3D map objects from farther away. This would significantly improve its augmented reality applications and take certain camera features like Portrait Mode to the next level.

Renders of the iPhone’s camera array integrating the depth-sensing lens have been circulating, with many online commenters remarking how the iPhone 12’s possible camera layout looks similar to a stovetop.

It’s unclear how many of the new iPhones would be equipped with this feature, if any. 

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