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28
Nov

Inspirational Daily Quotes: Exactly what the name implies (app review)


  • Dev: Spartan Developer
  • App Link: Inspirational Daily Quotes
  • Installs: 10,000-50,000
  • Price: Free w/Ad Support

Info

Today we will be taking a look at an app that is crazy simple. Do you ever need inspiration? What gets you inspired? The Bible, A speech from Martin Luther King Jr., Proverbs from around the world? If so, then you need to check out Inspirational Daily Quotes in the Google Play Store. This app has over 1200 inspirational quotes from all over history, From Jesus to Edgar Allen Poe to Conrad Hilton, this app is full of inspiration.

How it works

Now let’s dive into how it works. The first thing that I noticed is that the app did not request any permissions. This is great, as we will see once we get into the app there is really nothing that it would need to access. I am always leery of simple one-trick apps that are asking for location, read SMS, access phone or other odd permissions. I always deny these request until I can confirm that it is really needed for the app to function.

Next, you will see a quote. This is the meat and potatoes of this app. Let’s move to the top of the app for now, though. At the top right there are two buttons. The first is the share button, this will allow you to share the quote that is currently on the screen, via practically any app that allows that sort of thing. So whether you want to text you mom or share this quote with Facebook or Instagram you can do it. To the right of that is the three dot button that indicates settings. Once clicked the app keeps the simple theme going by displaying only four Daily_Quotes_NOtification_settingsoptions, Notification settings, Copy quote, Rate app and More apps.

Inside the notification settings, there are two options, time and show daily. The picture to the right shows what those do. The other three options, Copy Quote, Rate App and More Apps are self-explanatory and do exactly what you think they would do.

Let’s move to the bottom of the app. Just above the two buttons at the bottom, you see an ad banner. I don’t think this gets in the way and I much prefer this type of ad over a big full-pager that I have to close, which by the way, you will see when you click the all quotes button. Under that banner are the Show all Quotes and Random Quote buttons, I’ll let you take a guess at what these do. The last thing that happens takes place outside of the app in the notification shade. When you see the lightbulb in the notification tray, pull it down to see the new quote that is waiting for you. You can also click the notification and it will take you to the full app. That’s all she wrote on this simple little app to keep you inspired.

No app is perfect

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I do have a few small things that bug me about this app. The First is I seem to get notified more that once a day at 7:05am like I set the notifications to. I’m not sure why this is happening. Two, when scrolling through the quotes by clicking the random quote button I saw a lot of duplication, with 1200 quote in the library I should be able to click for an hour and not see the same one twice. And the third thing is when clicking on the all quotes button they are too far apart and it takes a lot of scrolling to get to a few quotes in this mode. Number 4 is the full page ad that I have to close to see all the quotes. I dislike these types of ads and think app developers should do away with them.

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28
Nov

Get your holiday shopping done early with this 20% discount at ShopAndroid


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Before you know it the holidays will be here, and you’ll be rushing around fighting off crowds trying to buy last minute gifts. Why not avoid all of that this year and save 20% on a variety of awesome accessories for your friends and family? We know it sounds more appealing, and you can start doing it right now.

That’s right, ShopAndroid is currently offering 20% off accessories with the coupon code Shop16, so you can shop today from the comfort of your own home, and have your gifts delivered to you in just a few short days!

Whether you are in the market for a new case, battery pack or some cables for your phone, you’ll want to check out our wide selection. From devices like the Galaxy S7 to the HTC 10 and even the Honor 8, we’ve got a ton of great accessories for you to sort through.

Remember, you’ll need to use coupon code Shop16 once you’ve loaded your cart up with goodies in order to get the 20% savings. Now, get to shopping!

See at ShopAndroid.com

28
Nov

OnePlus paid a Vine star to unbox the OnePlus 3T inside a fighter jet


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Jake Paul pulls multiple Gs while unboxing the OnePlus 3T.

In honor of the OnePlus 3T — the souped-up version of the OnePlus 3 the company released back in June — OnePlus enlisted some help to give its speedier new model an unboxing video worthy of the new Snapdragon 821 processor, 16MP front-facing camera, beefed-up 3400mAh battery, and new 128GB storage option.

Yes, that’s YouTuber and Vine star Jake Paul taking the OnePlus 3T along for a ride in a Mig 15 at an airbase in the Czech Republic. Watch as Paul tries to keep his composure, unboxing the new OnePlus 3T in Gunmetal Grey, talking about some of the upgraded features while the pilot ahead of him take the fighter jet pulls off aerial stunts at dizzying heights.

While cynical YouTube commenters have been quick to question the value of what would seem like a pretty expensive concept for what resulted in a rather superfluous two-minute unboxing offering little insight or informational value for the phone itself, we’re fine to take this fun vid strictly at face value. Besides, it’s easily the coolest unboxing video we’ve seen since T-Mobile unboxed the Samsung Galaxy S7 underwater to showcase the IP68 dust- and water-resistance of Samsung’s 2016 flagship device.

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

  • OnePlus 3 review: Finally, all grown up
  • The OnePlus 3T is official
  • OnePlus 3 specs
  • OnePlus 3T vs. OnePlus 3: What’s the difference?
  • Latest OnePlus 3 news
  • Discuss OnePlus 3 in the forums

OnePlus

28
Nov

Google Pixel XL: One month later


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With a month of use behind us, how is the larger of the two Pixel phones holding up?

The Google Pixel XL, the larger of the two Pixel handsets, is a great phone. In fact, we currently rank it as the best Android phone you can buy. But the real mark of a top-tier smartphone is that it stands up to months, or even years of use without skipping a beat. That’s why we’re going to revisit both Pixel models over the coming months, updating our impressions as we go.

I’ve been using the Pixel XL since October 14, and during that time it’s been my daily driver, accompanying me on trips halfway across the world, as well as being by my side through more mundane everyday tasks. So it’s time to reflect on my first month with the phone. Let’s dig in.

Hardware, wear and tear

My Pixel XL in Quite Black has accompanied me on 10 flights across four countries over the past month, and in doing so it’s picked up a few signs of wear. I should note that the phone hasn’t been dropped or scuffed (that I’ve noticed), but still there are some early signs of use. The most visible of these are around the back, where the notoriously scratch-prone back glass has continued to pick up abrasions. That’s an inevitable result of having this glass section flush with the back of the phone. (And also, I suppose, an argument in favor of camera bumps, which prop up the back of a phone.

There’s also a small section where the anodized paint job has worn away a little on the top left corner. And a tiny hairline scratch on the front glass, above the display. No idea how either of those happened — I’ve babied this phone as much as any during its first month in service.

The XL’s design is just a little bit boring — unless you’re talking abut the crazy blue version.

None of these small nicks and scratches are really visible unless you go looking for them. In photos, they’re almost impossible to spot. It’s very minor cosmetic damage. Nevertheless, it’s there, and it seems to have accumulated quicker than a lot of other phones I’ve used this year.

As for the design itself, the common criticism that the Pixel looks dull or uninspired is understandable. Especially in black, it’s pretty generic looking. And buyers outside the U.S. don’t yet have the option to buy the more eye-catching “Really Blue” version.

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Performance and software

The Pixel was blazing fast a month ago, and so it remains today, even with 70 apps currently installed. I’ve manually updated to the newer firmware version that hit Canadian Pixels recently, giving me the helpful option to have the display wake after I pick it up. It’s a small addition, but it makes a huge difference. I’ve ended up turning off double-tap-to-wake, which right now seems way too sensitive to unintentional touches when the screen is switched off.

Google’s phones take a step beyond stock Android this year, and for the most part I’ve become used to the quirks of the way the Pixel’s UI handles. To begin with, I found Google’s (bizarrely inconsistent) move towards circular app icons jarring. That’s still kind of the case — everyday apps like the camera, Gmail and Google Calendar look bad — a tiny app icon in an enormous circular frame. But slowly things are improving, as third-party apps like Twitter and Uber add decent-looking circular icons. Maybe Google’s vision of this new, circular future for apps will become clearer in the year ahead.

I’m still in love with the ‘Aurora’ live wallpaper.

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The Pixel has a bunch of Google-specific software features besides rounded icons, of course. And weirdly, the thing I’ve enjoyed using the most on a daily basis has been the Aurora live wallpaper. Google’s phones have no shortage of impressive home screen backdrops, but the way Aurora dynamically changes based on weather, location and time of day, makes it truly live. Depending on when you use the phone, you can end up with some pretty wild combinations of colors.

There’s a great article on Google’s design site covering this wallpaper and many other aspects of the Pixels’ audiovisual design. For instance, did you know Aurora’s gradients were designed to line up exactly with the glass on the rear of the phone?

I’ve also come to enjoy the convenience of Android Pay, as my bank finally got onboard with the service in the past couple of months — and I’ve been using it the most on the Pixel XL. The service exists separately to the Pixel, of course, but the phone’s hardware still plays a part. It’s useful to reliably be able to tap the top corner of the phone to pay, just like the iPhone. No monkeying around trying to find where the NFC antenna begins and ends.

At the other end of the spectrum I’ve all but completely stopped using Google Assistant. I’m not big on voice interaction with gadgets anyway, and Assistant remains a version 1.0 product with some unfortunate consistency issues.

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Storage anxiety

At this point I’m just going to say it: If you’re at all on the fence, just get the 128GB Pixel. You won’t regret it in the long run. An extra $100 upfront will save you the hassle of juggling photos off into the cloud, and clearing out app caches periodically. When you’re paying this much for a phone to begin with, it makes total sense to stump up a little extra and turn storage into a non-issue.

By keeping things relatively light, and offloading photos when I can, I’m usually a little over half-full on this 32GB Pixel XL.

But if you go with a 32GB Pixel, you will eventually run out of space, and have to use the “clear up space” feature to offload your photos to Google’s cloud. Then you’ll be searching for apps to uninstall, media to clear out, music to purge. It’s an issue I’ve run into while traveling this past month. The same has happened to our own Florence Ion, currently traveling in New Zealand, and The Verge’s Vlad Savov, traveling in the Netherlands.

More: How to free up storage space on the Google Pixel

Updated camera impressions

My impressions of the Pixel’s camera really haven’t changed since our review. It’s one of the best phone cameras out there, relying on Google excellent HDR+ processing to match the likes of the Galaxy S7 and iPhone 7 in daylight pics, and occasionally blow them away in full auto when shooting in the dark.

I’ve yet to find the infamous lens flare issue a huge problem. It’s something which sometimes happens, but the light needs to hit the phone’s lens at a very specific angle in order for it to mess up a shot. I’m missing the lack of any manual shooting modes just a bit, but given the fact that the phone leans so much on HDR+, which takes multiple exposures and relies on computation to stitch them together, it’s understandable. (Seriously, you don’t want to turn HDR+ off completely. Low-light photos will look horrible if you do.)

Enough words — here are some pretty pictures taken by the Pixel XL. All are unprocessed, pulled straight from the phone. (You’ll find more in my Pixel XL travel piece from a few weeks back.)

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More: Pixel lens flare, and how to avoid it

Still one of the best — but pricey

Little has changed in the past six weeks or so — the Pixel is every bit as good today as it was when I first began using it in mid-October. Google may still be finding its groove when it comes to iconography, but the rest of the Pixel’s software experience is fast, and a joy to use. Welcome touches like the Aurora live wallpaper give the phone that extra bit of polish.

Surprise! The Pixel XL is still great.

Google has nailed every part of the core experience — the Pixel XL is, for me, just about the right size. (I couldn’t imagine going back to something as small as the regular 5-inch Pixel.) Its camera is among the best I’ve used on any phone, and arguably the best overall in some situations. Meanwhile, battery life and day-to-day performance go toe-to-toe with what the competition can offer — though I’m still not quite confident enough that I’ll get two days per charge.

But do yourself a favor and buy the 128GB model. You’ll thank me when you don’t have to delete all your stuff.

Google Pixel + Pixel XL

  • Google Pixel and Pixel XL review
  • Google Pixel XL review: A U.S. perspective
  • Google Pixel FAQ: Should you upgrade?
  • Pixel + Pixel XL specs
  • Understanding Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Join the discussion in the forums!

Google Store
Verizon

28
Nov

These apps will make your business a collaboration powerhouse


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Improve your productivity and project planning at work with these great apps!

Email is still the go-to communication tool for business, but more often it’s taking a backseat to a wide spectrum of cloud-based apps that can have a positive impact on individual productivity.

We’ll be highlighting messaging, task management and project-based apps that have the potential to completely revamp how your company communicates and organizes projects.

Slack

Slack brings all your company’s communications into one app, allowing for real-time messaging and collaboration on projects. With Slack, you can create channels for different departments or projects related to your company — including private channels for more sensitive topics — and everyone in your company can seamlessly communicate and share files with one another via direct messaging, group messages and even voice calls through Slack apps available for web, PC, Mac, iOS and Android. All this helps to cut down internal email, and keeps all your communication in one archivable, searchable place.

It’s an ideal fit for smaller or medium-sized businesses. You can try Slack with your company for free, and if your team likes it, you can upgrade to a premium version that offers group calling and more feature integration.

Learn More about Slack

Google Apps / G Suite

If your company has been relying on the ubiquitous services of Microsoft Office, but you’re in need of something more collaborative, you should really take a serious look at Google’s G Suite.

If you’re familiar with Google’s offerings (and if you use Android, you should be), you’ll know how well Google does at integrating all their apps and services into one another. Beyond the convenience and ease-of-use of services such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and Google Hangouts, Google also offers their own creation tools that are surprisingly powerful and perfect for collaboration — Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Forms and Google Slides. Perhaps the best part is the cloud-based storage, allowing anyone on the team to access and contribute to documents on all their devices at any time.

You can jump in and try them out for free, and if they more than serve your company’s needs, you can upgrade to the G Suite Basic or Business plans and get more of everything that makes Google’s products great.

Learn more about Google’s G Suite

Dropbox

Odds are you use Dropbox for your personal cloud-storage needs — why not use it for your businesses needs too? With Dropbox for Business, you’ll get as much space as needed so you can store and access all the important files for your business via the web client, along with apps for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows.

Dropbox is great for collaboration, too, as teams can work out of shared folders uploading and downloading content to their devices as needed. Dropbox also features unlimited third-party integrations and takes your files security seriously, offering password-protected links, and the option to remote wipe a device in the case of a lost phone or laptop.

Learn more about Dropbox for Business

Trello

Trello offers a fantastic way to monitor progress and encourage collaboration on projects within your company. Built around the concept of boards and cards, it’s an intuitive organization system that can be customized to fit the needs of your company. Anyone on the team is free to create, comment on, or upload relevant files to cards, making Trello a pretty great tool for remote brainstorming sessions. Your team can access Trello on the web, or take it with them always with the mobile app, available for Android and iOS.

Given how simple and flexible Trello is to work with, it just might change the way your company keeps itself organized. You can try it out for free before upgrading to Gold or Business.

Learn more about Trello

Basecamp

Basecamp offers a great all-in-one platform for keeping your company organized and everyone on the team in the loop with what everyone else is working on. It’s a great option for a growing team that’s feeling overwhelmed by constant internal emails and frequent meetings. Message boards, to-do lists, schedules, and file repositories are all combined via elegant design into a system that’s easy to navigate and accessible to the entire team at all times.

Your team can even check in to Basecamp on the go, via the Basecamp app for Android.

Learn more about Basecamp

Your turn

What are your favorite collaboration and communication apps? Let us know!

28
Nov

The voices of The Grand Tour are now on Waze


These are way better than the default voices.

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If you were ever a fan of the TV series Top Gear you’ve likely seen the news of the spiritual relaunching of the series as The Grand Tour over on Amazon. To get you in the mood, Waze has partnered up with Amazon to offer the voices of Clarkson, Hammond and May to guide you on your next trip.

All you have to do is open up the settings of the Waze app, head to “Sound” and then “Voice Language” and look for “Clarkson, Hammond & May.” Going forward, all of the Waze announcements will come from your favorite snarky gearheads. It’s really a match made in heaven, and it could lighten up your commute some.

28
Nov

Amazon goes a step further to battle counterfeit goods


Amazon is getting even more serious about preventing the sale of counterfeit goods on its site. According to Bloomberg, the online retail giant is organizing teams in the US and Europe that will work with major brands to establish a registry of recognized sellers. It has also made fighting fakes a major goal for 2017, said Bloomberg’s source. We’ve reached out to Amazon for confirmation, and have yet to hear back.

Bloomberg’s sources say that the company’s new teams will seek out brands, even those that don’t sell through Amazon, to register with it. Then, it will require any marketplace merchant offering those items to prove they have the brand’s permission to sell them online. The plan is to target thousands of big companies to get them to register, including brands that don’t want to sell on Amazon, in part because of the prevalence of knockoffs.

Earlier this year, the e-commerce giant reportedly start imposing hefty fees on independent sellers who wished to sell products from brands such as Adidas, Hasbro and Samsung. Those who wanted to list their items on Amazon’s Marketplace had to provide invoices, no more than 90 days old, showing the purchase of at least 30 items, with at least five different products across the receipts.

These measures may seem drastic, but cracking down on counterfeit goods is important for Amazon. The company has seen discussions with the National Football League and Major League Baseball stall due to concerns over the online retailer’s lack of control over fakes, Bloomberg’s source said. If Amazon doesn’t find a way to curb the problem, it could see business losses from unhappy vendors and shoppers.

Source: Bloomberg

28
Nov

Anti-drone gun takes down targets from 1.2 miles away


There are numerous systems built to take down wayward or dangerous drones, but they tend to have one big catch: you need to be relatively close to the drone, which could be scary if the robotic aircraft is packing explosives. DroneShield thinks it can help. It’s introducing the DroneGun, a jammer that disables drone signals (including GPS and GLONASS positioning) from as far as 1.2 miles away. Like most rivals, it doesn’t destroy the target drone — it just forces the vehicle to land or return to its starting point. Anti-drone teams can not only disable threats from a safe distance, but potentially locate their pilots.

It’s not the lightest machine at about 13 pounds, but it’s portable enough to be usable by one person. You don’t need technical training, either, so it’s easy for security staff to use.

Whether or not you see the DroneGun in action is another matter. It’s not FCC-certified as we write this, so you can’t legally operate one in the US. Provided it’s approved, though, it could help take down drones at airports, protect soldiers against drone bombs and otherwise help in situations where it’s simply not possible to get close.

Via: Wired

Source: DroneShield

28
Nov

The best space heater


By Séamus Bellamy

This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer’s guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome’s independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read the full article here.

After 79 hours of research, including new 2016 tests on a half dozen heaters and comparisons among 72 competitors, our longtime winners have prevailed: the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat is the best for small rooms and the De’Longhi EW7507EB is the best for larger rooms.

If you need to quickly warm up small spaces of a hundred square feet or less, nothing can beat the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat for its low price, compact size, light 3-pound weight, rapid performance, ease of use, and great warranty—though this heater is a bit noisy because of its fan. For a larger space that you plan to warm for hours at a time, get the De’Longhi EW7507EB. This 14.5 by 6.3 by 25.2-inch radiator-style unit efficiently, silently, and steadily puts out plenty of heat, and it can maintain a set temperature on a schedule with its built-in thermostat and timer.

The best heater for small rooms

Photo: Michael Hession

If you want to quickly heat an office or a small bedroom—or want a compact heater that can easily travel between them—the Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat is your best option. In years past and in our 2016 tests, it nearly matched the most powerful heaters we tried. It generated more heat in 20 minutes than almost anything else we’ve tested, and after two hours, it raised our 11-by-13-foot testing room’s temperature to 87.4 degrees Fahrenheit (a 15.3 degree increase) in two hours.

Like all fan-driven heaters, it’s a little loud. We measured 40 decibels of sound from a distance of 6 feet away (that’s like a refrigerator with the compressor running; see this decibel chart for context). This noise level was middle of the road for all of the fan-forced heaters we tested in a previous year. That said, the white noise isn’t distracting. Several staff members have owned this machine for multiple winters with no complaints. The Lasko gives you some of the best performance with easily the best value—for most people using the device only a few months of the year, that’s good enough.

A little more heat for a little more money

Photo: Michael Hession

In previous years, we’ve found that the Lasko 754200 can become unavailable once the weather turns cold. If that happens, get the Honeywell UberHeat HCE200W. It’s a little more expensive than our main pick, roughly $10 more at the time of publication. But for the money, you get slightly better performance. During a two-hour heating test in 2016, the UberHeat warmed up our test area faster than our main pick did, and reached a final temperature (89.4 °F) two degrees hotter than the Lasko heater’s. Because of these results, we briefly considered making the UberHeat this guide’s main pick for small rooms. But a few factors steered us back toward the Lasko: The UberHeat is louder and more expensive, and it’s a newer product that we want to long-term test for reliability.

A quiet heater for lengthy operation in large rooms

Photo: Michael Hession

The best heater for a larger area is the De’Longhi EW7507EB. During testing, it performed almost identically to the now-discontinued De’Longhi TRD0715T Safeheat, which was our large-room heating pick for three years running. Both heaters outperformed similar models at heat generation, thermal retention, and energy efficiency.

Like all oil-filled radiators, the De’Longhi EW7507EB doesn’t give you instant heat. After 20 minutes, this De’Longhi model was capable of raising the temperature of our test area by only 1.9 °F (the Lasko 754200 heated it by 4.5 °F in 20 minutes). But after two hours of operation, the De’Longhi heated our test area by 14.1 °F to 87.2 °F—only 1.2 degrees less than the Lasko heater could manage in the same period. But where the Lasko’s noisy fan needed to run nearly constantly to turn the temperature in the test area up so high, the De’Longhi radiator makes almost no noise at all, making it a great choice for use in rooms where quiet is important to you. Plus, all of the oil inside the radiator gives it a large enough thermal mass to keep emitting heat for roughly an hour after the hardware turns off.

Similar but slower heat for large rooms

Photo: Michael Hession

If you can’t find our main pick for large rooms, consider the De’Longhi Radia S Eco TRRS 0715E. Its specs are very similar to our pick’s, as is its price (currently, this model is a few bucks higher). The radiator-style heater comes with a digital thermostat, operates in near-silence, and has an overheat detector and an anti-freeze setting designed to protect nearby plumbing pipes.

Despite the similarities, it doesn’t heat as well as our main pick—it’s slower, and, in the end, doesn’t get as hot. It is a few pounds lighter, which makes it easier to move from room to room than our pick, but that reduced weight may be related to its weaker heating performance. Like our main pick, when you unplug it from the wall, you’ll need to reprogram it once you plug it in again.

This guide may have been updated by The Sweethome. To see the current recommendation, please go here.

Note from The Sweethome: When readers choose to buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn affiliate commissions that support our work.

28
Nov

The 12 best tech gifts for the entertainer in your life


You know the type: Someone who loves throwing parties. In fact, you will probably partake of egg nog and sugar cookies in their home before the season is up. So why not get them something that helps them do what they do best: entertain. If your friend loves to cook, you might consider an easy-to-use WiFi sous vide, a smart kitchen scale or a smokeless infrared grill. For entertaining, a countertop draft beer system is convenient — and then your friend can serve pour-over coffee as the party is winding down. Finally, we have some ideas on how the hostess in your life can keep guests amused — try the Cards Against Humanity science pack expansion, USB turntable or Lomography instant camera.

For our full list of recommendations in all categories, don’t forget to stop by our main Holiday Gift Guide hub.

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