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Win a copy of Sudoku Master Edition (corrected giveaway link) [sponsor]

Win a copy of Sudoku Master Edition (corrected giveaway link) [sponsor]

Featured by Apple for its painstaking design and excellent customizations, Sudoku Master Edition is the best place to play Sudoku. I missed the correct link for the giveaway in the precious post, but here’s the correct link for you to enter the giveaway

Get it today!

Follow MDM Deals on Mastodon as part of a community-owned, ad-free social network!

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Giveaway – Sudoku Master Edition: Logic, an Apple-featured, gorgeous, customizable Sudoku app [sponsor]

Sudoku-icon

I love quick “brain games” as a way to take a quick break but without turning off my brain, using using it in a different way. There’s a bunch of games that fit this category well, but perhaps none is as long-standing or popular as Sudoku, the excellent number-based puzzler. And of all the ways to play Sudoku on your iPhone or iPad, you can’t do better than Sudoku Master Edition: Logic for its excellent gameplay and Apple-featured design. Read to learn more and enter a special giveaway sponsored by the developers!

Sudoku is a classic game that needs no fixing, but when you complete a Sudoku on an iPhone or iPad rather than paper, there’s some things you can do to make the experience even better. The developers have thought these through so that Sudoku is even better on iOS than on paper. For example, when you fill in a square with a number, Sudoku ME can automatically remove that number from your notes in the square’s corresponding box, line, and column. Similarly, Sudoku can optionally fill in the last number in a box, line, or column to speed up that last no-brainer entry. Likewise, Sudoku can prevent you from entering a wrong number. All of these are optional settings–you can be entirely purist, mimicking a paper experience–but the subtle combination of those settings is that you spend more time solving the Sudoku puzzle and less time doing boring menial tasks. I find Sudoku way better as a result.

Whether you’re a Sudoku expert or beginner, whether you like assists or are a purist, Sudoku ME is the app for you, with five levels of difficulty (let me tell you, “Master” is wicked hard) and several different modes: Classic, Zen, Lightning, and Mistake Mode. The developers worked hard so that the defaults are excellent and you can jump right in playing–but they also enabled a bunch of features you can individually customize: 26 fonts, custom grid line weights, dozens of colors, Dark Mode, multiple game board sizes–even 13 different app icons so you can match your home screen style! All beautifully and tastefully done, with an excellent eye towards a clean design.

That beautiful design is probably why Apple has featured them as Game of the Day multiple times and in over 40 different countries and featured the developers in a “Meet the Developers” story! The developers aren’t resting on their laurels, though. In fact, since they last sponsored MDM Deals a bit over a year ago, they’ve pushed out 20–yes, twenty–updates to the their app, adding in features like optional Daily Reminders, Screen Always On, a new game difficulty algorithm, Apple Pencil 2 double-tap support, and more. Put simply, I’ve never seen a better Sudoku game on iPhone.

Sudoku Master Edition: Logic is free download and play, with unobtrusive ads you can remove via a single IAP. I’m excited to say that the developers are giving away an IAP unlock code 100% free to five lucky MDM Deal fans. Three codes will be for the winner of the giveaway open to all MDM Deals fans and two codes will be reserved for Patrons of MDM Deals.

Enter the giveaway here — and download Sudoku Master Edition: Logic for free today!

appstore

My special thanks to Sudoku Master Edition: Logic and Hoolatron Studios for their long-time support of MDM Deals.

 

Blog: Thanks and credit page live!

There have been a variety of folks who have supported MDM Deals who are deserving of thanks–and I’m glad to say that there is now a “Thanks and Credit” page at MDM Deals to give them the credit they deserve. I’ve also listed the variety of services and plugins I use to make MDM Deals tick. Check them out.

Special thanks here–though long overdue–to the developers who have graciously allowed MDM Deals to use their app icons & logos in the MDM Deals background image here and across the internet. In alphabetical order, my thanks to:

Check out the full Thanks and Credit page to see al those who have helped MDM Deals!

Giveaway: Apollo, a Reddit client beautifully designed for iPhone [sponsor]

Apollo

There’s a bajillion Reddit apps on iOS and when I first started using Reddit, I tried–and paid–for bunches of them. They stunk. Some were just plain ugly, others made common actions difficult, and still others felt like an Android app masquerading as an iOS app. My search ended when I found Apollo, an absolutely delightful, beautifully designed Reddit client that feels right at home on iOS. Read on about Apollo–and how to win Apollo Ultra for life absolutely free!

The difference between a good app and a great app is in its design–not just how it looks, but how it works. Apollo is beautifully designed, not just that looks and feels right on iPhone–no surprise, given that its developer used to work for Apple!–but also that it works seamlessly and intuitively, especially for common actions you do browsing Reddit. Seriousy–Reddit on Apollo is better than Reddit anywhere else. Here’s just a few things I love:

Votes and comments. Voting and commenting–so central to Reddit–are areas where Apollo shines. Customizable gestures means you can upvote, downvote, or comment with just a swipe. Fast and easy. Even better, color-code comments so you don’t get lost in threads–and set custom actions to collapse comments and threads with just a tap. It is SO great to tap and collapse an entire comment thread. Beautiful.

Apollo screenshot
Apollo’s navigation tabs and customizable gestures (left), favorite sub switching via Jump Bar (center), and lightning-fast sub search via Jump Bar (right)

Fast navigation. Apollo puts your most-used items just a tap away, with tabs at the bottom to see posts, inbox, profile, search, and settings–and a Jump Bar at the top to switch between Reddits with ease. I love how I can set favorite subreddits and get to them with a single tap and it’s lightning fast subreddit search, getting you the sub you want with just a few letters.

There’s more I could say–like its gorgeous Dark Mode, baked-in accessibility, ad-free display–but really, you should just download and use Apollo for free. Unlock the Pro version for a few bucks to get bunches of custom icons, fully customizable gestures (highly recommend!), and other cool features. I’m a Pro customer and it’s well worth it.

And just for MDM Deals fans, the developer is sponsoring a giveaway of 4 Apollo Ultra lifelong subscriptions! Ultra gives you all the Pro features, as well as realtime notifications, app theming, custom icons, and more! 4 lucky winners will get this for life!

Two winners will be from among the thousands of MDM Deal fans–enter the contest for free.  Another two codes will go to the much smaller group of MDM Deal Patrons. Support MDM Deals on Patreon for just a buck and immediately improve your odds of winning by about 200%. If you’ve been on the fence about a patronship, there’s never been a better time to join!

My thanks to Apollo–the delightful, beautifully designed Reddit client–for supporting  MDM Deals.

Beta testers needed!

I’m hard at work on MDM Deals 2.2 which will greatly expand the channels where you can subscribe to deals, but I’m in need of some beta testers. I’d greatly appreciate your help before I launch these new channels! If you are willing, go to the MDM Deals beta page, use the password MDMbeta to log in, and sign up for one of the services I’m testing!

Aspiration: 2% interest, no-fee banking, $50 signup bonus, & more

Aspiration

Ok, so this isn’t a deal or a sponsorship, so it doesn’t neatly fit in a category. But it is an awesome app and it does save you money; since MDM Deals is about both of those things, my scheduled sponsor had to delay, and the service has a $50 sign-up bonus promotion right now, I figured I’d share Aspiration with you!

As many of you know, my family and I moved overseas  a few months back and it’s been wonderful. What you may not know is that it wrecked havoc on our banking. I’ll spare the details, but I had to search for a new bank and, after trying out a bunch, I settled on Aspiration and have been super happy with them. Here’s just a few reasons I chose it and why you ought to check it out:

  • 2.00% APY interest. I’m not kidding that the interest rate is about 100 times more than my previous bank gave me. Just deposit at least $1 into the account each month to get 2.00% interest. That simple.
  • Choose-your-own fee. Seriously. Pay what you think is fair–including nothing–so there’s nothing to lose by signing up and giving it a whirl.
  • No ATM fees worldwide. For an ex-pat like me, that’s a must. But for everyone else–seriously, do you wonder why other banks charge you to get your own money out of your own bank? Aspiration is refreshing.
  • Mobile-first – Unlike some services where it’s clearly brick-and-mortar first and app-as-an-afterthought, Aspiration is first and foremost, and it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be.
  • More! Like cash-back debit purchases. But those were the big things that made me switch over my MDM Deals banking* and I’ve been very happy. 

From now until June 30th–just a few days–when you sign up via my referral link, we’ll both get a $25 referral bonus and be able to donate $25 to a cause of our choice. Whether you just want to support my work, give Aspiration a trial spin, or move over all your banking like I did, check out Aspiration bank today!

P.S. At first the no-fee service made me nervous, because I didn’t want to bank with an unsustainable business model. They’re FDIC ensured, so that’s not a huge risk–but then I saw how they charge for other services and that’s where they make their money. Then I worried they’d spam you to sign up for those other services–but they don’t! They’re really respectful.

*Note: I don’t know if Aspiration currently supports business accounts, but since MDM Deals is still a sole proprietorship, it doesn’t make a difference. I just use separate personal & business banks for ease of financial records and accounting.

Giveaway: Open In Webmail – easily open mail links in your webmail of choice [sponsor]

 

Open-in-webmail

 

I’ve recently moved away from using the Mail app on my Mac, instead using webmail. There’s some great benefits to doing that–security, privacy, etc.–but there’s some limitations of it as well. I was so excited when I found this week’s sponsor, Open In Webmail, because of how wonderfully it fixes my main frustration. The developer is sponsoring a giveaway for MDM Deals fans, so make sure to read on to know how you can enter the contest!

One of the greatest limitations about using webmail is that hyperlinks to send someone an email (like this) just don’t work. If you click that link (go ahead, I’ll wait), it will open up your email app, populate the email address (seriously, did you not click it?), and even give you a subject line. Links like that are one of the most common ways to contact support because they’re quick, fast, and convenient.

Unless, that is, you use webmail. In which case clicking that link is a horrible experience–it opens up Mail, which then asks you to configure an account or it starts an email from the wrong account and you have to leave–and meanwhile you’ve lost the email address you wanted to use in the first place. If you’re technical, you can find the email address in the mailto HTML, but lots of people are up a creek and can’t contact the person they want.

And that’s why I love Open In Webmail. It’s a simple little utility that does one thing and one thing well: it opens email links in your webmail (and browser) of choice instead of the default mail app. In fact, behind the scenes, it becomes your default mail client so that all mail links automatically open in your webmail and browser of choice, no messy plugins or hacks needed.

Open in Webmail settings

 

Open in Webmail supports Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Office365, Fastmail, Zoho, AOL, and Yandex–and it gives you the ability to create custom URLs that open so that if your webmail isn’t one of those, it can still work for you. Further, you can even choose which browser to open webmail in so that if (like me) you like to quarantine off your Gmail from the rest of your browsing, you can have mail links open in, say, Chrome, but do the rest of your browsing in, say, Safari.

Open In Webmail is the kind of app that you never knew you needed until you use it–and even when you use it, you’ll probably never open the app except for the initial configuration. Instead, it works silently in the background, making sure your mail links open properly, saving you time and frustration one mail link at a time. Open In Webmail is available in the Mac App Store for $0.99 and is worth every penny.

I’m thrilled to announce that the developer, Fred Potter, is sponsoring a giveaway for MDM Deal fans so that you can win Open In Webmail! I’ll be giving 6 codes to MDM Deal Patrons and another 4 to anyone who enters the drawing.

Click here to enter the drawing absolutely free!

My thanks to Fred Potter and Open In Webmail for supporting MDM Deals.

Blog: Automatically changing text case (without scrambling the sentence)

I set out to create an automated action where I could use Shortcuts to take a sentence and de-capitalize just the first word of that sentence. Why? Because on my website I want the first word of the sentence to be on a new line (and thus capitalized) but everywhere else I want the description to be in the same sentence as the app name (thus lowercase).

So, in my AppDeal shortcut, I used regex to grab the first word of a sentence, then used the “action case” to change it to lowercase, and voila, I had a sentence in lowercase.*

You can see the shortcut below (on the left) and it worked great…except it sometimes garbled the text and added extra words at the start, like this:

When I investigated, I figured the problem was my regex. But since I’m no regex expert, I asked the internet again and it came through. The problem was that my regex grabbed the first word of a sentence, any sentence. On the rare occasion that my description had two sentences, it would lowercase both words and add them both in at the start of the description. Oops. The good news is, it wasn’t hard to add a “get items from list” action and grab just the first item (from the first sentence) to change its case. There we go, problem solved. Here’s what the final shortcut looks like (old version on the left, new on the right):

image_5E4728B0-E2C9-4D03-AEB3-44737700D8AA

That’s all for today! Tiny little change–one new action–but a change that eliminates the garbled text some of you have been seeing. Hope it might help you in some of your automation! You can download the shortcut here.

Note: Some are reporting inability to access that shortcut, though it works fine for me. If so, here’s an alternate link.

MarkDMill

By the way, if you’re reading this and don’t know what MDM Deals is, I’m pretty confident you’ll want to check it out, as it’s a place to discover great deals on fantastic apps and movies, hand-picked and curated by me, five days a week.

*It’s actually more complicated than that. I had to have a separate regex action to grab everything but the first word of the description and then use a text action to re-combine the first word (lower case now) and the rest of the sentence.

Blog: Creative fix to a silent fail in Shortcuts

As part of MDM Deals 2.1, the MDM Deals blog is a place not just for announcements about the site, but also for some “behind the scenes” of how those updates are made. If you love technology, you’ll be interested in the tricks I use to make all this work.

Today I’m excited to announce two bug fixes. First is a major error you’ve probably noticed where a app on sale is published without its name, logo, or App Store link. Oops. Second is a tiny one, removing the extra space that sometimes appeared before a semi-colon.  Those are fixed now! If all you care about is the update, read no further! If you care how I fixed it–read on. Continue reading “Blog: Creative fix to a silent fail in Shortcuts”

Minor update: new RSS feed

Hey all,

Small quick update today. If you follow MDM Deals via RSS, you now have another option: a deals-only RSS feed that will deliver all the deals to you but not blog posts (like this one) which include site changes/announcements. Small change, but hopefully one that makes your experience better!

Mark

Introducing MDM Deals 2.1!

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I am so excited to announce that MDM Deals now has solidly over 1600 fans subscribed across my various publishing channels. It has been fun to serve you all and think of new ways to help you discover great deals on fantastic apps and movies. I am thrilled to announce today MDM Deals 2.1, with a bunch of changes and improvements across everything. There’s something exciting here for everyone, so read on!

Better Patreon perks!

Ever since Apple ended their affiliate program, the primary way I’ve kept MDM Deals alive has been via Patreon. I’ve now made it even better to join, by giving every Patreon access to filtered deals emails:

  • Don’t have a Mac? Get only iPhone deals in your inbox
  • Only care about apps, not games? Filter those out
  • Want emails just twice a week instead of daily? Customize that.

Create your personal custom email by answering 3 questions and get only the deals you want for the devices you own, delivered to you when you want. Save time and never miss another deal–and the emails have had some major improvements too (keep reading!), so become a Patron today!

New Biweekly deals digest

I’ve long believed the best way to get MDM Deals is via email and today, after an incredible amount of work, I’m making them even better with a feature you can’t get anywhere else: a biweekly deal digest.

Checking deals every day can be a drag. Save yourself some time even as you’re saving yourself money and get my all-new biweekly deal digest every Tuesday and Friday. While there are some day-only sales you may miss, you can now choose whether that’s worth the extra mental overhead of daily deals 😀.

If you’re already getting emails, don’t worry–I’ve defaulted everyone (free & Patrons) to the daily emails, but if you’d like to change to the weekly, just update your preferences via the email you will shortly receive. If you aren’t on the email list, subscribe for free today or get the better filtered emails by supporting MDM Deals on Patreon!

Other email improvements

In addition to a new biweekly email digest, the email newsletter has become even better with these new changes:

  • Fewer ads! Yes, a sponsored post after every deal was super annoying, sorry. Now there will just be a sponsor blurb at the start, middle, and end of the email newsletter–and even fewer if you get custom Patron emails!
  • A new delivery time. Rather than coming towards the end of the day–when some deals are already expired–it will now come out at 11am EST, so you have more time to snag that deal.
  • A new email address! Emails now come from deals@mdmdeals.com, so it should hit your spam less often. Add it to your contacts list to guarantee it doesn’t!
  • Optimizations for reading emails on small screens. Your strained eyes will thank me.
  • More visible links to change your email frequency, deal type, or unsubscribe. I’m sad to see you go but will make it easy for you 😀.

New MDM Deals Blog!

There’s so far not been a great place for me to post updates/announcements for MDM Deals, but now there is. Introducing the MDM Deals blog, your go-to place to see what’s new with MDM Deals. (Also available as an RSS feed)

Better movie deals: IMDB actors, Rotten Tomato ratings, & more

For a long time, movie deals were manually and thus poorly written. No more! In 2.1, updated movie descriptions now include:

  • The official IMDB plot description so you can know exactly what’s up
  • The official IMDB list of actors so you can know exactly who is in a film
  • Official IMDB and Rotten Tomato ratings so you don’t have to take my word for a film’s quality. IMDB ratings are on a 0-10 scale and follow the star emoji (⭐️) while Rotten Tomatoes are 0-100% scale and follow the tomato emoji (🍅).
  • Movie bundles now come with per-film price, so you can easily see how great a deal the movie bundles are.

New channel to follow: Mastodon

MDM Deals is now on Mastodon! It’s on the mastodon.top instance, but you can join it from anywhere in the fediverse. Toot on! (Special thanks to my friend Matt Birchler for the API work to start this!)

Better curation (& no more Saturday deals)

The entire purpose of MDM Deals is curating deals. Other sites will regurgitate every price drop that happens, but that leaves you to wade through hundreds of junk deals to find things quasi-good. In 2.1, I’m taking this curation a bit further:

  • I’m tweaking my mental algorithm to privilege quality over quantity, further refining what deals make the cut. Rather than just weeding out junk and showing you the rest, I intend now to show you just deals worth your time and money.
  • I will no longer post deals on Saturdays because nearly all of the deals on Saturdays are junk. I’ve only posted regularly on Saturdays because I didn’t post some deals on Fridays and save them for Saturday. What this means for you is that you’ll get a better mix of deals on Friday & Mondays.

Groundwork laid for MDM Deals 3.0…

There’s some big plans in the works for the next stage of MDM Deals, and I’ve spent a lot of time laying the groundwork for that big update to come. It won’t be for a while, but I’ll write about it on the blog when the time comes, so stay tuned!

As always, if you have feedback, suggestions, or if there’s any other way I can serve you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

MarkDMill

iTunes & App Store gift cards 12.5% off at Best Buy!

itunes

$15-$100 App Store & iTunes Gift cards

Best Buy is running a promotion right now that if you buy an App Store & iTunes gift card at full price, you can get a second (equal or lesser value) card for 25% off! If you get two gift cards of the same value, that makes for a functional 12.5% discount which is a pretty great discount!

Note: If you get or use the Best Buy credit card like I do, you also get an additional 5% back in credit card points, making this effectively a 17.5% discount! Sign up today, it only takes minutes!

You can choose either physical cards or digital (emailed) cards. Limit 1 redemption per customer, for a limited time (not sure how long that is, so move fast!)

Get it at Best Buy today!

iTunes gift cards up to 32.6% off!

 

itunes

$25-$125 App Store & iTunes gift cards, ↘️ $16.85-$103

Update 4/22/19: The coupon is no longer valid, but Best Buy is having another sale where you can save 12.5-17.5%. Check it out!

A fantastic way to save money on Apple Music, iCloud storage, expensive apps, subscriptions, and other things that don’t go on sale is to load up on App Store & iTunes gift cards when they go on sale. I’m excited to say that there is now a fantastic way you can save up to 33% off gift cards–that is the largest discount I have ever seen on gift cards, so definitely a great time to load up! That means you’ll functionally get everything else you iTunes at 33% off–what a steal! Here’s how to get your discount:

First, use this link to open an account at Raise and get a free $5 for your first purchase.

Second, select an iTunes gift card in any denomination, $25-$100. They’re already discounted 5.6%.

Third, use code BOLT at checkout for an extra 7% off. If your order is more than $100 and this is your first order, use code 10EXTRA for an extra $10 off. (FYI, if you spend $100-$150, you’ll save most with code 10EXTRA, but if you spend more than $150, you’ll save more using code BOLT.*)

That’s it! You’ll receive an email within 24 hours with the gift card redemption code(s) you purchased! Enjoy your discount!

Update: the code BOLT is good for today only. Move fast so you don’t miss out!!!

Update 2: I received a report that the 10EXTRA code does not work with the $5 referral cash. You can still use the code BOLT, though, for up to 32% off!

Update 3: If you have trouble checking out, make sure you’re not running Ghostery or other blockers and it should work fine.

Update 4: Don’t try to make the purchase on a VPN or it will automatically flag & cancel your transaction.


*For you math nerds:

  • $25 card – 5.6% (standard discount) = $23.50 – 7% (code: BOLT) = $21.85 – $5 (referral code: MMILLER6310) = $16.85 out of pocket for $25 = 32.8% off
  • $125 card = 5.6% (standard discount) = $118 – $10 (code: 10EXTRA) = $108 – $5 (referral code: MMILLER6310) = $103 out of pocket for $125 = 17.6% off 
  • $150 card = 5.6% (standard discount) = $141.60 – $10 (code: 10EXTRA) = $131.60 – $5 (referral code: MMILLER6310) = $126.60 out of pocket for $150 = 15.6% off 
  • $175 card = 5.6% (standard discount) = $162.20 – 7% (code: BOLT) = $152.95 – $5 (referral code: MMILLER6310) = $147.95 out of pocket for $175 = 15.4% off 

Note: In case it wasn’t obvious, links on this page include referral codes which give you and me $5 when you signup. That referral bonus helps me keep this site up and running! Thanks!

Personal update: Deals may be delayed during my move

mdm deals banner

Personal update

Thanks for being fans of MDM Deals! I wanted to let you know that my family and I are in the middle of moving internationally which, as I’m sure you can imagine, is a massive amount of work. I’ve kept up with deals despite it, but we are about to embark on more than 24 hours of plane rides and then getting set up in our new home, new country, and new internet! I’m hopeful that I’ve set everything up so that I’ll only miss a couple days of deals, but there is a lot that can go wrong, so deals may be delayed longer than that. Don’t worry, though, they will come back as soon as possible!

Thanks again for following MDM Deals and see you soon!

Update: Deals for Saturday too

Hey all — so since I am still unable to access Apple’s system in a programmatic & automated way, I’ve manually assembled deals for yesterday and today. I’m hoping Apple will fix this soon so that deals can come out faster. As always, if you don’t get deals in your normal channel, check back at the main site for a status update.

So let’s get to the deals!

Update 10/27 – today’s deals are really light, so I’ve just added them to this page. Enjoy!

Movies

  • 🆕 Rookie of the Year – the classic comedy, $14.99 ↘️ $4.99
  • The Revenant, multiple Emmy-winning film with Leonardo DiCaprio, $14.99 ↘️ $4.99
  • Boss baby – hilarious animated film voiced by Alex Baldwin; $14.99 ↘️ $7.99
  • Jaws – everyone’s favorite shark film; $14.99 ↘️ $4.99
  • The Mummy (1959) – classic horror film, $9.99 ↘️ $4.99

iOS

  • 🆕 Repost & Save – Easily repost and/or save Instagram photos and stories $1.99 ↘️  free
  • Linea Sketch – A beautiful sketching app, with a simple yet powerful design; supports Apple Watch; 👍🏼👍🏼; $7.99 ↘️ $4.99!
  • Remote Control for Mac – Control your Mac from iPhone or iPad, including powerful new Siri Shortcuts to trigger actions on your Mac (seriously amazing); great for automation; 👍🏼👍🏼; $9.99 ↘️ free!
  • Focus To-Do – A to-do app combined with a focus timer and time tracker; $0.99 ↘️ free
  • World Clock Pro Mobile – See, compare, and calculate time zones at a glance from your widget area; $2.99 ↘️ $1.99
  • Find my Fitbit – An app that will help you find your Fitbit…or refund your money; $5.99 ↘️ $3.99
  • Star Rover – Brilliant map to the night sky, with over 120,000 stars; just point your iPhone overhead to see what you see; $1.99 ↘️ free!
  • American Heritage Dictionary – The classic American dictionary, 2018 version; $14.99 ↘️ $6.99
  • Oxford English Dictionary – The detailed researched dictionary; $19.99 ↘️ $9.99

Mac

  • Chronicle – Save you time and money managing your finances with native bill reminders, saving planners, intelligent estimator, and more. $14.99 ↘️ $9.99

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