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All posts by Adrianc

Sponsor: Literature & Latte Makers of Scrivener

My thanks to the folks at Literature & Latte for sponsoring DigitalDojos this week. L&L has always been dedicated to making great apps across the board for mac OS, iOS & Windows. Makers of the amazing writing tool that is Scrivener L&L has always put writers first & provided the perfect app to do just that. With the release of Scrivener 3 the app has got even better offering all sorts of tools for authors, screen play writers, and just well anything you want to write. Be it a short story or a full manuscript Scrivener surely has the tools for you. 

This weeks content is made possible by the team & their great writing tool. Stay tuned as we take a deep dive at the latest version of Scrivener & how you can use it for any & all of your writing needs. Check out Scrivener for Mac, iOS, and windows today!

 

Whose Scrivener for for?

That’s the best part Scrivener is really for anyone who has something to say. Used worldwide by authors, biographers, poets, screenwriters, and much more.

Platforms is Scrivener Available for?

Write anywhere on whatever platform suits you best. Start on your mac or PC & end up writing via your iPad or even iPhone with their latest iOS app.

What Makes Scrivener Unique?

My favorite thing about this is there’s no one specific thing. Rather the app itself is a workshop for you to do as you please. Write freely & unstructured or piece your story together meticulously in the great interface. A powerful binder allows you gather all your research materials & easily reference while your writing, keeping you focused on what matters. It can be as advanced as you need it to be or as simple as needed & that’s the beauty. Overall what Scrivener allows me to do is take my thoughts dump them into the app & figure out how to stage it from there. Be it an e-book idea, list of notes, or research for a much bigger project.

Amazon Announces New Line of Alexa Devices

Amazon held a press event today to announce a whole new lineup of it’s Alexa smart home products. Ranging from an updated Echo to newer accessories for every room. Expanding upon the smart home products & it’s ability to interact with other devices in your household.

 

Starting off with the updated Echo. After 3 years Amazon has updated the product that kicked off the smart speaker market. The new Echo comes in a slightly smaller form factor & houses a dedicated woofer & tweeter with Dolby sound. Additionally it’ll now come in fabric cloths meant to provide a softer feel similar to that of Google Home. The Echo will be priced at $99 & is available today.

Next up was another upgrade to the Echo line in what Amazon is calling the “Echo Plus”. The design mimics that of the original Echo while packing some extra hardware inside. The major update is it’ll house a Smart Home hub internally allowing it to serve as the center of your smart home (light bulbs, switches, etc) they’ll even ship out the Plus with a Philips Hue bulb for a limited time. Internally the speaker architecture has been improved alongside Dolby sound to provide a better listening experience. The Echo Plus will be priced at $150.

 

Next up is the Echo Spot which is designed to fit in between the Dot & Echo Show. Offering a small display on its cylindrical design it can be used as an alarm clock while still having Alexa built in & the ability to connect to a speaker system via bluetooth or wire.

 

Lastly Amazon offered an accessory for Echos. Echo Dot will come in at $20 a pair & serve as puck like buttons for certain Alexa-Powered games. A buzzer essentially. Outside of trivia games there’s no confirmation on what else the buttons will be capable of doing via Alexa.

Credit: TechCrunch

 

That said Amazon has released what looks like a very competitive lineup feature & price wise. Stacking up against other companies entering the space such as Apple & Google. Alexa is definitely the dominant smart speaker/assistant in the game right now & today’s release has showcased Amazon’s plan to integrate it in as many rooms/scenarios as possible. You can begin ordering the new Alexa line of products today!

http://amzn.to/2ytJ5LV (aff)

 

Everything Announced At Apple’s iPhone 8 & X Event

Apple just wrapped up their highly anticipated September 12th event & here’s a look at everything officially announced.

 

Apple Watch Series 3

The Apple watch saw an upgrade in an all new LTE based model. Identical in its design & form factor the series 3 focuses on freedom from the phone with cellular/LTE. Allowing you to receive texts, calls, and stream music all from your watch without the need of your phone. This works via a new eSIM Apple has built into the watch. No word on the carrier plans & how that’ll work as of yet however the series 3 will start at $399 for LTE & $329 for the non-cellular model and works its way up from there depending on your model.

Recap:

  • LTE/Cellular Chip
  • $329 Starting price point / $399 for LTE 
  • Available Sept 22nd

Apple TV 4K

 

The Apple TV set top box got it’s much needed 4K support driven by the A10x processor (same as the iPad Pro). This means the Apple TV can deliver much more powerful content including 4K content & improved gaming experience for TVOS apps. Outside of that the box & overall design remain the same. The 4K version of the Apple TV will come in at $179 for 32GB model & 64GB at $199.

Recap:

  • 4K Content Support
  • 32 GB= $179 64 GB=$199

iPhone 8

The much anticipated release was that of the iPhone lineup & Apple kicked things off with the iPhone 8 line, the 8 & 8 Plus. The phones share a similar design to that of the iPhone 7 with the biggest change being the all glass body & steel frame. This design change makes way for one of the new features wireless charging (Qi supported) & also integrates some new internal hardware such as the new A11 Bionic chip. Overall performance across the board has seen big updates from graphics to processing power. Coming in a new brushed gold, space grey & silver finishes. Similar to the 7 the base 8 model will include a single 12 megapixel camera while the Plus will feature the dual camera system. Outside of the physical changes the hardware will also make way for the future of augmented reality & ARKit as Apple’s been pushing forward with this technology in several of their apps. Price wise the 8 will start at $699 & Plus comes in at $799 for base models.

Recap:

  • Glass body w/steel frame
  • Wireless charging support
  • A11 Bionic Chip
  • $699 for iPhone 8 & $799 for iPhone 8 Plus base models

iPhone X

 Jumping in the naming scheme a bit Apple’s one more thing is what most would consider the pro iPhone. The X seeks to change the iPhone design fundamentally by integrating a 5.8 inch OLED screen experience that offers a full edge to edge display. Replacing the former home button with  gesture based swipes to navigate iOS & the all new Face ID feature to unlock your device. Face ID takes advantage of several cameras/sensors in order to detect your face & unlock your device. The X will also feature the new A11 bionic chip & house the dual camera system on the back at a vertical alignment versus the previous horizontal layout on the 7 Plus. In conjunction with the hardware software changes have been announced such as the ability to take portrait mode photos with your facetime camera & offering what are known as “Portrait Lighting” a beta feature which will allow for lighting effects to be used on your portrait mode photos. From a design perspective the iPhone X will come in the form factor of the traditional 7 or 8 size but have a screen equivalent to the Plus due to the edge to edge display. Coming in at the highest baseline we’ve seen for an iPhone at $999.

Recap:

  • 5.8 inch OLED edge to edge display
  • No Touch ID replaced by Face ID (Facial recognition)
  • Glass body coming in Silver & Space Grey
  • A11 Bionic CPU
  • $999 baseline price (64 GB)

 

Software Features:

Outside the new hardware we some new software features integrated into the new iPhone 8 & X lineup some of which will surely make their way to iOS 11 overall.  These include features like

Face ID (Facial Recognition unlock for iPhone X)

Portrait Lighting Effects

The portrait mode will get a new beta features that allow for lighting effects to be adjusted prior to the photo.

Animoji

More of a fun filled feature Apple is throwing in the iPhone X’s new camera in conjunction with the sensors & what not used for AR will also be used for animated emojis. Tracking your face & allowing you to adjust the expression of everyone’s favorite emoji to send via iMessage.

 

 

That about wraps up all the major announcements from Apple’s event! Mainly focused on that of the iPhone we now have a three tiered release for the next Apple smartphone. All coming down to your upgrade plan & what you are seeking most of your next iPhone. This all comes in conjunction with the upcoming release of new software from Apple later in the year such as iOS 11, TVOS, WatchOS & much more. What are your thoughts on the event? Stay tuned for more coverage & thoughts on everything announced today at the new Steve Jobs theater.

 

 

 

 

 

What To Expect At Apple’s September 12th Event

Apple’s hosting their first ever event tomorrow in the new Steve Jobs theater in Cuptertino. Fitting as the announcement will likely center around the all new iPhone 8, the phone Jobs himself displayed back in 2007. As always rumors have surfaced & floated around the closer the event has become. Leaks from the GM builds to dummy models. That all said here’s what you can expect from Apple event tomorrow.

iPhone 8

Highlights:

  • A11 CPU
  • Glass Body
  • Edge to Edge Display
  • Wireless Charging

 

The biggest release is focused on the next iteration of iPhone. The 8 from all leaks will aim to finally adopt an all screen look very popular among Samsung phones. Foregoing the home button for a full display with touch pressure like features to make up for the loss of the physical button. This means more screen real estate overall while still maintaining the same features. As for the back the cameras will now align vertically & be housed in a glass body. The biggest feature missing with the loss of the home button will be that of Touch ID. Apple may look to remedy this with whats being called “Face ID” essentially facial recognition. This isn’t new tech but knowing Apple they’ll aim to make it seamless while of course offering top tier protection to your smart phone. All while of course increasing the internal specs RAM, processing power (A11), and so on.

iPhone 8 will still come in two models a 4.7 inch & 5.5 inch Plus model. This will also be the first iPhone to incorporate wireless charging. Apple has been testing the technology & is said to finally bring it to the iPhone 8 to make charging wireless most likely to eventually rid of the lightning port.

As always we’re getting a fast iPhone with a slightly new look & feel. The big focus here being the screen & how we interact with an all touch display & less physical buttons. The software in this case will play as big of a role as the new hardware.

 

iPhone X

Highlights:

  • 5.8 OLED Display/Edge to Edge
  • A11 CPU
  • Glass Body
  • Wireless Charging

The newest edition to the lineup this time around will be what is known as the iPhone Pro or iPhone X. This will offer a better screen, be more expensive, & offer slightly higher quality/spec phone. The big selling point here being the OLED screen it’ll feature to truly take advantage of all the screen real estate the phone has to offer. That said it’ll also house a higher price tag expected to come in at around $1,000+.

 

LTE Apple Watch

The smartwatch product is set to finally get an LTE model (cellular connection) which would allow it to work independently without being tethered to the phone for certain tasks. Unsure how the connectivity will work as of yet if it’ll piggy back of your phone plan etc. Outside of that we’re likely to see some internal changes improving overall performance for the watch however outside of that the rumors seem to be up in the air.

4K Apple TV

The set top box is set to get the 2017 upgrade with a new A10X chip to power 4K content which is expected to stream via iTunes & other services on the TVOS platform. The design is expected to remain the same alongside possible remote improvements but one thing is for sure the internals will be getting a big upgrade.

Minor Upgrades/Touching Base:

Outside of the new product launches we’re likely to see Apple recap on some of their past announcements. Namely products like the unreleased HomePod (Apple’s Smart Speaker), possible AirPod editions 2 (minor design changes/improvements), iOS 11 recap, AR Kit discussion & some possible other surprise announcements could be thrown into the mix. Given the leaks this year a lot is confirmed on the software end with iOS 11 GM being distributed by accident. This has given incite in how the software will play alongside the new phones. The event will be heavily iPhone focused & seeing as it’s the 10th year of the iPhone we expect nothing less than some major changes in how we interact with this everyday device.

 

Stay tuned for coverage tomorrow live & prior to the event!

DojoGuide: Freelance – Getting Started as a Freelancer

My thanks to the makers of TimingApp for sponsoring this series of content. Timing makes time tracking for mac easier than ever. All packaged in a elegant interface allowing you to see how & where you spent your time. Buy it today w/a 10% off coupon 


 

In this DojoGuide we’ll be focusing on all things Freelancing. What it means to be a freelancer & tips to getting started, advertising your talent, and growing to a potential career path. To kick things off I wanted to define what freelancing is & what it means to be a “freelancer”.  Starting at the very basics & what may entice you into the freelance world in the first place.

Video

 

What is a Freelancer

 

By definition a freelancer is anyone who sells or provides a service ( writing, design, etc) by hour, day, or job rather than a typical 9-5 structure. The ability to freely work with as many or a variety of clients instead of one set employer. This day in age freelancing and a freelancer has changed dramatically.  The internet provides the ability for people to work anywhere & be accessible globally. A freelancer can take any talent be it in coding or design & provide that to a company or individual for a living or side income.

In that sense anyone can become a freelancer as long as they have a service or skill they can provide in exchange for money. A freelancer can range from any of the following gigs but isn’t limited to:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Video Editor
  • Writer/Editor
  • Programmer/Coder
  • Photographer
  • Videographer

and many other categories of jobs.

The idea is that a freelancer is free to work as they please & whomever they desire thus the “Free” part. You can be a multi-talented freelancer or stick specifically in your category of expertise. You can do it for a living or on the side to make extra money. That’s the real beauty in it, you define what being a freelancer means to you. Working 4 hours a week or a 40 hour week the choice really depends on your work ethic, ability, and skill set. Leading us to the next question, why even do it in the first place?

Why Become a Freelancer?

Now comes the question of why would you consider freelancing in the first place. Just as a freelancer can be defined by many things so can the reasons  you consider it. Perhaps you want to simply earn more income outside of your traditional 9-5. Freelancing allows for a solid earning potential with no caps or salary. Your earnings are based your performance & ability to finds jobs/clients. As you get better so does your work & in turn your profits. Outside of the monetary value you simply may want to improve in a skill of some sort & the best way to do that is through experience. A passion for design can be improved by doing work for others. Starting out on basic projects & progressively working your way up.

The free in freelancer also is a big reason to consider the path. The ability to work when you please & how you go about it is a big plus. As a freelancer you can set your schedule. Work a typical 9-5, be a weekend warrior, work less than 20 hours a week the choice is yours. Freelancing allows you to work around your existing schedule or set your own & that’s a huge plus. So in review here are some top reasons to consider freelancing:

  • Extra Revenue Stream
  • Improving Skills
  • Defining your own schedule/workflow
  • Control your income
  • Future career path

As your skills & clientele grow in your freelance portfolio the more you pave the way to a potential career path. That can mean being a full time freelancer or moving into your own business providing said service.

 

How It Works:

Here’s the beauty when it comes to freelancing or becoming one all it really takes is a skill set of some sort & a couple minutes to setup your profile. Nowadays there are all sorts of freelance platforms for you to join to find potential work & clients. Furthermore these platforms serve as a way for you to grow your reputation &  develop your portfolio.  As someone starting out I recommend joining a service to get your footing. Only once you’ve developed some sort of work portfolio & following can you go out on your own offering your own service via a site or what have you. Potential clients have to know your good at what you do & need some sort or evidence of that. Using any of the following services or ones you think match your needs allow you to build that foundation for the future.

are just some of the popular freelance networks to name but a few.

Setting up your portfolio is something we’ll be looking at in the next part of the series but really it comes down to what skill or service are you looking to provide & detailing that. From there it comes down to advertising your portfolio & reaching out to potential clients to continue to build your freelancing reputation.

Getting started this day in age is the easiest part. You don’t have to be an expert in anything, freelancing is all about finding a problem you can solve. As with anything the more you do that & improve the better jobs you get, higher rates you can charge, and so on. Stay tuned for more content to come!

 

 

SPONSOR: Time Tracking for the Mac Made Easy

My thanks to the makers of TimingApp for sponsoring the network this week. Timing App for Mac makes time tracking simpler than ever while giving you all the advanced details of how you spend your time at your mac. Whether it’s analyzing your procrastination or seeing your productivity Timing lays it all out beautifully within its interface.

Timing will also be sponsoring an upcoming content campaign on “A Guide to Freelancing” so stay tuned for more content & why the importance of managing your time matters.


As someone who works, plays, and practically lives on my computer tracking how & what I do is important. Be it for seeing where I’m spending too much time not working (aka watching Youtube videos), getting a better idea of what apps I use the most, or just a general overview of my computer usage Timing makes that all possible. Timing App is a tracker for mac that simply runs in the background & tracks data from most used apps to time spent on them.

 

Time unlike most other resources is one we can’t make more of or get back. So understanding how we spend ours personally & professionally is important. Timing makes all of that easy to manage & displays it all in a sleek interface. Breaking it down in charts/graphs that really showcase how your using your mac day to day. Compare to older weeks, see your most active days, use it for freelance reporting & so on. Our lives consist of what we do day in & day out. Make yours easier to track & manage by using the Timing App. Automatic time tracking for mac made easy.

Grab it at a special 10% price for DigitalDojos readers by using our link below & get tracking today!

10% off Timing App Plans

Amazon Prime Day Deals are Officially Live

Today marks the official start of Amazon Prime Day. The event is a one day global shopping event for Amazon Prime members only. Featuring exclusive deals, spotlight items, and revolving hourly deals across the site.

Heading to Amazon now you can get a look at all the deals & for those who aren’t prime members you can easily sign up or use a trial to take advantage of all the sales. Deals range from technology devices to home goods. Here’s a look at just some of the great deals featured on Prime Day.

 

Note: All links are affiliate links DigitalDojos gains a small commission for every sale which goes towards helping improve the network as a whole.

 

Amazon Echo Dot ($35) Get started in the Alexa family of devices with the super affordable Echo Dot

http://amzn.to/2uaYbqC

Amazon Echo ($90) At 50% off if you want the full bodied Echo there’s no better time than now

http://amzn.to/2ub8v22

Philips Hue Lightbulb White+Color ($40) The very popular smart bulb is off by $10 on this Prime deal however keep in mind you need an existing hub to use it. However if your expanding your system it’s a great savings.

http://amzn.to/2u6iVQU

Seagate Drives ($Varies) You can never have enough storage be it internal or external & seagate has all sorts of deals ongoing

http://amzn.to/2uOoKji

Blue Yet USB Mic ($90) Still one of the best all around USB mics you can get if your into video or audio this is a no brainer

http://amzn.to/2va0kQR

Gaming Deals ($Varies) From gaming desktops to accessories like headsets & VR goggles gamers can browse through the assortment of deals offered

http://amzn.to/2v9RToH

 

There’s a ton of deals still live via Amazon so take advantage while the time lasts. Furthermore throughout the day more deals will pop up in a flash sale so be on the lookout. We’ll keep the site updated with any other deals that may look promising but for now happy Prime day shopping!

 

 

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns

As of Tuesday Travis Kalanick CEO of Uber has officially stepped down from the role amidst a lot of pressure over the last weeks that range from various sexual harassment claims to his mothers recent passing.  Kalanick co-founded Uber in 2009 building what is now the most recognizable ride sharing service.

According to sources early Tuesday morning five members of Uber’s board called for Kalanick’s resignation amidst all the turmoil. Citing that Uber as a company needs new leadership. Upon discussing further with other board members Kalanick agreed to step down as CEO but remain on the board of directors releasing the following statement.

“I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors’ request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight”

Uber has been in the public eye following allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace to Kalanick’s own dispute with an Uber driver caught on tape & the most recent personal tragedy with his mothers passing. Not to mention a series of other ongoing lawsuits from the likes of Google to name but one.

Uber a company valued at about $70 billion has definitely had it shares of ups & down. The recent spotlight has certainly hurt the company’s overall image & that can be argued that it stems from the top. However with Kalanick resigning we can only see how new management/leadership plays out for the ride sharing business.

Scrivener for iOS Overview

My thanks to Literature & Latte for sponsoring the following content as well as DigitalDojos over the last week. Literature & Latte are the makers of great apps such as Scrivener & Scapple. IF your looking for the best writing app solution look no further! Check out more info over at http://literatureandlatte.com

 

Scrivener has proven over time to be one of the best writing apps in the market. Offering a studio based application that gives you the ability to create, edit, review, research an entire project in one environment. Designed for long form writing Scrivener allows you to write the way you want structuring & revising your story in whatever format or order you see fit. It’s the go to app for any long form writing I do or even E-Book related material. Since it’s release the folks over at Literature & Latte have been hard at work to take their amazing desktop app to the mobile end. After years of planning & development Scrivener made its way to iOS & the team spared no features or thought when it came to porting it over for mobile. Here’s a look & overview of Scrivener for iOS (iPad & iPhone) retails for $20 via the iOS App Store

 

Video:

 

Interface-

Scrivener for iOS is simplicity meets advanced features. L&L did a great job of offering a lot of the apps main   feature set in a scaled down version. The binder, writing tools, and organizational tools such as cork board, folders, and so on are all included. Throughout the app you have multiple features at your disposal tucked away into the interface. Whether it’s swipe gestures or the Scrivener keyboard that gives you access to commonly used characters & tools to navigate around your article. All of which are extremely useful given your using Scrivener on a smaller device than you may be used to. However whether it was the iPhone or iPad I found navigating through the document seamless & intuitive.

Having quick access to common shortcuts such as highlighting, annotations, undo/redo & so on makes long form writing a breeze on the app. Furthermore Scrivener for iOS offers up customization in the form of tapping & holding any button on the keyboard interface for you to swap it to a more preferable shortcut. Outside of that the app behaves & functions similar to that of the desktop version so if your used to that interface then you won’t be disappointed. Scrivener allows a great organizational system through it’s binder feature. Organizing drafts, research, and whatever other miscellaneous parts of your  script, book, etc.

 

 

Features-

Again a lot of what you may be used to from the desktop scrivener app is present on mobile whether it’s the full rich-text editing, import/export options, or annotation tools. Scrivener for iOS doesn’t skip out on features despite it’s more minimal UI.  Beyond that iOS has brought sync functionality via Dropbox to make syncing between devices easier than ever. So whether you want to write on your MacBook or PC then take it on the go via an iPad or iPhone Scrivener allows for jut that. Simply sync your Dropbox account you use on your PC/Mac w/the iOS counterpart & your work can be synced across no matter what device your on or changes that need to be made. As someone who alternates devices throughout the day this is something thats crucial for me. I tend to start writing on my desktop & can easily be on the go needing to make changes to documents or books I may be working on. The ability now to simply add a thought via my iPhone or swap to my iPad makes the whole writing process that much more enjoyable & convenient!

 

Why Write w/Scrivener?

So what makes Scrivener stand out from any other word processors or heck even a simple notes app. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy simply writing in any empty text editor from time to time but when it comes to full expanding upon my thoughts & getting some serious writing done I always turn to Scrivener. Whether you use it to write a novel, develop a manuscript, or in my case create an E-Book it offers everything you need & more. Scrivener focuses on making the environment for long form writers accessible & tailored to your needs. Rather than writing in one motion your free to jump around to multiple documents, pages, thoughts & stitch it all together in the end. What makes me enjoy using Scrivener is it allows me to write however I see fit. Great tools like the binder allow you to split up multiple documents or drafts only to reorganize it later on depending on your process. The cork board or research tab makes it easy for you to import media to refer to be it notes or images as you write. Gone are the days of toggling between browsers & multiple apps just to reference a quick thought while writing.

 

I can go on & on about the use cases for Scrivener & how it makes the writing process that much more efficient but honestly its something you need to try & adopt depending on your writing style. While it may not be for everyone it can be used to write anything simple, complex, you name it. The flexibility the app offers really shines in the mobile application. It makes writing longer form content on the iPad a mere tap away.

Verdict-

All in all Scrivener is simply an all around writing application that you’d be hard fought to find something you couldn’t use it for. The transition from desktop app to the iOS platform has been one where the folks at L&L did a phenomenal job. Personally seeing their journey from going through devs to hiring in-house to re-develop from the ground up has been something to witness & to see the end result come out so polished definitely speaks to the talent of the team. As a content producer apps like these make my life that much easier & allow me to do my job without having to worry about the tools at my disposal. Scrivener for iOS simply allows me to open & get writing anyway I see fit.

Find out more information & grab Scrivener for iOS for $20 today!

Xbox One X Announced at $500

Today at E3 Microsoft  announced the release information on their latest Xbox console. The Xbox One X set to release November 7th 2017 will feature the most powerful console to date. Featuring the following:

  • 8-core custom AMD CPU (2.3 Ghz)
  • 12GB GDDR5 Ram
  • 6-Teraflop based GPU
  • 1TB Drive

Every Xbox One X will also feature a 1 month free Xbox Game Pass & 14-day trial of Xbox Live Gold. The final price tag… $500. This is the most powerful console set to come to market alongside the PS4 Pro. Offering true 4K support (60 FPS) & games to match. The E3 announcement also showcased some Xbox One X exclusives such as Forza Motorsport 7, State of Decay 2, and Sea of Thieves.  In terms of the design the Xbox One X looks very similar to that of the previous S. Slightly slimmer & sans the vented top in a black design.

There’s no questioning the power they were able to pack into a slightly smaller footprint of the Xbox & push towards the standard of 4K games/content. However at $500 entry price point it definitely puts the console out of reach for some. Xbox One S comes in at around $100 more than it’s PS4 competition.

Xbox One X hits the stores worldwide November 7th this year.

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