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Verizon's HD voice and video chat feature is now live, just like it promised back in August. The carrier officially calls it "Advanced Calling 1.0," and it lets you make high-definition voice calls over LTE to other Verizon phones that also have the capability. Its video chat function, on the other hand, is a combination of HD voice and real-time video feed, though it can transfer the video portion of the call from LTE to Verizon WiFi when available. Anyone with a compatible device can access the feature at no additional charge, with HD voice costing the same as your standard call rates. Video, however, will be billed as data, with one minute eating up between six to eight MB.

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In many parts of the world where LTE and 3G aren't as accessible, something like the Cosmos browser for Android could be incredibly cheap and useful. This upcoming Android app, you see, doesn't need data to work -- you simply plug in a URL, and it sends back a simple, stripped-down version of the page via text messages. On the project's GitHub page, its developers explained that once you input a URL, the app texts it to their Twilio number, which then forwards it to their backend. The system then gets the source code of the website and nukes the CSS and javascript to deliver a series of clean text messages to the user's phone.

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Out with the old, in with the new. That was the theme of last year's iOS update, known as iOS 7, which ushered in a flat new design. Although Apple threw in some new functionality as well, it was clear the company was mainly focused on giving its mobile OS a face-lift and setting the stage for future updates -- the first of which is coming out tomorrow. iOS 8 builds on last year's software with a plethora of new features, including third-party keyboards, camera controls, widgets, home automation, health and fitness tools and the ability to interact with other apps. (Yes, it's hard to believe these are just arriving on iOS.) Here's what to expect.

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To say that Apple's doing things differently would be an understatement. With the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company introduced two new high-end phones at the same time, both with a complete redesign and a much larger screen size than any iPhone that came before. Gone are the days of 3.5-inch and 4-inch phones that, at one time, seemed to provide more than ample amounts of screen space. Now, the new iPhones make their predecessors look like the tiny handset Ben Stiller used in Zoolander. The market has changed, and it was high time Apple did the same.

Even though this is Apple's first attempt at building large phones, it's not breaking new ground -- in fact, it feels more like the company is catching up than innovating. To be fair, finding a fresh take is a difficult thing to do in this crowded space: Samsung's Galaxy Note series, which started out at 5.3 inches and is now up to 5.7, is selling by the millions, and most competing flagships aren't much smaller. Basically, Apple would be leaving money on the table if it didn't address this segment of the market. So how did the company do on its first try at large phones? Pretty well -- mostly.

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Google Play Store's Material Design makeover

Google may have already given Android's Play Store a big makeover this summer, but it's not done yet -- there's another revamp coming this year. Android Police has posted shots of a pre-release Play Store 5.0 update that's very clearly guided by Google's Material Design concept. While it's not quite as dramatic an overhaul as what we saw a few months ago, it's still a pretty noticeable change. Swaths of bright, solid color are everywhere, and there's even more of an emphasis on title pictures. You should get some extra function to go with this form, too; code buried in the update hints that you'll get to restore apps on a per-device basis, making it much easier to recreate your setup from an old phone. It's not certain just when the new Play Store will go live, but it's reasonable to presume that you'll see it around the same time as the similarly-styled Android L update.

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ZTE ZMAX for T-Mobile

If you like the prospect of a giant smartphone but find even LG's G Vista too rich for your blood, ZTE might have something that's more up your alley. It just unveiled the ZMAX, a 5.7-inch device that hopefully won't crush your bank account. The 720p screen, quad-core Snapdragon 400 chip, 16GB of expandable storage and 8-megapixel rear camera are nothing special, but you're getting a lot of battery for the money; the 3,400mAh power pack is estimated to last for two days, or more than enough for a busy weekend. You might also like the not-quite-stock (read: potentially very speedy) Android 4.4 interface. ZTE's low-cost behemoth will only be available through T-Mobile when it ships on September 24th. However, you'll only have to pay $10.50 per month over two years to own the ZMAX, or $252 total -- not too shabby considering that other phones this big frequently cost two or three times as much.

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The star of Samsung's

Samsung doesn't just want to make its products look cool -- it wants its jobs to look cool, too. It's accordingly launching Best Future, an online-only musical sitcom that portrays Samsung as a hip place to work for young South Koreans. The star is Mirae ("future" in Korean), a fictional worker at the tech giant's Suwon headquarters; the six-episode series will follow her and her roommate Chaego ("best") as they dance their way through the workday. There aren't too many clues as to the storyline, but Samsung is teasing the prospect of "song battles" when the series arrives in October. Suffice it to say this won't be a deep, introspective masterpiece.

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Today at Photokina 2014, we go hands-on with the oddly shaped Polaroid Socialmatic, and well, a lot of seriously expensive Leica shooters. But that's not all -- read on for Engadget's news highlights from the last 24 hours.

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Need another reason to activate two-factor authentication on your Apple device? Ars Technica and Apple Insider report that the security check now extends to cover iCloud device backups too, something it didn't do before. That means if someone gets your password, or is able to reset it, they could pull down the data with a tool like Elcomsoft Phone Password Breaker and have access to anything stored there -- it's thought that many of the stolen personal photographs of celebrities recently posted online were obtained by this method. With two-factor authentication, they'd need access to your trusted device to generate a four digit code to get in. Another security tweak Apple just turned on is a notification that lets users know when their account has been accessed, to make sure it's for legit reasons. Before your new iPhone and Watch show up to handle your selfies, payments and anything else better kept private -- hit Apple's website and turn the extra level of security on.

Update: Tonight Apple sent out an email to Apple ID accounts detailing the change. It also mentions that beginning October 1st, app-specific passwords will be necessary for third-party apps that don't support two-factor (like Outlook or Thunderbird) to access iCloud. If you have an account it should be in your inbox, or you can check out the text after the break.

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The rumored Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime

Companies like Microsoft and Sony know that you don't necessarily want to buy a high-end smartphone just to take selfies, and it now appears that Samsung knows this, too. In the wake of store listings and government filings, Thegioididong has managed to get its hands on the unannounced Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime (aka G530), a 5-inch budget Android phone that's seemingly tailor-made for self-portraits. Its centerpiece is undoubtedly its 5-megapixel front-facing camera; while that's certainly not the highest resolution we've seen, it's unusually powerful for a device that's likely to be cheap off-contract.

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