While Opera Max is slowly making official launches around the world, this cloud-based data-compression service has just nabbed another partner -- and it's a pretty big one, too. Today, the Norwegian company announced that MediaTek will be embedding its app in two of its LTE-enabled 64-bit chipsets: the octa-core MT6752 and the quad-core MT6732. What this means is that should manufacturers want to integrate Opera Max into their MediaTek-powered devices (our understanding is that this feature is optional), they wouldn't have to spend time on testing the app, ergo shorter time to market. And of course, the end user gets to load pages, music and video clips faster anywhere on the device (unlike how the Opera browser only compresses data that are loaded within it), while also saving "up to 50 percent" of bandwidth, courtesy of Opera's cloud servers. That said, the service doesn't process encrypted links, for obvious reasons. For those who aren't familiar with Opera Max, feel free to check out the new video after the break.

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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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Need to hear more from Tim Cook after this week's new iPhone and Watch event? Charlie Rose will air a two-part interview with the Apple CEO tonight and Monday, and excerpts posted to YouTube point to a few popular topics about the company. Cook discusses his company's purchase of Beats by pointing out the brand Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre were able to build, and their recognition of the human element in putting together playlists. In another clip, he continues the longstanding tradition of pointing out how ancient and backwards the TV experience still is, and that Apple is interested in it (we'll reference our advice from 2012 on how to handle these rumors) -- without revealing anything about plans to actually enter the market or adjust the approach of its Apple TV box. You can view the clips embedded after the break, and the first part of the interview tonight (likely at 11PM) on your local PBS affiliate.

Update: The full episode is embedded after the break via Hulu Plus, and pt. 2 will air Monday night, again probably at 11PM on your local PBS affiliate. In part two Tim Cook will talk a bit about privacy and the NSA, there's also a clip of that below.

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We've seen LG flaunting the self-healing coating on its rather peculiar G Flex, but wouldn't it be nice to have this on other phones? Well, Innerexile's Hydra plastic case for the iPhone 6 offers a similar feature. We say "similar," because the hard yet resilient Hydra is apparently able to recover from a heavier bronze brush scratch test -- 1kg instead of the G Flex's 750g -- as well as strong bending in the lab. I received a couple of samples to play with and while I don't have the same testing equipment, I can still attest to the cases' impressive build quality, glossy finish and flexural strength -- as shown in my hands-on video after the break. But as with the G Flex, the Hydra's patented self-healing coating is meant for light scratches only.

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Tin Can String

HD Voice technology isn't particularly new -- in fact, some UK operators have supported it since as far back as 2010. Very few devices were HD-capable back then, though, but lots of modern smartphones are now suitably equipped, leading other carriers to get their acts together. Today, Vodafone announced it's joining the party, letting anyone with a supported handset make HD calls to others on the same network. HD Voice, if you weren't aware, widens the frequency range of your call, ensuring conversations almost sound like you're talking to someone face-to-face. Today's launch means O2 is now the only major UK carrier not offering the feature, and it says it has no official plans to either. Given most smartphone usage is dedicated to messaging and photo apps these days, today's launch might not excite Vodafone customers all that much. The difference in quality is noticeable though, so prepare to feel like someone's living inside your head the first time a call connects in HD.

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Now that Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus is ready to play in the Galaxy Note 4's size territory, Samsung is taking the competition on with a few new ads. It's revived the "It Doesn't Take A Genius" tagline, and first up is a segment making fun of Apple's glitchy live video stream during yesterday's presentation. The rest of the videos play up Samsung's features like multitasking windows, stylus and fast charging, or make fun of anyone using a watch that still requires a phone to get connected. Whether you're already lined up for a refreshed slate of iStuff or if you weren't too impressed, the latest round of Apple vs. Samsung -- on store shelves instead of in the court room -- is here (complete with bonus flame action).

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Despite Benjamin Clymer's many accolades across the past several years -- the New York Times calls him the "High Priest of Horology" -- it's possible you've never heard of his website Hodinkee. The name might not bring watches to mind, but it's actually a Czech word for "wristwatch" (technically it's "hodinky" in Czech). The site's established itself as a go-to source for wristwatch obsessives, and Clymer's its executive editor, which is exactly why we were so interested to read his thorough dissection and impressions of Apple's first ever watch: Apple Watch.

In a lengthy piece (that we suggest you read in full), Clymer begins by setting expectations: "I'm not even sure we can call it a watch." That isn't to say he doesn't like Apple's effort, but comparing it directly to a traditional, mechanical wristwatch is near impossible.

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Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

So it finally happened -- after seemingly ages of rumors and speculation, Apple has unveiled larger iPhones (the 6 and 6 Plus) that are really, truly bigger than the 3.5-inch original. It's no doubt a welcome move if you're a fan who has been craving a big display, and it might even reel in people who have held off on an iPhone until now. However, this isn't just an instance of a company tweaking its product line to accommodate changing tastes. That happens all the time. For Apple, it's an acknowledgment that the very definition of a smartphone has changed over the years.

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Rumors of Apple working on a wireless payment service have been droning on for years, so when the company introduced a mobile wallet-like feature called Passbook more than two years ago, it seemed at the time that such a service was inevitable in the very near future -- perhaps the iPhone 5 would have it? It took a while, but come October Apple will be ready to utilize the Near-Field Communications chip built inside the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. The service, simply known as Apple Pay, wants to do exactly what every other payment service on the planet wants to do: Make it possible for you to ditch your wallet (aside from Driver's Licenses and other forms of ID).

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One iPhone model. Two sizes. Aside from a suite of feature and software improvements, the iPhone 6 is also getting upgraded in screen size -- the smaller version at 4.7 inches, with the Plus option at 5.5 inches. The more petite iteration is what I'll focus on here, though you'll be able to take a look at the larger size here. Aside from the difference in diagonal screen size, there's very little to tell these two versions apart until you start looking deeper; the Plus comes with a bigger battery, better display, one-handed mode and an extra stabilization feature on the camera, but everything else is essentially identical. Take a look at the photos and video below, along with a few thoughts from my first encounter with the new iPhone.

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The rumors, flying for many moons now, have turned out to be true. Meet Apple's first wearable, the aptly, if uncreatively, named Watch. While the name's a bit mundane, Apple's making a big effort to make the thing as customizable as it can, with two sizes, three materials and a slew of different watchbands. We didn't get to put our fingers on every permutation of the Watch, but we did get to try on a couple of them. Join me after the break, won't you, and find out what they're like.

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An iPhone with a 5.5-inch display? A few years ago, it seemed as though Apple would never relent to doing such a thing -- after all, a 3.5-inch display was more than sufficient at the time. In 2014, however, it's a bit of a different story. There's a wide variety of phone sizes out there, and a lot of different markets that Apple could appeal to by offering a large device. With the iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is now able to address those who don't mind using a big phone for its extra screen real estate and larger battery. We had the opportunity to play with the Plus for a spell after Apple's keynote this morning, and it's got a bright future ahead. Check out our photos and video below as we continue to bring you our thoughts on the giant iPhone.

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Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 6

You were expecting it, and here it is: Apple has unveiled the smaller of its two new super-sized smartphones, the 4.7-inch iPhone 6. As the leaks suggested, it centers around a larger (by 0.7 inch) 1,334 x 750 Retina HD display in a body that is decidedly slimmer and curvier than its already svelte 5s predecessor, at 6.9mm thick. It's not all about looks, though. The new handset is also running a beefier A8 chip that's claimed to be about 25 percent faster than the A7 you saw the last time around, even as it's up to 50 percent more efficient -- Apple estimates up to 14 hours of talk time, 11 hours of video and 10 days of standby.

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When we saw Samsung's Gear S curved smartwatch last week, we said its design, "feels functional, but also like an afterthought." The 2-inch behemoth certainly doesn't blend into outfits as much as it becomes the centerpiece, for better or worse. Diesel Black Gold -- the even more expensive, "premium" line of the Diesel clothing brand -- is apparently down with that, and is working with Samsung on a variety of "unique" bands (seen above). That's pretty much all the news there is about these so far -- no pricing or release dates were given -- but check out this amazing sentence from the announcement, describing the bands:

"Elements of the SS 15 collection, inspired by highly stylized New Wave rock stars and tough rockabilly heroines, have been used to give a sharp attitude to the device, characterized by signature leather and metal details."

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Though a quarter of Spotify users pay $10 a month to avoid ads, the other 30 million have to put up with them. Now, Spotify is set to roll out a new form of advertising that may ease (or add to) some of that pain: video commercials. There will be two forms: "Video Takeover" ads will be played regularly on Spotify's desktop apps, but let advertisers to buy an entire slot of time. Meanwhile, "Sponsored Sessions" will let mobile users watch short videos in exchange for 30 minutes of ad-free listening. In either case, ads will be limited to 15- or 30-seconds. It might seem odd to play TV commercials on a radio service, but Spotify pitched the idea to advertisers in June at Cannes and major players like Coca Cola, McDonald's and Ford signed on for the launch. Ad Age said that Spotify will play ads exclusively for those brands by year's end in the US, UK and six other markets. It'll roll out worldwide to any interested company in 2015.

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