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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.

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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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We've seen plenty of interesting rebrands in past years. Leica's perhaps the most prolific manufacturer to redesign housings and jack up a camera's price, but Hasselblad is also guilty of trying to pass off a competitor's cam as its own, with the $10,000 Solar. Leica's own recreations are hardly as egregious -- select photographers certainly don't mind paying a few hundred dollars more for what's arguably a better-looking camera from a more premium brand, making this year's V-Lux and D-Lux a reasonable purchase for some. That first model is based on the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, while the D-Lux is a deluxe version of the LX100, which squeezes a powerful Micro Four Thirds sensor into a surprisingly compact body.

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We know. It's only September, but it's never too early to start dreaming of that greatest of all gadget gatherings, the International CES. As always, the Engadget editorial team will descend upon the Las Vegas Convention Center this January to bring you all the action as the Official Blog and Online News Source of the show. And, just like last year, we're also choosing the Best of CES awards! As we comb the floor of the world's largest consumer tech trade show, we'll be looking for truly stand-out products worthy of becoming 2015's Best of CES -- but that doesn't mean we're waiting until we touch down in the desert to begin our search. We're accepting nominations starting November 1st, when we'll dish out all the info you need to know to put your device in the running.

[Image Credit: Samaruddin Stewart, AOL]

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