Innovate

HR-Moto-G-Plus_Camera_3What to expect from the cutting edge of consumer electronics this season

Which phone? Motorola Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus?
With two amazing bargain smartphones out now, we break down the differences between them:

Software
Both phones run an uncluttered version of the super-fast, app-packed Android on a 5.5-inch full HD touchscreen.
Winner: Tie

Camera
While the 13 megapixel snapper on the G4 is fast and efficient, the 16MP sensor on the G4 Plus wins out – as does the 5 megapixel front cam for high-res selfies.
Winner: Moto G4 Plus

Killer feature
While the Moto G4 is perfectly secure if you use a screen PIN or password, the G4 Plus’s handy fingerprint sensor makes logging in painless too.
Winner: Moto G4 Plus

Price
Neither model is as cheap as last year’s Moto G sadly, but the G4 packs plenty of power for a SIM-free price of US$200 SIM-free compared to the pricier G4 Plus (US$240).
Winner: Moto G4

App of the month: SimbaPay
Those living abroad know how difficult it can be to transfer money back home, but a new app for Android and iOS makes the whole process painless. SimbaPay lets you pay bills or transfer sums of up to US$45,000 straight from your phone, with an intuitive interface and a streamlined set-up process. SimbaPay the start-up is based in London, but was founded by Kenyans, and recently won an award at the Demo Africa Tech conference in Nigeria – expect big things from this team. Are they the next M-PESA?   www.simbapay.com

Gadget review: Apple MacBook
Apple’s latest 12-inch laptop is also its thinnest, just half an inch thick at its deepest point. Coated in gold, silver, rose gold or space grey, it’s a gorgeous wafer of a computer that doesn’t shirk on power with a dual-core Intel Core processor and a rock solid keyboard. Unfortunately, what may prove to be a selling point in the long run will be a sticking point for many: its one port for charging means you can’t use a charger and a USB stick or peripheral at the same time. If you can cope with its 10-hour time on charge while surfing, that may not be an issue. From US$959

Gadget news: Project Ara transforms the phone
Google is making more of its own hardware these days, and that includes phones. Not just any phones, mind: its Project Ara handset can be clipped together with individual components, like smart Lego. Each module can add a specific function, from a kickstand or a better camera to innovative new additions like a glucometer for people with diabetes. The current developer model of the phone can support up to six different modules at once, while a finished version is expected to go on sale next year.

WhatsApp: Mobile chat turns stationary
More than one billion people use WhatsApp, the free mobile instant messaging app owned by Facebook. Most of them, however, do so using their smartphone. Now an official desktop computer app has arrived that syncs with WhatsApp on your phone and lets you chat even when it’s in your coat pocket on the other side of the room. While you’ve been able to chat via WhatsApp using a web browser on your PC or laptop for a while, the native app for Windows and Mac is smoother and more stable, provides notifications and even has shortcuts so you can hammer out whole essays in group chats. Grab the app from whatsapp.com/download now.