In­no­va­tion

SMART­PHONES ARE ALL GOOD TH­ESE DAYS; TO STAND OUT THEY NEED NEW FEA­TURES THEIR RI­VALS DON’T HAVE. WHO’S ON TOP HERE…?

Australian T3 - - OPINION -

iPhone 6 Ap­ple’s Pay is not the first NFC-based cash sys­tem, but it looks amaz­ing in terms of its simplicity and po­ten­tial.

In the near fu­ture you’ll be able to weld a mul­ti­tude of credit and debit cards to Ap­ple’s Pass­book, tap the phone at check­out, con­firm with your finger­print that it’s you, and be off with your lovely new car­rots or flat white in no time.

Ap­ple Health looks more im­pres­sive than Al­pha’s equiv­a­lent. Ap­ple joins Sam­sung in of­fer­ing a mostly ac­cu­rate barom­e­ter to work out how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed and adds the abil­ity to sync with third-party de­vices to track how many calo­ries you’ve munched/hours of deep sleep you’ve had.

How­ever, it’s a more hid­den in­no­va­tion that could prove the big­gest. ‘Metal’ is the name Ap­ple’s given the way its new CPU and GPU can work to­gether to cre­ate new worlds, promis­ing noth­ing less than “con­sole-style games on iPhone”. If Tim Cook’s lot and their ca­bal of devs can pull this off, the sky’s the limit.

Galaxy Al­pha An­droid phones have been able to of­fer NFC pay­ment sys­tems for a while now, and the Al­pha will let you se­curely pay for goods via PayPal and your finger­print.

It’s a move that’s only go­ing to get more use­ful, as PayPal takes over the en­tire world of re­tail. How­ever, like Ap­ple Pay, this sys­tem needs a lit­tle longer to bed in, so why not check your heart rate while you’re wait­ing? Un­like on the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S, there’s no barom­e­ter, how­ever.

Gaming is a big deal on An­droid too and Sam­sung’s pow­er­ful pro­ces­sor makes the most of what’s out there. When An­droid L rolls around later in the year it’ll be fur­ther en­hanced – the days of ded­i­cated por­ta­ble con­soles re­ally do look to be num­bered now.

Ul­ti­mately, as with the iPhone 6, there’s noth­ing truly in­no­va­tive here, but the range of tweaks, up­grades and vari­a­tions on of­fer is still highly im­pres­sive.

Reg­is­ter your finger­print via the Al­pha’s screen and tie it to your PayPal ac­count. Et voilà: you may now pur­chase from eBay and a plethora of other out­lets with your digit. It also al­lows for pay­ments to ac­tual peo­ple and, as PayPal di­ver­si­fies, prob­a­bly in ac­tual shops, even­tu­ally. It is, in the­ory, com­pat­i­ble with any tap-to-pay sys­tem.

PayPal’s pal

The ver­dict

Draw Truly new fea­tures are thin on the ground – that’s the case across the smart­phone world – but the Al­pha and iPhone 6 both feel cut­ting-edge, with plenty of power and sen­sors for

devs to ex­ploit.

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