GST Rates Finder App Launched to Help You Verify Correctness of GST Charged

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • GST Rates Finder app is now available for Android
  • You can lookup GST rates for various products & services
  • iPhone version of GST Rates Finder app is coming soon

GST Rates Finder app has been launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to help verify the correctness of GST charged on any purchase. “This mobile app helps users to find rates of GST for various goods and services. It can be downloaded on any smartphone and can work in offline mode, once downloaded. The user can determine the GST rate for a good or a service by entering the name or chapter heading of the commodity or service,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Saturday. The GST Rates Finder app, which is now available on Android platform, will soon be available on iOS platform as well.GST Rates Finder App Launched to Help You Verify Correctness of GST Charged

GST Rates Finder app: How to download and use

To download the GST Rates Finder app, simply head to Google Play Store on your mobile phone or Android tablet, and search for GST Rates Finder. Alternatively, follow this link to directly download the app.

Search results on the GST Rates Finder app will list all the goods and services containing the name which was typed in the search box. The user can scroll down the list of description and when any specific item on the list is clicked, the display window will pop-up, containing details such as GST rate, description of goods or services and the chapter heading of the Harmonised System of Nomenclature (HSN). For example, any person who has been billed by a hotel or a restaurant or for footwear can cross verify the correctness of the rate of GST charged.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has also provided a GST rate finder on its portal cbec-gst.gov.in to help the taxpayers know the applicable GST rate on their supplies of goods and services.

A taxpayer can search for applicable Central GST, State GST, Union Territory GST rate and Compensation Cess on a supply. The search can be made based on the description of goods or services or HSN chapter or section or heading number.

“These initiatives are aimed to serve as a ready reckoner on GST rates. This will empower not only the taxpayers but every citizen of the nation, to ascertain the correct GST rate on goods and services,” the statement said.

 

Apple’s Clips app is iMovie for the next generation

 

When I opened up Apple’s new Clips app yesterday, as I’ve been doing for the past few days, I was greeted with the same photo-capture screen that’s prioritized in all the social “story” apps. Take a picture! Capture video! Share! Share everything! they scream at you. I added some text overlays and emoji, and fumbled my way through Live Titles, the feature that’s distinctive to Apple Clips. And eventually, I shared my Clips. But it took a while. Because Clips take a while.

After Apple first announced its Clips video-making app a couple weeks ago, a lot of people — including me — wondered whether this was the company’s attempt to grab some of the attention that’s been siphoned by social apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. After using the new Clips app for the past five days, it’s become clear to me that this is not Apple’s attempt at a “social” app, at least, not in the way that social networks work.

Instead, it’s a video-making app that borrows some features from other apps. It’s an app that requires some thought and a little more work than a Snap or tweet or ‘gram does. These days, it’s possible to use those apps in public and with friends in a way that doesn’t feel terribly rude, whether it’s because everyone else is doing it or because the point is to share something quick and raw. With Clips, prepare to spend at least a few minutes making something share-worthy.

But that’s not a bad thing: it’s a distinctly Apple-like approach to mobile video. Parts of the app are also fun to use. There’s at least one element of the app that feels like it could use a whole redesign, and the question still remains as to whether this app is one that iPhone (and iPad) users will feel compelled to use before they use their favorite social apps. But overall, this is a kind of next-generation iMovie that I’m willing to bet a healthy portion of Apple’s user base will be happy to use.

If you ever said, “I wish iMovie was less about dissolves and transitions and more about adding cool filters and text,” then you are in luck.

Clips is free to download, and it’s available on iOS only. I wrote previously about its core features, but to summarize: you can shoot new photos or videos from within the app, or you can pull from your existing iPhone library. From there, you can add text, filters, overlays, emoji, and something Apple is calling “posters,” which are opaque transition cards. You can also add music, pulling either from your iTunes library or a selection of other instrumental music tracks curated just for the Clips app.

Clips are created in a square format, and are added to a basic timeline at the bottom of the screen. You can add individual video clips up to 30 minutes long to this timeline; and the total run time of a finished Clips video can be as long as 60 minutes. It’s also created and shared in 1080p HD, if your source video is HD. This is the kind of stuff that makes it much more of a video creation app than a Snapchat competitor.

And then there’s Live Titles. Live Titles is the app’s big differentiator, and utilizes voice recognition technology in a way that’s both clever and confusing. Rather than punch in text or scribble it on the phone’s touchscreen display, with Clips you’re supposed to narrate your thoughts out loud. You can opt to have those words included as audio, text, or both. This option was partly driven by the way people are watching video online now — text only, no audio — which makes sense. Unfortunately, the way the feature is designed doesn’t make as much sense.

After selecting a Live Titles style, you’re then supposed to hold down the record button and speak. If you want to mute your voice in a video, you have to tap a mic button. This isn’t exactly intuitive; most times you’re tapping a microphone icon to start recording your voice. While you’re speaking, the text doesn’t appear on the Clip; it’s processed after the fact. If you want to undo Live Titles, you don’t unselect the Live Titles icon; you have to go into the Live Titles options and select “None.”

You also just can’t simply type in text to start from Live Titles; you have to go to the Overlays tab for that. So yeah, it’s complicated.

Considering that Apple plans to include a Help section in the app when it goes live, I’m guessing I’m not the only person who has given early feedback that it’s the most confusing part of the app. It’s a cool concept, but I really hope Apple considers seriously simplifying this.

Despite that, making Clips is easy, especially if you ignore Live Titles. I’ve made Clips videos of my cat (of course), a bowl of pho, a recent vacation, and California-esque things I’ve done in a single day. The comic filter is cool, and it renders the effect on photos and videos as you’re capturing them, not after the fact. Individually, the features are reminiscent of the features in other apps — sepia-toned filters, location and time stamps — but combined, it all feels distinctly Apple. Example: one of the text overlays is a familiar blue iMessage bubble.

When you tap the share button — assuming you want to share your Clips when you’re done, unless you just like to make videos to look at all by yourself, which is possible — all of the usual suspects are there, from Vimeo to Facebook to YouTube to Mail. And iMessage is supposed to be slightly optimized for this. The app will use facial recognition technology to determine who is in your clips videos and prioritize those contacts in the share function; although, I haven’t tested that much, since I was using the app in advance of its official release and couldn’t share the videos to all of my contacts.

So while Clips isn’t Apple’s answer to Snapchat, or Instagram, or Facebook Stories, or Prisma, or the ill-fated Qwiki, there is still an element that’s inherently shareable. Which is to say, after making Clips this week, I actually wanted to share them. In a way, Apple has again renounced the responsibility of being a social network while also encouraging a kind of network-exclusive interaction. Just like the blue bubbles of iMessage will give you away, so will some of the features of this app.

Just don’t try to make a fancy Clips video to share while you’re out in social settings. It takes too darn long, at least at first.

Samsung Makes Google Play Music the Default Music App and Service on Its Devices

 

Samsung and Google have jointly announced a new partnership that will make Google Play Music the default music player and streaming service on Samsung mobiles and tablets. The announcements coincides with the global retail launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones.

The deal also benefits Samsung users as they’ll be able to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices. Additionally, new Samsung phones and tablets will come with a free three-month trial of Google Play Music. Post the trial period, those who plan to subscribe for it will get over 40 million songs on-demand and access to YouTube Red (where available), just like other subscribers of the service.

Google in November launched a revamped Play Music service that is powered by Google’s machine learning and contextual tools. Machine learning allows the service to understand the music the user likes based on location, time, weather, and activity, to name a few.

Google’s Play Music service competes against the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora Premium, and others. The tie up with Samsung, one of the leading smartphone manufactures in the world, will help Google expand its reach and give it the right amount of boost it needs to take on other streaming giants.Samsung Makes Google Play Music the Default Music App and Service on Its Devices

Having Google Play Music as a default music player means Samsung will not have to worry about dedicating resources towards developing its own music player, though it’s still available to download from Google Play Store. Samsung has tried in the past to get into the music streaming game with Milk Music, but its attempt at competing against Spotify and Apple failed, and the company in August decided to kill off the service.

Interestingly, Google’s Play Music service will support Samsung’s own personal assistant software, Bixby. Users will be able to ask Bixby to look up a song and play it similar to how it works with Apple’s Siri. The Bixby support will kick in once the digital assistant comes out later this spring for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will go on sale in India from May 5.

BlackBerry’s Privacy Shade App Prevents Bystanders From Peeking Into Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Privacy Shade app is only available for BlackBerry users
It helps in avoiding others from snooping into your phone
The app darkens entire screen except for a small view area
While laptop makers have introduced several workarounds to avoid nosy eyes from peeking from behind, smartphones haven’t really been able to address that pain point. Users, especially with large smartphone screens, have always found people (particularly the nosy ones) leaning over to read that personal text or see what you’re browsing. BlackBerry is trying to address this woe by launching an app called Privacy Shade.BlackBerry's Privacy Shade App Prevents Bystanders From Peeking Into Your Phone

The Android app makes the entire screen dark, except for a small view area that can be moved around to what you really want to read on the screen. The viewing area can change shapes from a bar to a circle, depending on what you prefer. Furthermore, the transparency of the darkened screen can also be manually adjusted, so for those who are extra paranoid, they could maximise the shade to near opaque for optimal privacy.
It is worth noting that this app is only available only to BlackBerry devices, so not all users will be able to take advantage of the nifty app. You can check if you own a compatible Blackberry device by trying to download it from the Google Play Store, or you can also sideload it from APK Mirror. Downloading from APK Mirror doesn’t lift the restriction limit of BlackBerry devices, Android Police reports.

BB Merah Putih, the company that currently holds the right to manufacture and sell BlackBerry smartphones in Indonesia, recently launched the BlackBerry Aurora smartphone for the country. The dual-SIM (Micro-SIM) based BlackBerry Aurora runs Android 7.0 Nougat out-of-the-box and sports a 5.5-inch (720×1280 pixels) display. It is priced at IDR 3,499,000 (roughly Rs. 17,400) in Indonesia.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Tags: Privacy Shade App, Blackberry, Apps, Android, Privacy Shade

 

iPhone 8, iPhone 7s Plus Schematics Leaks Tip Design Details, Mass Production Reportedly Begins

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • iPhone 8 tipped to sport a vertical dual camera setup
  • Tipster claims mass production of all three phones has begun
  • iPhone 7s Plus to look a lot like predecessor

iPhone 8 rumours refuse to stop even though the launch is still months away. Its design details, especially, are leaked regularly, sometime giving us contradictory information, and sometimes corroborating a strong rumour. Today’s leak does the latter. The ‘final schematics’ leak of the iPhone 8 shows the device from all angles giving us a fair idea of what the anniversary smartphone will possibly look like. Furthermore, the lesser leaked iPhone 7s Plus has also been tipped in a similar schematics leak giving away design information.iPhone 8, iPhone 7s Plus Schematics Leaks Tip Design Details, Mass Production Reportedly Begins

The fresh leaks come from none other than tipster Benjamin Geskin, who has earned a reputation for leaking most of the iPhone 8 related information this year. Apart from the schematics, Geskin also notes that mass production for the iPhone models launching this year has started, and that there will be three models this year. He has leaked schematics of two iPhone models – and the third iPhone, presumably be called the iPhone 7s , has not been leaked. However, he notes that the schematics will be similar to its predecessor iPhone 7.

Starting with the iPhone 8 schematic and render, the back of the device matches previous leaks to show a vertical dual camera setup, an Apple logo, and no fingerprint scanner. The front sports a bezel-less display and there is no Home Button in the front indicating that the fingerprint sensor will be embedded underneath the display. The bottom edge has a Lightning connector, dual speaker grille, an elongated power key sit on the right edge, and the volume and mute switch sit on the left edge. The dimensions mentioned are at 143.4×70.77×7.51mm, which are slightly different from the previously reported 143.59×70.94×7.57mm.

iphone8 main iPhone 8

The iPhone 7s Plus retains most of the design elements from the predecessor, with a horizontal dual camera setup, and the dimensions are at 158.38×78.1mm. The front drawing is rather interesting, with no Home Button seen in the front, nor any bezel, but this is just a schematic drawing and the final product will presumably include both the elements.

iphone7splus main iPhone 7s Plus

Geskin, in a separate tweet, also notes that the Calculator app in iOS 11 will see a revamp in design, very much inspired by the one seen on OS 1 and 2 back in the day. Despite several past reports of a delay, Geskin seems confident that the iPhone 8 will launch in September itself.

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Tags: Iphone 8, iPhone 8 Leaks, iPhone 8 Features, iPhone 8 Schematics, Mobiles, Apple

Mobile app performance remains a problem a decade after iPhone launch

 

On the 10-year anniversary of the iPhone launch, app performance problems remain a major challenge, preventing many from realising their full potential, according to new research.

As consumers have come to rely heavily on apps for everything from shopping and banking, to dating and exercising, a burgeoning app economy has emerged; forecast to be worth $100bn by 2020. As app developers have worked to tap into this huge market, the number of apps available in the Apple App Store has skyrocketed by 2,750% – rising from just 800 in July 2008 to 2.2 million by January 2017. Apple netted a cool $29bn in revenue from the store last year, up $9bn from the previous year.

However:

  • Gartner estimates that by 2019, 20% of brands will abandon their mobile apps, due to levels of adoption, customer engagement and return on investment being significantly less than expectations.
  • Dynatrace research shows that 47% of consumers expect mobile apps to load in less than three seconds and 75% will abandon it and go elsewhere if the app is slow, buggy or prone to crashes.
  • Furthermore, the Dynatrace research found that nearly a third (32%) of consumers will not use a mobile app again if it fails to work the first time.
  • 50% of Millennials will voice their bad experiences on social media and app store reviews
  • Blancco’s latest State of Mobile Device Performance and Health Report found that crashing apps were the most frequent performance issue impacting on iOS devices, found to be accountable for 32% of all problems.

Dave Anderson, digital performance expert, Dynatrace, comments, “It’s almost inconceivable that mobile apps still crash and falter at the rate they do. Consumers are spoiled for choice with so many apps to choose from, so they won’t hang around for poor performance. They’ll abandon it and find something better – even if it’s a free application. That puts a lot of pressure on developers to ensure their app works all the time, whilst satisfying the demand for it to be constantly updated with awesome new features.

“It’s really hard to achieve that kind of stability whilst innovating fast; especially when you consider that digital natives like Amazon have set the bar incredibly high, releasing software updates every 11 seconds. These rapid release cycles make it very tough to fix bugs, optimise the app and make sure security is good, but developers don’t have a choice if they’re to compete against today’s consumer expectations and the benchmarks in performance set by the leaders – like Apple, Uber, Amazon. It’s therefore crucial to consistently test and monitor how any changes made to an app will impact its performance, so developers can see problems clearly, and instantly identify the root cause in the event they do arise.”

“However, that task is becoming far more challenging, as the digital ecosystem becomes ever more complex. New device types are emerging on an almost weekly basis, and the IT stack that underpins mobile apps is evolving constantly – and extremely complicated now. Added to that, performance problems could relate to anything from the app itself to a particular device type, network carrier or operating system. As such, the old, manual ways of monitoring apps aren’t suitable for today’s app economy. Businesses need to turn to the powerful analytical capabilities of Artificial Intelligence to make sense of performance data and uncover the root cause of any problems before users feel the pain and start to abandon their apps.”

 

Cyberattacks rely on the consumer and that’s a problem, says anti-fraud app’s CEO

In March 2016, John Podesta, the former chairman of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was fooled into entering his password for his private Gmail account. And last week, ransomware cyberattacks again ravaged the globe, locking down files of major corporations and demanding they pay a ransom to unlock them. According to the CEO of an anti-fraud app, this is because cybersecurity places the onus on consumers to protect themselves – and that’s a problem.

Rodger Desai, the chief executive officer of New York startup Payfone, said that recent cyberattacks rely on individual consumers to operate. “Security today involves the consumer to secure themselves, and that’s the problem,” he told CNBC in a phone interview on Friday. “Whenever consumers are involved – and they’re always involved – people can socially engineer the consumer.”

“Security today involves the consumer to secure themselves, and that’s the problem,” he told CNBC in a phone interview on Friday. “Whenever consumers are involved – and they’re always involved – people can socially engineer the consumer.”

Desai heads the fintech firm Payfone, which uses automated customer identity authentication technology, to remove the need for using passcodes or security questions.

569666013

Tony C French | Getty Images

“There are so many ways in which cyberattacks are getting more sophisticated,” he added. “What we realized when we started the company is that these kind of attacks would grow. For example, if I wanted to reset my password with the bank and I’d forgotten it, they’re going to send my phone a code. That could be someone else.”

Last year, the malicious software “Pegasus” hacked into the phone of a human rights activist in the United Arab Emirates, forcing Apple to issue a critical software update to protect its users.

The startup’s technology verifies users’ SIM cards so that they are able to speak with customer-service representatives without having to enter passcodes or answer security questions.

Payfone’s boss told CNBC that the app could detect inconsistencies, such as unauthorized users attempting to access a mobile app or service. The company believes this will speed up the verification process for legitimate clients and businesses while preventing hackers and insurance fraudsters from accessing users’ phones.

Petya ransomware attack more complex than Wannacry: Corey Thomas

Petya ransomware attack more complex than Wannacry: Corey Thomas  Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 | 6:21 AM ET | 03:10

Desai continued: “I think the key thing is removing the consumer from the security process. Cyberattacks will only escalate because the funding of them has gone from small-time criminals to organized gangs to state sponsorship and until we remove the consumer, they will never end.”

“Petya is a different kind of malware from WannaCry,” said Jonathan Care, fraud expert and research director at Gartner, in a blog post last week. “Common delivery methods are via phishing emails, or scams, however it seems increasingly likely that Petya uses an infected application update from a breached software vendor as its initial infection vector.”

In early June, Desai’s company was announced as the authentication provider for the peer-to-peer mobile payments network Zelle, which is backed by several big banks including Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Payfone unveiled its authentication technology at the Mobile World Congress, Shanghai, a conference which showcases new mobile technologies and products.

 

Picpal Lets You Take ‘Joint Selfies’ Regardless of Location

Selfie-lovers no longer need to have their friends around for a photo session, thanks to a new app that makes it possible to take joint selfies regardless of one’s location.

The new app ‘Picpal’ is developed by a Texas-based company MyndBee, co-founded by an Indian-American Mahesh Rajagopalan, and has been officially launched on iOS and Android devices.

The app makes it possible by bringing together everyone at the same time to form a selfie collage no matter where in the world you are.

Picpal users can invite up to three friends to take their selfies along with you. They will have up to 15 minutes to respond to your Picpal request and send across their selfies to you.

The selfies can be retaken or edited using the in-built tools and text can be added also.

“PicPal combines social media, real-time collages, and the ever important selfie into one App,” Myndbee said.

“Social networking has revolutionised the way we document our lives. Picpal expands the horizon of these social documentation possibilities,” Rajagopalan said.

He said that Picpal takes the user away from passive interactions such as sharing, liking and commenting and makes a more engaging experience.

“With Picpal, we’ve created an authentic experience, connecting friends and families more intimately in real-time, no matter where they are,” he added.

The app will compile all the selfies together into a single collage that will appear in your Picpal gallery.

Each collage is jointly created with your friends, which can be shared within the app or on Facebook,Instagram, or WhatsApp.

Users begin by connecting to their Facebook account, and can invite friends via Facebook or text message.

Once these friends also download Picpal, the original user can invite them to one or more collage projects.

The initial user takes a selfie and the invited contacts have one day to respond with their own.

Once finished, it can be shared in the Picpal app with all the friends who can “heart” and comment on it, then upload it to either Facebook or Instagram.

This is the first app to take social sharing into the world of social content creation. It brings selfies that may seem lame at first to become creative photos and collages you can enjoy in the future as real time photos, Rajagopalan said.

However, if your friends don’t respond within an allotted time frame the collage expires.

The app is available for free on iOS and Android devices.

Microsoft Shares Apple Event Stage in Tech World Twist

Loyal Apple fans likely shuddered on Wednesday as longtime nemesis Microsoft was welcomed at a high-profile media event to show off software tailored for a new iPad.

The US software titan had been mocked at previous Apple events as not just an entrenched adversary but as a copycat waiting to duplicate the company’s innovations.

Yet Apple chief executive Tim Cook offered the surprise introduction by saying, “Who knows more about productivity than Microsoft?”

Building on the surprise, an Adobe demonstration came in the wake of a presentation by Microsoft executive Kirk Koenigsbauer at the San Francisco event which featured a new iPad Pro and other devices.

(Also see:  iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus With 3D Touch Display Launched)

“Now Adobe, it’s like a parade of conquered rivals paying homage,” well-known technology journalist Walt Mossberg of Re/code wrote as he covered the event.

Technology news website Mashable marked the moment with the headline “Hell freezes over: Microsoft makes surprise appearance at Apple event.”

The Mashable writer went on to put the Microsoft appearance on par with a Steve Job’s nightmare.

Late Apple co-founder Jobs unabashedly fired barbs at Microsoft, which was portrayed as an evil empire overlord while the iconic California was a rebel force.

Microsoft and Apple fans have clashed in San Francisco coffee houses with the kind of intensity though more common for lovers of rival sports teams.

(Also see:  iPad Pro With 12.9-Inch Display, Apple Pencil Stylus Launched)

Microsoft’s unprecedented appearance on an Apple event stage left those fans to now argue whether it was a sign of Microsoft’s defeat in the long-running war or whether Apple needed them as an ally to push iPads deeper into the business world.

“We are focused on reinventing productivity,” Koenigsbauer said.

“Today, more than ever we are supporting productivity on Apple devices.”

He showed off Office work software tailored for a new, larger-screen iPad Pro.

Adobe, whose Flash program was banned from iOS by Jobs in 2010, meanwhile showed off a new application designed for the iPad Pro, dubbed Photoshop Fix.

Ola Shuttle to Start Operations in Bengaluru and Gurgaon This Month

Taxi aggregator Ola said that it is expanding its services to include shuttle services on September 21, covering 100 routes with a fleet of 500 shuttles in Bengaluru and Gurgaon.

The shuttles will run on the same model as Ola cabs, with drivers operating their own own vehicles or fleets, with Ola integrating them onto the app. The app will let users track, book, and pay for shuttle commutes, which will be priced less than a dollar, TechCrunch reported.

At a price significantly less than an Ola cab ride, the shuttles will provide air conditioning, Wi-Fi access, and in-vehicle entertainment, the company said. The shuttles will have a seating capacity of 20-30 passengers, and will be a smaller form factor than a traditional bus service.

Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola Co-Founder and CEO said that the shuttle rollout will provide a comfortable and reliable commute experience to consumers at the tap of a button.

“This will bring in efficiencies at scale, for suppliers who will work with us,” he wrote in a statement to NDTV Gadgets.

Ride-sharing apps and bus aggregators could help a lot in reducing the traffic and pollution in India’s cities. Startups aggregating buses in the country include Mumbai-based Rbus and Cityflo, Gurgaon-based Shuttl, and Bengaluru-based Zipgo.

Some ride-sharing apps currently available include Mumbai-based ShareACar, Hyderabad-based Zify, apart from BlaBlaCar, which operates in India.