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.

 

The HTC U 11 will come with an app to show you how to squeeze it

 

Someone’s got an itchy trigger finger at HTC, because a companion Edge Sense app for the HTC U 11 briefly appeared on the Google Play app store, before getting pulled again. It’s designed to walk users through what could be this phone’s most distinctive feature.

Based on a variety of leaks we’ve seen up until this point, we’re expecting Edge Sense (or maybe Sense Touch) to introduce a new way of interacting with your phone: squeezing and scrolling the sides of your handset to navigate around. It’s even teased on HTC’s official press event invite.

Before the app disappeared from view Android Police managed to grab some screenshots. It looks like it will take you through the process of testing your squeeze strength, then show off some of the ways you can use this new input method: taking photos, sending messages, launching Google Assistant, and so on.Image result for The HTC U 11 will come with an app to show you how to squeeze it

Squeeze frame action

A pressure-sensitive frame would help HTC stand out in what’s already a very competitive market as far as 2017 phone launches go. There’s the added bonus of being able to interact with your phone without obscuring the screen, though we’ll have to wait to test the phone to see exactly how well it works.

What we can’t see in any of these screenshots are the Edge Sense options, so it’s not clear how you’ll be able to configure it or what else it can do – presumably you can slide as well as squeeze to navigate menus, adjust the volume and so on, but that’s to be confirmed.

We’re expecting to see a 5.5-inch, 1440 x 2560 display when the phone is finally unveiled on Tuesday, as well as a Snapdragon 835 chipset and as much as 6GB of RAM powering everything under the hood. We’ve collected all the most recent rumors for you here.

 

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.

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Tags: Privacy Shade App, Blackberry, Apps, Android, Privacy Shade

 

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.”