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Like it or not, summer is officially upon us. No matter how you like to spend your summer days, be it at the beach, the mountains, your backyard, or even in a constantly temperature controlled environment, there are plenty of new gear and gadgets out there to enhance your warm weather excursions (or, likewise, enhance your warm weather sitting around doing nothing time). We’ve gathered some of the best new products that will keep you connected, entertained, safe, and informed, as you make your way through the doggiest of dog days.
PULSE Hybrid Charger– ($70) PULSE is a charging device that uses solar panels to recharge itself while you’re partaking in your favorite outdoor activities. It was created by Live Work Play and comes with a 5000mAh internal battery, which is enough power to charge an iPhone5 fully 3 times. It is approximately the size of an iPhone and can charge two devices at once. It can also be plugged in to recharge, when you’re not outside.
Sony Digital Recording Binoculars ($2000) Birdwatching has never been cooler. These binoculars from Sony can zoom to as much as 25x magnification. They are dustproof/rainproof and offer full HD and 3D video recording capabilities. It uses Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization and By Pixel Super Resolution for super clear images.
Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet – ($299) Meet Earl. Earl is the first tablet engineered to withstand extreme environmental conditions. It was named after the creator’s Italian Greyhound, and the first prototype was built using e-reader development platforms by Freescale Semiconductor coupled with a multitude of sensors from Sparkfun and Adafruit Industries. Earl was originally crowdfunded, and is now available for sale.
The Dash Wireless Headphones– ($299) You’ll never again have to worry about getting tangled in your headphone cords during your early morning runs (not that I would know anything about this…I never run early in the morning). These wireless, biosensing headphones from Bragi offer freedom of movement paired with great sound. It has a 4GB integrated music player and capabilities to track your performance and vitals. You can even wear them underwater!
Swimmo Smart Swim Watch – ($189) Swimmo is a smart watch that lets you track your swimming workout. It has a built in Intensity Coach, Pace Keeper, and heart rate monitor. Swimmo successfully completed a Kickstarter campaign, raising over $184k, or 472% of their initial goal. It also syncs with platforms like Facebook, Strava, and RunKeeper.
Wristboom Wireless Wearable Speaker – (Under $20) Wristboom is not widely available yet, but they’re in the middle of an IndieGoGo campaign that could make the device soon available for under $20. The product itself is pretty self explanatory. It’s a speaker that you can wear on your wrist (or ankle, or tied to a beach umbrella or bike handle) like a watch. We recently dedicated an entire article to it. You can read more about it here.
Otterbox Resurgence Power Case – ($100) Waterproofing is more important in summer than any other time of the year. Otterbox has a new case for the iPhone 6 that combines waterproofing with external charging. The case has a 2,600 mAh battery, which will double the longevity of your phone and it comes with Otterbox’s standard military-rated drop protection.
From my research (read: Google searches), it could be said that we’ve entered the summer of “how many ways can we wear our music?” Seriously, it would have been much easier to create a list of all of the wearable speakers that are out right now, for example, how about a speaker that doubles as a lovely pendant? Sure, most everyone loves music, however, my goal was to introduce you to unique gear and gadgets to enhance all of your myriad of summer activities. If you’re happy with what you’ve seen here, please feel free to gift me any of the above to show your gratitude (I’ll even accept the pendant speaker).
Image Credit: PULSE Hybrid Charger
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As indicated by the number, the Gear Fit 2 is the successor to the first Gear Fit launched two years ago. Calling it simply a successor or an upgrade, however, would be a bit of a injustice. Although it doesn’t get a complete overhaul, Samsung implemented substantial changes both inside and out, refining what was already a popular smart fitness band.
The biggest internal change is the addition of a standalone GPS. Other fitness trackers, especially those attached to a smartphone, usually depend on that smartphone for location data. With its own GPS, the Gear Fit 2 becomes independent. Not only that, it also becomes more accurate, as it can track not just distance but even your pace. All of these come with a what Samsung describes as “really cool” visualization, putting your tracks and paths on a map for record keeping, and maybe a bit of boasting as well.
The latest Gear Fit also features automatic activity tracking. Through its various motion sensors, it can determine when you’ve started an activity, which kind of activity, and when you’ve stopped. It can differentiate from running, biking, and, well, sleeping. All of these data, including those from the GPS as well as the day’s weather, are easily accessed and seen in instant feedback that offers quick snapshots of different stats, which users can cycle through by swiping left and right.
Design-wise, Samsung implemented some changes based on users’ biggest wishes regarding ergonomics. For example, the Gear Fit 2 comes with a wider 1.5-inch AMOLED display. What this means in practice is that you can view the full horizontal data without having to dislocate your wrist. The curvature has also been increased to follow the contours of the wrist better. Despite the additional components and increased display size, the Gear Fit 2 remains lightweight at only 33 grams. It is also IP68 rated, which makes it safe from quite some water and dust.
Two important new features of the Gear Fit 2 is connectivity and music. Fitness is no longer simply a personal matter, though it can pretty much be such. Additional motivation, inspiration, and challenges can also come from others in your social circles, be they family or friends. Sometimes, even a bit of competitiveness can go a long way in helping your reach that last mile. Part of that connectivity also includes connecting with the smartphone in your pocket or on your arm. Aside from receiving “one way” notifications from Android apps, the smart sports band now also lets your reply to messages or reject calls with a predefined response, or even an emoji.
Music can also a well known booster. The Gear Fit 2, via the smartphone, can stream music from any service, be it Pandora, Amazon, Google Music, or Samsung’s own Milk Music. Samsung also struck up a partnership with Spotify to design an app that is tailored and optimized for the Gear Fit 2. But if you want to be offline, the band also has 4 GB of storage space to use. In fact, that way saves up on battery. The Gear Fit 2 lasts 3 to 4 days of typical with an average workout schedule. On standby or with simple steps tracking, it can last for 5 days or more.
You don’t have to wait for self-driving cars to upgrade your experience behind the wheel. You don’t even have to buy an expensive new luxury vehicle. Instead, add some 21st-century intelligence to your drive with a few smart gadgets and apps. These devices can log the miles you’ve driven, improve your parking, spot engine problems before they get serious, and more. Best of all, none of them will break the bank.Tap into vehicle data
Since 1996, most cars made for sale in the US have had what’s known as an on-board diagnostics, or OBD-II, port. Located under the dashboard, this opening allows mechanics and manufacturers to access data about the vehicle’s mileage and current state of health. By plugging a specialized sensor into this port and downloading an app to interpret its findings, you can bypass the pros and tap into this on-board information yourself.
You can’t go wrong with Dash, which provides both the free app (available for iOS and Android) and the hardware you’ll need. In fact, it offers a variety of sensors, ranging in price from $10 to $99. Each device can pick up and record different types of diagnostic information—such as distances, routes, fuel consumption, and engine health—so make sure the product description says it can sense the stats you want to access. When you choose a sensor and put it in the OBD-II port, it sends this data to the app, which tracks, interprets, and shares the details. For example, if you break down, Dash can give you a report on what’s wrong and how much it will probably cost to fix; if you’re in a crash, Dash can automatically notify close friends and family.
Like Dash, Automatic offers both a smartphone app and a physical sensor, and it has an almost identical set of features. In addition, it includes extras like a dedicated response team to help if you have an accident, and real-time tracking of your driving and parking. The number of extras you receive depends on the plan you buy. The Automatic Lite plan has route tracking and engine diagnostics, and it will set you back a one-time fee of $80; the Pro version comes with crash assistance and support for third-party extensions, and it costs $130.
If you don’t care for the comprehensive route tracking you get from Dash and Automatic, you can purchase similar services that concentrate less on tracking and more on diagnostics. Fixd charges $60 for a single sensor, which you can then pair with the free app (for iOS or Android). After a certain number of miles, it will send you maintenance reminders, and it will also flag any issues the engine might be experiencing.
OBD Auto Doctor works along similar lines, and it can run from a Windows or macOS computer as well as an iOS or Android device. Look up fuel consumption, diagnose engine problems, track your car’s health, and more—you can try the app for free, but to see all the data you need to pay a one-time unlock fee of $18. On top of the unlock price, you’ll also need to buy a compatible OBD-II sensor, such as the LELink Bluetooth ($35 on Amazon).Install sensors
An OBD-II sensor acts as a quick and easy upgrade—you can fit it in seconds—but if you’d prefer more specialized features, you can try out a variety of stand-alone devices to help you park, record your ride, and control your entertainment.
Many cars now come fitted with cameras and detectors that make parking easier. If yours doesn’t, you can find a range of aftermarket sensors to fit any vehicle. For example, the Pemenol Reverse Parking Controller $30 on Amazon comes with four sensors you attach to the rear of a vehicle. These detect nearby objects, then pass this information to a device on the dashboard that buzzes when you get close to rear-ending an obstacle. Spend more money, and you can get kits with more options: The Pyle Car Backup system ($60 on Amazon) comes with a camera you place on the car’s back and a 7-inch screen you can mount to the dashboard to make sure you’re slotting perfectly into the available space. No matter your budget or your car, you can find a parking bundle that suits your needs..
Speaking of cameras, if you’re seeking another smart and reasonably-priced upgrade, consider a dashcam. In the event of a smash-up, it gives you video evidence of everything that happened. Manufacturers have a huge range of camera options, so we’d like to single out two of our favorites. The Z-Edge Ultra ($100 on Amazon) records with full HD video quality, has the ability to pick out license plates, and starts and stops recordings automatically based on when the car is running. If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Falcon Zero F360+ ($170 on Amazon) has built-in night vision and dual cameras for monitoring the inside and the outside of the car at the same time. This will come in handy for Uber drivers who want to keep an eye on their passengers. To save space, it fits right over the rear-view mirror.
Finally, consider upgrading your entertainment and navigation system with a stereo that supports Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Both systems let your car’s dashboard mirror useful apps, such as maps and music, from your iPhone or your Android device, making them easier to control. Many new cars now let you use both options, but older vehicles may not support them. In that case, you can swap out the existing head unit with a modern one and enjoy the best of Apple or Android. The Sony XAV-AX100 ($438 on Amazon) and JVC KW-V830BT ($412 on Amazon) have the distinction of supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the same device. If you’d prefer to save money, however, you can opt for a unit that only supports one or the other—as long as you don’t plan to switch phone platforms in the near future.Download apps
Don’t want to buy hardware? Try one of these apps, which can add smarts to your drive without requiring that you plug any physical hardware into your vehicle. They’ll help you save money on gas, record your commute, find the best parking, and navigate smoothly.
Take the free app GasBuddy (for iOS and Android), which looks at all the gas stations in your local area and sorts the results by price and distance. It can direct you to the cheapest fuel nearby, allowing you to take your pick and keep costs down to a minimum.
Meanwhile, if you don’t want to pay for a separate dashcam, you can get your phone to do the job, provided that you have a good mount and a power cable. Two of the better free apps are Dash Cam 2 (for iOS only) and CaroO (for Android only). They use your phone’s camera to record what’s happening on the road ahead of you and then safely store the footage in case you need it later.
As for parking, BestParking (for iOS and Android) will help you compare parking spots and prices at multiple locations within a city. So no matter where you plan to explore, you can work out the most convenient and cost-effective place to leave your car. While you can download and use the app for free, if you upgrade to a premium account for a one-time fee of $3, you’ll receive extra search filters and photographs of potential parking lots.
Finally, don’t forget your trusty mapping apps, such as Apple Maps (for iOS only), Google Maps (for iOS and Android), and Waze (for iOS and Android). They can get you from A to B along the fastest route, warn you about traffic problems, and direct you to nearby parking spots in busy locations. Even if your car comes with a built-in GPS system, try comparing its performance to the apps on your phone to see if they offer any improvements.
The GST era started in India on 1st July, 2023, and Tally has walked every mile of that journey with you and your business. And this page is here to help you prepare for that journey, by telling you all about the essentials of GST.
For example, if you are wondering how to get started with GST, or if you are not sure how to classify your goods or services and apply the tax rates, then we have got all the answers for you.Applicability for GST
First things first, you have to figure out if GST is applicable for your business. The GST department (GSTN) has defined certain rules and criteria depending on the nature, the turnover, and the location of the business. If your business meets the criteria for GST, then you can proceed to register your business. To know more about GST , refer to our blog.Register for GST
GST registration is a fairly simple process. You have to apply for GST registration by submitting the necessary documents, which will depend on the nature of your business. Then the GSTN will verify the documents and approve the registration, if all your documents are in order. GSTN might reach out to you if any clarification is needed. The registration process is very transparent and you can track the status at any point. Once the registration is complete, GSTN will provide a GST Registration Certificate along with a unique GST identification number (GSTIN) for your business. To know more about GST registration, refer to our blog.Understand GST Rates
The next order of business is identifying the nature of goods or services that your business deals with. Subsequently, you will be able to identify the GST rates applicable. All goods and services under GST are classified under the HSN and SAC systems, respectively. Depending on the HSN/SAC, GST will be levied on your goods or services at a certain rate. To know more about GST rates, refer to our blog.
As you know the first step to identify yourself as a Regular dealer registered under GST, you need to get a GST registration. This is handled by the department and hence not a procedure in TallyPrime. To know more about obtaining a GST registration, contact your CA.
Once you obtain a GSTIN, you can record it in the TallyPrime Company, whether it is a new Company or an existing one. However, TallyPrime will not stop you from proceeding until you get the number. When you are sure about the type of registration that you are going to get, you can get started – a flexibility that TallyPrime provides! You can record the GSTIN later.
Talking about the GSTIN, from TallyPrime Release 3.0 onwards you can record multiple GSTINs in one TallyPrime Company. This will allow you to record transactions under different registrations, generate returns for each registration, and file returns. However, all MIS reports will be for the Company, and not GSTIN-wise. You can also maintain separate voucher number series for each registration and voucher type.
To know more, refer to the Set Up GST Details of Your Company.
After defining your GST registration type and other details in TallyPrime, you can start recording your transactions. You can also do a one-time setup of masters. To know more, refer to Create/Update Masters for GST.
Setting up tax rates at the right place is an important aspect of recording GST transactions. Whether you have multiple stock items with their corresponding tax rates or a single stock item attracting a single tax rate, TallyPrime bring for you the flexibility to specify the tax rates as per your business practice. This means, you can set the tax rates at the company, ledger, or stock item level. Irrespective of the level where you define, TallyPrime does not stop you from recording a transaction with a different tax rate altogether.
You might have end up defining the tax rates for your goods and services at different levels at different times in your business. If you are worried about how to bring in a consistent approach that you can follow while recording transactions, relax! You do not have to do any manual changes in your masters. Setup the stock item masters to follow a preferred tax rate hierarchy and that is all.
All you need to do for recording transactions that comply with GST rules are:
Ensure that for parties that are businesses, the Party Ledgers have the right GST details.
Provide the required GST details like HSN/SAC and tax rates for items/services.
Create and use tax ledgers for CGST, SGST and IGST as applicable.
Though you have the flexibility to create/alter party details and create tax ledgers any time, and provide GST details of items/services during voucher creation, it will be tedious for you. Additionally, chances of making mistakes are high. To address these, you can setup ledgers and Stock Items/Service Ledgers at one go. Utilise the different options that TallyPrime provides to specify the GST details of items and services. You need to decide which option to choose based on your business needs.
Purchases & Sales: Once you have the ledgers and stock items in place, you can easily record your purchases and sales under GST in TallyPrime. Here also, TallyPrime helps you handle various business scenarios with ease. While recording GST transactions you can avail the flexibility offered by TallyPrime to create vouchers in different modes. Similarly, you can follow your business practices of using orders, delivery notes, debit/credit notes, and so on.
RCM transactions and tax liabilities (ITC): The options in TallyPrime are built such that they cater to various of your business practices. If your business receives goods/services that fall under reverse charge mechanism (RCM), then you need to pay GST for such purchases to the department. You can also avail Input Tax Credit (ITC) for the amount from the department. In TallyPrime, you can record purchases under RCM with appropriate GST, raise tax liability, and avail ITC. When you are using TallyPrime, tax liability and ITC are calculated automatically just by recording the required RCM purchase entries. However, you can record journal vouchers for tax liability depending on your business practices.
GST payments to department: You will need to identify the GST payables to the department, considering the ITC claims, and make the necessary tax payments. At times due to unavoidable situations in your business, you might need to pay late fees, penalties or interests as well. If you are wondering how to keep your books updated in such cases, then no worries! Once you make the payments to the department, recording a payment voucher for the period in which the tax is paid helps you to keep your books updated.
One of the critical steps in businesses under the tax regimes is to file their returns successfully. All your transactions will finally need to show up in the returns as per the requirements by GSTN. If you have not provided all the details while recording the transactions, the transactions are moved to the respective buckets in the GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns for you to validate and ensure that any missing information is updated. TallyPrime facilitates you with different ways of filing your returns – Generating the JSON file and upload to the portal, or use the GST offline tool, or provide the details directly on the portal.
To know more, refer to:
If you are a registered buyer, then the details of all your purchases will appear in GSTR-2A once your sellers have uploaded their respective GSTR-1 details. Similarly, TallyPrime provides you with GSTR-2B that is automatically generated from a seller’s filed return, after the due date. Once your sellers or suppliers file the relevant return, such as GSTR-1, GSTR-5, or GSTR-6, then the details of all your purchases as well as Input Tax Credit (ITC) will appear in GSTR-2B.
After you have uploaded or filed your returns, it is always recommended that you reconcile the portal data with the data in your company books.
To know more, refer to:
You only have to import your returns data into TallyPrime, and the relevant details from the portal will appear seamlessly in the reconciliation reports. You can compare the values of the imported data with your books of account, update your records if you find any mismatches and stay up-to-date.
The first and most obviously essential item for any mobile gamer is a powerful smartphone. So what should you look for? Generally you want the latest and greatest processor paired with a healthy amount of RAM and enough storage space for games with large file sizes. Other nice-to-haves are big, high refresh rate screens and a large battery with quick charging capabilities.
While most current flagship phones offer more than enough power to blast through games, certain specialized gaming phones have features designed with gamers in mind. These include 90 or 120Hz screens, active cooling, faster memory, huge batteries, and hardware additions like shoulder buttons. Typically this comes with other compromises (usually weak camera performance), but there are gaming models for all price ranges.
Razer Raiju Mobile
The best that money can buy
If money is no object, the Razer Raiju Mobile is the ultimate mobile gaming controller. It’s a truly premium offering that’s designed specifically for use with smartphones. Other brands have copied this design, but none can match up in terms of quality.
See price at Woot!
SteelSeries Stratus Duo
For at home and on the go
The SteelSeries Stratus Duo doesn’t have all the same bells and whistles as the Razer Raiju, but it is a capable controller that you can also use with your PC or Mac. Be sure to grab the smartphone clip, which fits phones up to 6.5-inches.
See price at Amazon
The Switch-like controller for everyone
If you don’t want to carry a full controller around, the smaller Razer Junglecat might be a better fit. It looks and works like a pair of Nintendo Switch controllers, clipping onto the sides of your phone.
See price at Amazon
The retro gamer’s choice
As far as retro games go, there is no better gamepad than the classic SNES controller. The 8BITDO SN30 is exactly that, but with bluetooth. Every retro gamer needs this controller in their life, trust me.
See price at AmazonMobile gaming headphones
Gaming is one of the most taxing tasks you can do on your smartphone, and running out of juice can cut your gaming sessions short if you don’t have a plug nearby. Considering mobile gaming is, well, mobile, the odds of not having a charger plugged in while gaming is pretty high.
Read also: The best 10,000mAh power banks you can buy
This is why you should always carry around a power bank to gain a quick boost in battery life. These come in all shapes and sizes (including huge ones for laptops), but here are a few that won’t take up too much space in your bag (or take a big chunk out of your wallet).
There are all kinds of other accessories that can be useful when gaming on mobile devices. One obvious example is a battery pack case, which can extend the life of your battery similar to a power bank. Which model you need depends on your phone, but some brands are better than others.
Apart from that, here are a few extra products that can enhance your mobile gaming experience.
Google Stadia Premiere Edition
A sneak peek of the future
It’s still in early stages, but Google’s cloud gaming platform allows you to stream PC and console quality games to your smartphone. For now it only works on wifi with Pixel phones, but expect expanded support and additional features in the coming months.
See price at Google Store
Google Chromecast Ultra
Mobile gaming on a big screen
If you find yourself gaming on your phone in front of a large TV, why not play directly on that TV with a Chromecast? Paired with a bluetooth controller, it’s a fantastic way to play everything from retro games to mobile classics.
See price at Amazon
Emish mobile game triggers
Cheap and cheerful game triggers
If you don’t want to carry a full bluetooth controller in your bag but still want to gain an upper hand in PUBG , Fortnite, or CoD Mobile, these simple game triggers will do the trick. They clip onto the top of your phone so you can shoot and move without resorting to awkward claw grip techniques.
See price at Amazon
Note 8 accessories: New Gear VR with Controller, and more
Samsung doesn’t just have a brand new smartphone for you today, it also has a batch of new Galaxy Note 8 accessories, too. Launching alongside the Android phablet is an updated range of Note 8 cases, shells, QWERTY keyboard sleeves, and a new Gear VR with Controller. However, if you’re an existing Galaxy S8 or S8+ user, some of the accessories you already have might play nicely with the Note 8, too.
Most notably – no pun intended – is the Samsung DeX docking station. Just as we saw with the Galaxy S8, dropping the Note 8 into the cradle and then hooking up an HDMI monitor and either Bluetooth or USB peripherals like a keyboard and mouse will turn the smartphone into a PC replacement. However, there are a few new additions on the software side for DeX that arrive with the Note 8.
For instance, there’s a redesigned app launcher, along with a new Game Launcher which pulls together all of the titles loaded on your phone. There’s support for more external devices, too, including musical keyboards and other such controllers. Support has been added for enterprise video conferencing, and you can dock or undock the Note 8 without dropping an ongoing call. Samsung says that, eventually, the same features will be added to DeX on the Galaxy S8, though they’ll debut on the Note 8 first.
Meanwhile, Samsung has a range of cases in a variety of styles. On the more classic side, there are fabric and leather folios, including some with useful kickstands. Rigid plastic and silicone sleeves are in the range, too.
Samsung’s oddball QWERTY case also makes a reappearance, for those who simply can’t give up their fond memories of BlackBerry. As before, it clips onto the Note and covers roughly the lower third of the display, with each of the hardware buttons pushing through and tapping the touchscreen accordingly.
A new version of the Samsung Gear VR with Controller has been revealed for the Note 8, too. It’s designed to accommodate the larger phone, while supporting Samsung’s recently-unveiled wireless controller that promises a sub-20ms sensor latency. As well as the Note 8, the new model will work with the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the S7 and S7 edge, the Note 5, and the Galaxy S6, S6 edge, and S6+. [Update: Just to make it 100% clear, if you have an existing Gear VR it won’t work with the new Note 8: the phablet is too big]
MORE: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hands-on
The new Gear VR for Note 8 goes up for preorder from August 24, alongside the phablet itself, both online at Samsung, Amazon, and Best Buy’s stores, together with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and US Cellular. It’ll hit shelves from September 15, both at those locations and at T-Mobile stores. Pricing is $129.99.
If you’re preordering the Note 8 itself, Samsung has some bundled accessories to sweeten the deal there, too. Those ordering the phone between August 24 and September will get to choose between either a free Gear 360 camera, or a 128GB microSD and wireless charging pad bundle.
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