The second task in this year's series of The Apprentice was all about mobile phone apps, with the candidates road-testing all manner of dodgy accent impressions and farmyard noises in the race for success. Whilst the girls' 'Ampi-Apps' recorded over 10,000 worldwide downloads, the boys' 'Slangatang' app received substantially less, and Lord Sugar was left nonplussed at their inability to harness a market that, in his own words, "exploded over the past couple of years."
But, gimmicks aside, what type of apps offer solid practical support in the wonderful world of small business, where every shortcut counts? Stylist takes a look at some of the options currently available that promise to make your work life easier.
WebEx Meeting Centre app
This WebEx app from Cisco is available for both the iPhone and iPad and combines real-time desktop sharing with phone conferencing. It allows users to view shared content so everyone sees the same thing while they talk - and crucially, you can hold and join meetings without the time and cost of travel. You can also use it to pitch for new business on the move. It was recently rated as a top ten app by onlinesocialmedia.net and is free to download for a two-week trial from the iTunes app store. It's free the whole time for people to join - rather than host - meetings.
Launched a couple of weeks ago, this web app from Simplexo lets you access your desktop remotely from your phone to search your home or office computer for specific files, including presentations, images and media content. Data is encrypted so access is secure and it doesn't compromise security settings.
GetJar's DebtDroid app helps you keep track of people who have borrowed money and exactly how much they owe. An alarm notification feature will act as a reminder of when money is due to be paid back. It's free to download and works on every type of handset and platform.
ExpenseMagic aims to take the fuss away from claiming back expenses, allowing you to manage receipts on the go. The user takes a picture of the receipt or invoice, which is automatically processed and stored onto secure servers. Come expense report time, you can then easily generate the digitised receipts from your iPhone or online account, so keeping track of your business spendings. ExpenseMagic is fully UK tax compliant and the initial download comes with five free tokens, for five expenses. Subsequent bundles of 20 tokens can be purchased for £2.99.