How about these for stocking fillers? - Veterinary Practice
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How about these for stocking fillers?

tries out a variety of the latest Apps in search of what readers might find useful

CHRISTMAS is coming and
hopefully – depending on your
perspective – business will be
getting a little quieter. No doubt
you’ll be wondering what to do with
the extra time on your hands

Well, if the statistics are to be
believed, there’s a fair probability that
you own an iPhone. If that’s the case,
you’ll have time to scan Apple’s iTunes
App Store looking for something
useful or a little
different. So with the
season in mind, what
are the must-have


It must be hard to be
a retailer now. With
town centres in
trouble, the impact of
lookalike high streets,
the economy and competition from
rivals and the internet, retailers must
be quaking in their boots at the
thought of the first app we’re going to
look at – RedLaser.

In simple terms, this app is a
barcode scanner which, when
combined with an iPhone, is an
absolute killer product. How many
times have you wandered around the
shops and bought a product only to
find out later that it was (significantly)
less expensive elsewhere?

With RedLaser, you’ll be able to
run a price comparison in three
seconds. The app uses the iPhone’s
camera to zap a barcode to source
information on what the product is,
who sells it and at what cost. Price
comparison made easy – and lethal!

  • Price: free


We live in hardened times. Time is
money and money is, er, money.
Discount vouchers are everywhere, if
only you care to look. Sure, there are
websites such as
vouchers.html where a quick search will
find a voucher for, say, a two for one
pizza meal. But by definition, this rules
out the impromptu dining experience because you need a
computer and printer to
get the voucher. Enter

The premise is easy
to understand: the app
finds deals according to
your locality and the
chosen category using
the in-built GPS or the
location you’ve told it to search on. Once
you’ve found the deal you want, tap a
button and an electronic code will be presented which you can give to the
restaurant (or trader).

The app will also give you the
contact details – phone and address – so
that you can make that all important

Categories include food, drink, days
out, health and beauty, online
(shopping), services, travel and hotels,
home and DIY, leisure, retail and film
and theatre. So much to choose from…

  • Price: free


The art of letter writing is dying. With
electronic devices and SMS texting, it’s
all too easy to send a message by
tapping away, ignoring the pen.
However, postcards seem to be
surviving; we all like to tell our family
and friends just how lucky we are to be
on holiday, somewhere else.

But even so, it can be a chore to
have to trawl an unfamiliar town looking
for postcards and stamps so that news
of your escape can be broadcast. And it
must be quite galling to find that the
postcard arrives days after you’ve got home. If this is a
bugbear for you,
consider investing in

It’s a cracking
idea: combine the
photographic and
design features of
the iPhone with the
speed of the
internet. With
Postman, you create
your own two-sided
electronically, with a
photo you’ve taken
with your iPhone for
the front, to which
you add your own
greeting and a
message on the rear.

As if to rub salt into the wound of
the stay-at-home recipients, Postman
will let you add an image depicting the
weather. It also allows customisation of
the card style and typeface.

A brilliant idea that will save a
fortune in postcards, stamps and time.

  • Price: £1.79


The iPhone 4, since its launch at the
end of June, has been at the top of the
best-seller lists. Of its many features,
one that is often not written or talked
about is the built-in LED flash.

Apart from being used for its
designed purpose – a short-range flash
for the iPhone’s camera – it’s a great
pocket torch which, considering its
diminutive size, is incredibly bright.
Even better, Light can be set to flash
“SOS” in Morse code should trouble
arise. Lost keys in a cinema, walking
around at night, fiddling with cables in
the dark – none is a problem with Light.

  • Price: free


A pet hate of many is the use of
premium rate or non-geographic phone
numbers by those in business. It’s bad
enough paying to make these calls from a landline, but make the call from a
mobile and you’ll get a shock when the
bill arrives. The solution? Either don’t
make the call or use an app such as

0870 looks just like the iPhone’s
phone app, but the difference is that
when a number is entered 0870 goes
online to its database and searches for a
geographic alternative.

It doesn’t always find a number, but
when it does, the number can be dialled
directly from the app, and of course, the
call should come out of your inclusive
minutes. A huge saving and one in the
eye for sharp business operators.

  • Price: free


Getting the lowdown on movies –
times and reviews – in your local area
isn’t hard, but it’s not always
convenient. Invariably you’ll need a
copy of the local paper or, alternatively,
you’ll need to go online. But if movies
are of interest, then you really ought to
get Flixster.

As with other apps featured here,
this app uses the built-in GPS to find
cinemas in your local area and their
showtimes. But that’s not all.

Want to see reviews of the films
you could be booking? Touch a tab on the bottom and you
can view what’s on,
what the critics and
public think. Further,
you can also view

The only
downside is you need
to remember that the
app pulls the ratings
from the US. Other
than that, it’s well
worth the price.

  • Price: free

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