I have been wanting to write something about iBank for a while now but I have held off for a couple of reasons. The main being the release of the new iPad application. Recently I decided to install MonyWiz and run some tests in parallel with iBank and it seemed a good time to write down my views.
I will be the first to admit that I was never very good with money. But since buying my house I have had to be a lot more careful with my cash. At the start of the year I purchased iBank for the mac and I have been using it religiously. It surprising where your money goes and its been an essential tool in cutting back on purchases.
Up until recently I have been happy with iBank for the mac and the iPhone. I have been eagerly following the development of iBank for the ipad and purchased it on the first day of the release. I gave up using it after one night of attempting to get it working and several frustrating days that followed. This made me look for alternative products I could use to meet my requirements.
iBank for the mac was the first financial software I have ever used and it took a good few weeks to get my head around it, but after this period I really got into it and enjoyed using it. The real stand out features for me are as follows:
- Nice looking, useful reports.
- Transaction templates for quick data input.
- Clean intuitive interface.
Consistency in software
- Budgets do not sync between the mobile applications. This is strange because you want to check your budget before making a purchase not when you get back to your mac.
- You can not see or post scheduled transaction from the mobile applications.
- Transaction templates sync to the iPhone application but not the iPad application.
- You make an account hidden in the iPad app but make it primary in the iPhone app. (Lack of consistency in wording and functions)
Due to the issues I was having with the mobile iBank applications I set out to find a new finance app that would meet my requirements. This is when I came across MoneyWiz, this is a much newer product and you can tell from first using it. It seems to be been built from the ground up with continuity in both look and functionality across all of the platforms it runs on. Its built-in sync system works great and was a pleasant change to all the issues I have previously had.
The stand out features for MoneyWiz are:
- Sync, Sync Sync Sync
- Software consistancy
- Nice Design
There are some issues with MoneyWiz and they are also due to the product being in its infancy. The software is lacking some features and refinements. The main issue I have is with the reports, in iBank for the mac the graphs and pie charts look really well rendered and the information is well displayed, but in MoneyWiz they look rough around the edges and have lots of options missing to create really useful reports.
The other issue was with the entry speed of transactions on the iPhone app. This should be lightning quick but it’s not. The process starts with my pet software hate, a push and hold button, there is plenty of space at the bottom of the home screen for a big “New Transaction” button. (just seen patch notes for 1.4, fingers crossed the push and hold goes!). I really enjoy UI design and if moneywiz want some more suggestions let me know.
I have used the support department for both products, it’s very difficult to judge them two side by side because both issues were very different. The MoneyWiz support department had me back up and running again within 3 email and a max of 3 hours. I ended up talking to a live IGG representative and gave with it after an hour and worked the issue out myself.
I have now fully moved over to MoneyWiz for all my financial tracking. The short comings are not massive and I can live without them for the moment. There seems to be a constant stream of updates for the software and the company keeps its users informed of new developments. I think this product will only get better with time.
I still have hope for iBank and I will keep an eye on their software releases, but the rate they release updates is painfully slow and new features take an age. iBank has a great following and lots of people willing to help make the product great but they are largely ignored by IGG which is frustrating.
I have revisited this topic and you can read about it here