Review: Design by a knife Pennies
On August 25, 2008, we reviewed a collection of 15 different personal finance applications for the iPhone and iPod touch in a roundup entitled iPhone Gems: Every Personal Finance Application, Reviewed. This review contains a review of one application from that roundup; additional comparative details can be found in the original full story.
Possessing what is by far the most aesthetically pleasing interface of any currently available personal finance applications for the iPhone and iPod touch, Pennies ($3) from design by a knife aims to offer simple balance and spending information for one account. Using a tabbed interface, it offers a quick view of this month’s spending, a listing of individual transactions, and a view of past months’ spending history.
The tab labeled “this month” offers a single widget-style box with a fuel-style gauge that goes from full to empty, reflecting the amount of money remaining in that month’s budget. Setting the monthly budget amount is as simple as clicking on the top of the gauge and moving a slider. Next to the gauge is a listing of the three top expense categories, as well as stats showing the average amount spent per day and the total number of expenses thus far that month.
A large add expense button at the bottom lets users add transactions, selected from pre-determined categories including general, food, amusement, travel, household, auto, hobby, electronics, personal, and groceries, each with its own related icon. The amount is entered using a numeric pad below the category listing. Expenses are listed in their own view on graphical representations of slips of paper, one for each day’s transactions. Clicking on an individual expense allows the user to enter notes related to that expense.
It certainly isn’t the cheapest or most full-featured finance application available for the iPhone and iPod touch, but Pennies makes up for this with a thoughtful, human interface that is the easiest to use out of all its competition. For users that simply want to track their spending, Pennies is definitely worthy of consideration, and it merits our strong general recommendation.