Review: SplashData SplashMoney
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.
SplashMoney ($10) by SplashData is the iPhone and iPod touch version of the popular financial software for desktop PCs, Palm OS, Pocket PC, and BlackBerry. Unlike many of the more simple finance applications covered in this article, SplashMoney aims to be something more akin to a desktop application, offering syncing, downloading of the user’s latest account information directly from his or her bank, and more.
Users are shown a brief quick start guide they first run the application, which is thereafter available in the tools menu. We see this as nearly mandatory for an app as complex as SplashMoney, and would like to see this practice spread to other categories of iPhone apps—once the iPhone OS is stable enough that repeated reinstallation of apps isn’t necessary. The main account screen lists all of the user’s accounts, five of which are pre-created for convenience, and the balance for each. Icons at the bottom of the screen provide the ability to set and manage budgets, add accounts, view reports, and download new account information if the user’s financial institution offers it. A blue button in the bottom right lists the currently available balance, either for all accounts or just an individual account, depending on where in the app the user happens to be.
As with many other iPhone finance apps, tapping on an account brings up that account’s main view, with a listing of transactions, each with the appropriate amount (either debit or credit), along with a category icon next to the transaction’s name. On the new transaction screen, users may enter the date, payee, type, amount, category, class, state (cleared or uncleared), and memo information.
On the budgets screen, users can set up individual budgets for a wide variety of categories, including auto, dining, entertainment, groceries, insurance, medical, salary, travel, and more, with each showing the budget amount and the amount spent. A total of all budgeted funds and the remaining balance are shown at the bottom of the screen; users can also choose to view budgets from last month, last quarter, last year, or the current month, quarter, or year.
While its interface isn’t the best we’ve seen among competing apps, it’s not bad, and SplashMoney stands alone as the only currently available personal finance application for the iPhone and iPod touch to offer syncing to a desktop application—in this case, SplashMoney for Mac or Windows—and the ability to download the latest transaction information directly from the user’s financial institution. Users looking for a simple app to keep track of daily spending will most likely find this app to be a bit overpowered, but for those looking for desktop-class financial management on their iPhone or iPod touch, it’s the best option currently available.