You may have caught our review of MoneyWiz for Mac earlier, and if you did then you’re in for a lot more of the same with the following review. Here, I’m checking out the iPad version of the finance management software from SilverWiz, and I’ll let you know how it compares, contrasts and compliments its desktop counterpart. I’ll also cover something I didn’t in the initial review, and that’s the synchronization features that the set of apps provides.
How to use MoneyWiz
Setting up accounts and such on the iOS version of the application is entirely similar to that of the desktop app. And that’s both a great and grim thing. Getting the negatives out of the way first, you may remember that I displayed a distaste for the overall UI of the Mac application, and how it really looked out of place amongst Mac applications, which for the most part remain uniform in their design, with only a few exceptions which at their best aid in productivity or beauty, such as Quicktime X and its fading borders. Well, that UI has been ported almost identically to the iPad. And while it’s still a truly good looking UI design, iPad apps have a tendency of being even more uniform than Mac apps. So, subsequently, it stands out not so much like the proverbial black sheep, but a sheep that’s caught on fire and is leaping and screaming amongst a small enclosure of chickens. It does feel more than a little harsh criticizing that though, because like I said it’s a tastefully design UI, that is minimal and provides great levels of productivity. It’s a good design, in other words. I just don’t like that it’s different.
So setting up accounts. Basically, once you enter the app, you’ll be faced with the following screen:
From here you can do one of two things. Either hit ‘add account’, and proceed with setting up some new details, or if you’re a user of the Mac or iPhone apps, then you can log in and it will take you through the synchronization process. Firstly, I’ll show you how to quickly set up your new account, so go ahead and hit ‘add account’ if you need or want to.
You’ll then be faced with this, where you can choose what type of account to create. The most common type of account is surely current account, so that’s what I’ll be using the purposes of these tests.
This is the main account screen. When tilted into portrait mode, you’ll notice that the left hand sidebar becomes a horizontal strip of icons at the top. As it is shown here, it much more closely resembles the desktop app. Now, you’ll want to be setting up your transactions, so to do this you can quite simply hit the ‘+’ symbol in the bottom right of the screen, and you’ll be faced with the following menu and subsequent entry form:
This is the form for a new income, as you can see, however the forms for alternative inputs are all very similar and intuitive, as with the desktop app. You can simply repeat this process until you have input all of your incomes and expenditures that you need, and have reached your current balance. You can change the date and frequency of these transactions too, so you can build up a ‘database’ of sorts of your direct debits and such.
How to sync MoneyWiz for iPad
Alternatively, you can choose to sync your account with one you’ve already created on another version of the app, or previously on the iPad if you’ve lost your data. All of your financial information is stored on an account that you need to create when you first use the application. As I said before, you can log in to this account from the very beginning in order to quickly display and modify your data on your iPad, or you can do it at any time after that.
In itself, the synchronisation works very well. There’s a simple pop out menu labelled with a standard iOS ‘settings’ icon, and ‘sync everything’ is one of the options in there. If you hit that, you might be asked to enter your password again and once started, it only takes a few seconds to have all of your devices displaying the same set of data. If it notices that you have different data on one device, it will prompt you with a message asking whether you want to delete the data from the current device, or use that data to replace that on the other devices. Two-way synchronisation.
One question I would raise is whether the developers would see this being implemented as an iCloud sync, considering there are no Windows or Android versions of this app then it makes sense. Perhaps this is in development, or they are building apps for other platforms. Or nothing, of course, that’s always an option too.
Using the other features of MoneyWiz
The same features, such as reports and budgets are available in the iPad app, as they are in the desktop app, as shown below. These essentially allow you to allocate finances to certain areas of spending, such as taxes or bills. It allows you to keep track of how much you’re spending on certain things easier, and allows you to move spare money from areas back into savings accounts, for example. Reports allow you to visually see how much you’ve spent and made over a certain amount of time, in certain areas, in various graphs.
Additionally to the Mac app, the iPad version includes a built-in pop-out calculator which is extremely handy, as there is no stock calculator app for the iPad. Very thoughtful and useful addition to the application, which is always easily accessible when entering data into the accounts page, where you’ll need it most.
There’s also push notifications in the mobile app, which means if you create scheduled payments to go out, you can set up notifications to remind you, displaying a badge on the icon of how many are going out. A small feature, but a useful one nonetheless.
Is MoneyWiz for iPad worth using to improve your finances?
Overall, there’s a striking resemblance between this app and the desktop app, which is something the developers deserve a lot of credit for. It can’t be easy to recreate a desktop application on the tablet, or vice versa, without sacrificing any usability and/or features. In this instance, they’ve only added features to what’s already available and the app is, like the desktop app, probably the best looking and minimalist personal finance apps available for any platform. It’s easy to use, not intimidating for personal users in the slightest, but still gives you plenty of information to allow you to work with your finances to a great extent.