iBank – Interim Update

Although it’s been less than a week since I bought iBank, I thought it was worth giving an update on how I’m getting along with it, or more particularly how I’m getting on with the combination of the Mac and iPhone apps.

Being able to quickly enter transactions as they happen on the iPhone is quite simply wonderful. The app has been designed to make it very quick to enter information – previously entered payees appear in a list as you start typing names, categories work in much the same way, and there are neat little buttons for marking the type of transaction. But the clever bit is that this synchronises with data stored in my Mobile Me account[1]. The Mac app automatically synchronises when it loads and again when you close it. It also backs up the main data the same way, which is good for my paranoia.

It’s been cheerfully and correctly entering my scheduled transactions, including asking me what to do with ones that I told it not to enter automatically – the option is perhaps confusingly labelled “reminders”, but it does much the same as the equivalent in Money.

Downloading transactions works as expected. It attempts to match by date and amount, and if it finds a match it marks the transaction you’ve entered as cleared. If it can’t find a match, it will offer to import as a new transaction, but not until you click the button, so you have a chance to edit your existing transactions to match the downloaded data – this is useful if you’ve bought something priced in a foreign currency and you’ve had to guess how much it will be in your own money. You can untick any transactions that you know you’ve already got so you won’t get any duplicates. This is actually slightly less work than was involved in Money, where I had to check each proposed match and accept or reject it. When matches went wrong, it could be fiddly to correct Money’s mistakes. With iBank, you can just tick (or untick) the offending transaction and the job’s done.

So far, iBank hasn’t done anything I don’t like. It hasn’t confused me, annoyed me or got in my way. It just works, and works well. It also loads a lot faster than Money (to be fair, Money was running on a VM on my slower computer, and iBank is running directly on my iMac, but hey…), so it’s no trouble to pop in and check something, though I generally do my quick checks on the iPhone, which is even quicker.

The quick summary: iBank is exactly what I wanted, and more.

[1] I did initially try this just using my local wireless network, but on reflection, the Mobile Me option is more useful. If you don’t have Mobile Me, but have control of a server, you can use WebDAV instead.

One thought on “iBank – Interim Update

  1. Mark

    Thanks for this artical, I’m about to swap from windows to iMac and this was one of my main worrys. A too am ussin Money 2002 so your artical has reassured me that the move to mac will be sort of painless.

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