iBank 3 from IGG was released earlier this week. Four weeks ago I wrote a post about my first impressions of the beta. Generally I was pretty impressed. The bugs I commented on (icons and date format) have been fixed. However, the more I have used it the more disappointed I have become.
My biggest disappointment is the portfolio. iBank 3 can use a variety of online sources, such as Yahoo or Google to obtain quotes for your investments. It can also display a graph of value over time from the downloaded data. All my investments are UK ISA funds. Unfortunately Yahoo doesn’t recognise any of them and Google only a couple. However, there is a bug where Google downloads all quotes as zero, overwriting any I may have put in manually. And as Google is unable to download my quotes properly I’m not able to graph their value. Since this feature wasn’t available in iBank 2 I haven’t actually lost anything but it’s a shame as it was a feature I was really looking forward to. I’ll just have to stick to Morningstar for graphs.
I think I was expecting more from iBank 3. It isn’t really that different from the previous version. I was certainly hoping for more of an overhaul of the GUI. Entering transactions is fiddly and still long-winded if you’re trying to use the keyboard. And I had hoped for more from the charts. I think they are still unintuitive to create. It would have been nice to have some more predefined charts available such as net worth over time, expenditure over time and predicted future balance.
I do like the improved method for reconciling with bank statments. And the iPhone integration is fun to use (although of limited practical value for me).
So have I upgraded and paid for iBank 3 yet? Well…no. I can’t. To obtain the lower upgrade fee ($30 rather than $60) you have to upgrade through iBank itself rather than IGG’s website. And it doesn’t work. Well, not for me (and quite a few others from reading the forums). I keep getting “an unknown error occurred” when I enter my credit card details.
So for the last four days I have reverted to Moneydance. This is what I used before I discovered iBank 2 18 months ago and still had it installed. I gave up on Moneydance because I didn’t like the GUI. It’s green, dated-looking, unintuitive and not Mac-like. However, Moneydance does have a nice front page with a chart showing expenses that I prefer to iBank’s pie chart. It also shows net worth over time, something iBank can’t do. As far as entering transactions goes, there’s little between the two. I always liked the way statements were reconciled with Moneydance but now that’s been improved with iBank 3 there’s little difference between them. Moneydance has a lot of predefined charts – they’re not terribly pretty but they do the job. I find them much easier to use than iBank. Moneydance uses Yahoo to download quotes so no use to me.
So, to summarise, Moneydance is better because:
- I prefer its graphical representation of expenses on the front page
- it can show my net worth over time
- it can predict future balances (although not terribly accurately I should add)
- it has useful predefined charts
- it doesn’t cost me anything (unlike the $30 it will cost to upgrade to iBank 3)
iBank 3 is better because:
- it looks like a proper Mac application
- it works with my iPhone
- I feel loyalty towards iBank and like to support small Mac developers
Looking at this list it would seem obvious I should choose Moneydance. But I really don’t know. I feel a lot of loyalty towards iBank. It is terrible that I have to make this decision. Four days ago there was no doubt – I would upgrade to iBank 3 as soon as it was out of beta. But being unable to actually pay for the upgrade has made me rethink things. I bet I’m not the only one – there are probably scores of iBank 2 users out there wondering if they should forget upgrading and change to something else. This has been terrible PR for IGG and I’m really surprised at their apparent lack of support at the moment. Previously their support has been exemplary.
Moneydance has a free trial (100 manually entered transactions and unlimited imported transactions – very generous) and costs $30.
Of course there are other options. I bought Cha-Ching (as part of the MacHeist bundle last month) which is really pretty but lacking so many features as to be useless. I’ve also looked at Jumsoft Money, Liquid Ledger and Moneywell but none of them suited me. What I really want is a Mac version of Microsoft Money (and I’m not the only one – this blog post has over 230 comments regarding the difficulties of finding decent Mac personal finance software). For now I’m going to continue with Moneydance – until the upgrade problem with iBank 3 is fixed, and then I’ll have a difficult decision to make.
I’d love comments from any others having problems with iBank 3 and what you plan to do.