May 04 AT 10:51 PM Eric Weiss 16 Comments

Mint.com: Save your green while on the go

Mint.com is one of the best tools for keeping track of your finances online but using the site on your phone has not been easy. It makes use of many internet technologies that bring the standard Android Browser to a crawl (and throws up several warnings and error messages), hardly handy for checking your balance when you are out on the town. Now, Mint.com has finally released an official Android app.

After signing up and setting up your profile on the main website you are ready to go. Simply logging into the app with your Mint.com username and it syncs your account information. On the main screen you can see your total cash, total debt, alerts, your monthly budget, and your cash flow displayed as a bar graph. Tapping on Accounts brings up your full listing of bank accounts, credit cards, properties, loans, etc. Detailed information on transactions are a few taps away and by tapping on each transaction you can set tags and write notes on each.

Unlike the Mint.com website there are no links to promotions and no access to the Planning and Trends sections. This is a good thing. It gives you just what you want in a mobile app, quick access to your accounts when and where you want. The user interface is, to put it succinctly, gorgeous. Everything is clean, clear, and smartly laid out. Anyone can figure out how to use this app the second they pick it up.

Three great features are hidden within the apps Settings. Global Search Access allows your transactions to be accessed from your Quick Searches on the phone. Live Folder Access allows you to create a Live Folder on the home screen called “Mint.com Recent Transactions” that shows you your last several transactions quickly. Clicking on any transaction opens up more details. Finally, App Widget Access allows you to place a 4×2 widget showing your Cash and Debt totals as well as a refresh button. You can really access all the power of the app without ever truly opening the app.

Security has always been a priority with Mint.com and that carries over to their app. You can set the app to require a user name and password every time it is started. Obviously having Global Search, the Live Folder and the Widget accessible after turning them on in settings is an important security layer. If you lose your phone you can deactivate the app via the website which logs the app out and deletes all the cached information stored on your phone. Also, within the app your account numbers are never shown so someone peaking over your shoulder or quickly “borrowing” your phone can’t get access to your account information.

On the downside the widget takes up a lot of  unnecessary real estate. It really could be a 4×1 or 3×1 widget. At 4×2 I don’t think many people will use it. Also, for the purpose of this review I added loans and property to my Mint.com account to see how the app shows them. I them removed them from the website but 45 minutes later the app still showed them. I had to log out (which crashed the app) and log back in for the app to reflect the removals. This isn’t a huge deal as removing accounts is an action that will rarely be done and logging out and back in isn’t a problem.

I’ve been using Mint.com or over a year now and I love it. And now I think I like the mobile app even more. It is very intuitive (fitting since Intuit does own Mint.com) and streamed lined. Definitely more than I expected and well worth the wait.

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