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Quicken for iPhone: Good, as Far as It Goes

Quicken LogoIntuit, the company whose Quicken has been synonymous with personal-finance management for years, has brought the app to the iPhone. It’s not the first version of Quicken for handheld devices–I used an earlier one on my PalmPilot years ago–but it’s the first modern one. And as its name, Quicken Online Mobile, suggests, it connects directly to the Net to grab your financial details rather than making you sync with the desktop app.

Actually, it doesn’t work with the traditional application version of Quicken at all–it’s a companion to Quicken Online, the Web-based version which relaunched in a free version last fall. If you’re like me, you tend to associate use of Quicken with personal-finance nerds who have their acts together, track everything carefully, and are on the road to a happy and prosperous retirement. Quicken Online isn’t aimed at those people: It’s got relatively few features, is heavy on automation (like Mint, it downloads transactions from your banks and credit-card companies automatically), and most of what it does is focused on making sure that you’ve got enough money to get to your next paycheck. Quicken Online Mobile brings that approach to the iPhone and iPod Touch, and does a nice job at it. You can see what you’ve spent and what you’ve made, and the home screen tallies everything up and tells you whether you’re in any risk of running out of dough.

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