Developer: Strands, Inc
Price: free Download on the App Store
New app moneyStrands by Strands, Inc. joins a growing number of financial management applications that inhabit the App Store. This trend represents the wider popularity of web-based budgeting tools that have replaced long-standing giants Quicken and Microsoft Money. The move by users to such free web-based apps and their iPhone counterparts has been so popular that Microsoft announced recently it is discontinuing its Money software. Quicken now offers both a free web and iPhone app.
Like its competitors, moneyStrands organizes all of your various banking and investment accounts into one web application. The moneyStrands iPhone app is an extension of the web interface, with a user-friendly design so you can keep tabs of your account while on the go. In fact in order to use moneyStrands you will first need to create and register an account on the main site. After doing so you have the option of adding accounts for your banks, credit cards, and investments.
Adding accounts on the main site was pretty easy - but make sure you have all those answers to security questions and passwords handy. When checking in with my bank accounts the app was fairly accurate at rendering the data. There were a few hiccups at times when it would not sync, which was a bit annoying. But it gave a pretty good snapshot of how the finances looked when I tested it out.
Probably the strongest feature was a section of pie charts that broke down your income and spending. By tapping and holding on each piece of the pie you get more details about where the money went or came from. An alerts section notifies you of any overspending or low balances. Fortunately the options menu can let you decide how much you want your iPhone telling you not to buy that new car you want. There is also a security feature; a mandatory four-digit PIN must be created for each time moneyStrands is opened on the iPhone.
With moneyStrands you will get some basic account information on the go, which can be a great resource. But deciding if you want sensitive financial information readily available on your iPhone will be a mater of personal choice.