Budget with Back in Black, Save the Cheerleader

Budget with Back in Black - Fission Media Group Inc.

Price: $2.99
Rating:

Back in Black iPhone App Video Review

Back in Black

Reviewed by Luke Patrick

Like Mint.com, Back in Black by Fission Media Group offers a convenient way to keep track of your income, expenses, and debts. The app allows you to store all your financial matters in one handy location, while the excellent interface means you’ll never be unsure about your finances ever again. It’s a rock solid experience, and one that any fiscally-minded iPhone user will enjoy.

Concept and Functionality

As stated, Back in Black (no hard rock allusions, please) helps you keep track of your income, expenses, debts and goals, keeping it all organized in one, easy to navigate location. In contrast to services like Mint.com, though, the app does not automatically connect to sources on the Internet to obtain its information: Rather, Back in Black relies on you to input data yourself. In this sense, it makes the app much more like a mobile checkbook, rather than an online, virtual financial consultant.

This isn’t exactly a bad thing: In fact, I rather enjoyed the control I had over my information. And considering how Back in Black’s copious contextual menus and drop-down options make it easy to plug in expenses, I hardly found the app a pain. Likewise, the ability to create goals and budgets for yourself makes Back in Black even more useful, definitively giving it a leg-up on the traditional pen-and-paper checkbook.

That being said, I would have liked to see integration with some kind of back up service. The app’s features are spectacular, but if the user swaps devices without syncing—or suffers a more catastrophic loss—there’s no way to wirelessly retrieve saved financial data.

 

Design and Layout

Back in Black

Back in Black for iPhone

Back in Black features a tabbed-style browsing experience that really compliments its feature set. The app itself also looks great, arriving with Web 2.0 style matte icons and minimalistic design. The app’s forms make it easy to create expense reports, and the goal presets streamline the experience even further. In fact, I would have liked to see even more presets in the app. Users have the option to log their spending under several different broad categories, but I would have liked to see more specific, pre-loaded tags. Users can create personalized notes for each entry, as well as their own expense categories, but having more on the front-end would certainly be appreciated.

Overall Value

As a budgeting app, Back in Black’s price is certainly right: The app clocks in at $2.99 in the App Store. For that price, you’ll get a stellar interface and an easy (though manual) way to track your expenses. Considering Mint.com is free, however, your need for Back in Black largely depends on how much control you need over your expense tracking. Either way, it’s a brilliant package, and one that delivers on its promises.

Back in Black requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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2 Responses to “Budget with Back in Black, Save the Cheerleader”

  1. Thanks for the great review! One bit of clarification, your data can be backed up, both within the app, as well as through email where you can archive your back-up. We’re testing out iOS 5 iCloud integration as well so we hope to have some great new features (including automatic backup) in the fall!

    The Fission Media team

  2. Carl says:

    I love this app. It gets ***** from me for overall value. Keeps me entertained for ages. Great website BTW.

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