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Reiner Knizia's Money Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on July 3rd, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: CASH IN
Only Reiner Knizia could turn the concept of currency exchange into a surprisingly entertaining card game.
Read The Full Review »

ImpulseSave Helps Users Avoid Impulse Purchases

Posted by Kevin Stout on June 19th, 2012

We like unique finance apps, like CoinKeeper. Now another interesting finance app has popped up called ImpulseSave. ImpulseSave allows users to save money by literally taking it out of their accounts and putting it into an ImpulseSave savings account.

Users setup goals to save up money for (like a new iPad). The purpose of the app is for users to get the same experience of spending their money when they're actually saving it. Instead of an impulse buy, they save impulsively. Users can use the app anytime they feel like saving some money (perhaps when they stop themselves from making an impulse purchase). The funds are transferred to a bank account with no fees and users can access that money whenever they'd like (although the common 2-3 business day wait for bank transfers apply). Money in the accounts even gather interest!

ImpulseSave was already established prior to the app at ImpulseSave.com. And non-iOS users can even use ImpulseSave on any other mobile phone through their SMS service.

Geode Is the Coolest Smart Wallet We've Ever Seen

Posted by Brad Hilderbrand on March 15th, 2012

It's no longer a matter of if you'll be taking care of all your financial transactions via smartphone, but when. And now that we've seen the Geode we're thinking that day might be arriving very soon. The smart wallet, which is also a phone case, may be the most sophisticated, useful smart wallet ever created, and we're awaiting its launch with baited breath.

First off, Geode isn't tied to just one credit card or online service, but rather allows users to scan all their credit cards, loyalty cards and more right into the case's companion app. The process is painless, using the included reader to swipe cards with magnetic strips or the iPhone's built-in camera to snap the barcode of loyalty cards. From there, using your cards is as simple as tapping on the one you want, the e-ink reader on the Geode displays the barcode for scanning by merchants, and if you need a physical card you can pull the Geode card out of the case, which is temporarily loaded with your chosen credit card's info.

Most important of all the Geode is secure, utilizing a biometric fingerprint scanner to ensure that you and you alone have access to your credit cards. So now, even if your virtual wallet is stolen there's no threat of the bad guys going on a shopping spree.

The Geode will go on sale soon at a somewhat steep price of $199. Those who want to get in early and get a discount though can head over to the product's Kickstarter page and pre-order a Geode, along with a few other goodies. So, who's up for grabbing what may be a potentially revolutionary device?

Publishers Talk of Profits and Pigs for BAFTA

Posted by Rob Rich on March 15th, 2012

A number of iOS developers decided to talk numbers at BAFTA's recent What's App event in London. The Guardian's article is full of all manner of interesting tidbits and discussion. Taking the stage to talk about storytelling, profit margins, and children's content were Peter Sleeman (co-director, P2 Games), Paul Bennun (chief creative officer of content design and creation, Somethin' Else), and Tom Bonnick (digital project and marketing manager, Nosy Crow). The trio divulged some interesting numbers, as well as their perspectives on various app models.

P2 Games' bread and butter has been largely based around children's brands, including Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam, and have sold just under 600 thousand apps in less than a year and a half. Somethin' Else, responsible for the indisputably different Papa Sangre, also did quite well with their $4.99 interactive experiment. The audio-only horror game sold a respectable 70K copies since its release back in 2010. Nosy Crow opted out of the numbers game at the event, but they did put out a couple of critically acclaimed book apps (Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs) so they're probably doing just fine.

The general consensus revolved around knowing one's audience. According to Sleeman, Preschoolers are a very different market than the typical demographic so it's important to bring in people who know what the young-uns like and what keeps them coming back. Bennun championed the Premium model; keeping prices high and letting the quality of the product do most of the selling. Bonnick echoed the sentiment of quality, and mentioned Nosy Crow's strict adherence to in-house development.

I'm curious to see if anyone agrees or disagrees with these ideas. They certainly seem sound to me. Especially the one about refusing to use in-app purchases in apps meant for children. Thoughts?

[Via: theguardian.com]

Monitor Gas Usage, Expenses and More with Gas Logs

Posted by Rob Rich on February 17th, 2012

Now I'll admit that I don't do much driving nowadays because I use mass transit (i.e. the subway), but I did drive a lot once upon a time. And it was quite the pain to deal with all of the extraneous annoyances like traffic, insurance, and gas. Guess which of those problems Gas Logs addresses?

The latest app from JAS Appications allows users to track their mileage, their spending, etc... All manner of values can be adjusted to fit a user's region, including gallons/liters, and a number of different currencies. Of course, it just wouldn't be a JAS Applications app if it didn't also include a super-useful GPS feature. Which it does. Yup, as expected Gas Logs can do all this in addition to finding nearby gas stations by using the iOS device's built-in GPS.

Again, someone like myself who doesn't even own a car won't have much use for it but there are billions of people out there who drive, and at least millions who own an iPhone. Chances are good that there's a decent market for something like this.

Band Boss Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jason Wadsworth on January 4th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: IN TUNE
Manage real musical artists through fictional tours, promotions, and hopefully stardom.
Read The Full Review »

This Week at 148Apps, December 12-16

Posted by Chris Kirby on December 18th, 2011

This week at 148Apps.com we delved into the latest from the developers of Hipstamatic, the "disposable" Hipstamatic D-Series app. 148Apps founder Jeff Scott says, "I got a chance to try out the new app and can report that Hipstamatic D-Series does indeed bring back the nostalgic memories of sharing a disposable camera and swapping double prints into the digital age. It’s a great idea and well executed. There’s even the anxious need to burn the last shot by taking a picture of your foot, just to get the roll developed quicker. It’s indeed very fun.

Delve further by reading the full run-down on 148Apps.com.

At GiggleApps.com, reviewer Amy Solomon took a close look at the first interactive book from The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library, There's No Place Like Space. Solomon says, "There’s No Place Like Space, although a creative, fun and educational book, is not written by Seuss himself, although it is written in a Seuss-like style. I enjoy this book, as does my son, but my husband and I did comment to ourselves that the text is not as well-written as the classic books by Seuss."

Read the full review at GiggleApps.

Finally, 148Apps.biz site editor Rob LeFebvre reported on a new report from mobile analytics company Flurry. LeFebvre writes, "Flurry shows the fact that developers are making more money on iOS than on Android, even as the numbers of Android OS enabled smartphones continues to increase, commanding as much as 53% of the market, according to an NPD Group study released yesterday as well."

Intrigued? Read more on 148Apps.biz.

As your advent calendar continues to count towards December 25th, don't forget to vote for our 2011 Best App Ever, and keep track of the latest news, reviews and contests via our Facebook and Twitter streams.

Save Money this Holiday with ShopSmart for iPad

Posted by Jordan Minor on November 14th, 2011

During the holidays retailers are so desperate to unload as much product as possible it seems like they're offering new deals and promotions every other minute. Between managing coupons and having to wake up at five in the morning, just trying to save a few dollars can become overwhelming. Billeo is attempting to make that process a bit easier with their new ShopSmart app for iPad.

Using information from users' credit card loyalty programs, services like Groupon, and the retailers themselves, ShopSmart scours the web looking for deals that may interest users. By using so many data sources ShopSmart is able to present the largest possible savings with the average being 10 percent saved per purchase. Facebook support allows friends to offer opinions on items before purchases are made and the eWallet feature fills in payment and shipping information making checkouts quick and easy.

Maybe Black Friday won't be so bad this year. ShopSmart is free and available now on the App Store.

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Money for iPhone Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on July 12th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HANDY
Money for iPhone offers up a fairly comprehensive financial management toolset for a pittance. Just understand that it requires a bit of a time commitment for it to be most effective.
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Debt Free Review

By Jennifer Allen on June 17th, 2011
Juggling debts is made simpler with Debt Free
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Piggie Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Chantelle Joy Duxbury on April 4th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: QUICK AND EASY
A new personal expense tracking app is the definition of simplicity, while offering feature rich options and backup storage.
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Pageonce Pro - Money and Bills

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jason Fanguy on February 24th, 2011
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BUDGET BUSTER
If you're down with its asking price, Pageonce Pro is an app which organizes and tracks your hard-earned green and belly-aching bills. It allows users to see their bank account information, credit cards, bills and investments, collectively, all on one scr
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Expenditure Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Kyle Flanigan on July 9th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SUCCINCT
Tracking your expenses can make one person cringe and another very satisfied. Expenditure aims to simplify the process without removing any of the features. Let's see how they did it.
Read The Full Review »

Become A Field Agent And Earn Money With Your iPhone

Posted by Ben Harvell on May 13th, 2010

By now you’ve probably spent a decent amount of money on iPhone apps, so wouldn’t it be nice if you could make some of that money back?

Well the Field Agent app might be able to help you do just that, claiming to be the first app that actually pays you, the user. By signing up to become an “Agent” you fit into a very simple ecosystem: A “Client” creates a job, the “Agent” (you) completes the job, the client and agent are happy.

What does this mean in the real word? Well, a client is a company or service that has signed up at FieldAgent.net and needs information on competitors, consumers or wants to check whether its products are being correctly sold. The agent is someone who has download the Field Agent app and receives notification that a client needs a job done, carries it out and is paid a small fee for their troubles.

While it sounds very James Bond meets Foursquare, the app and its assignments are for real as far as we can tell and actually do pay. While no explicit information is given as to the purpose or beneficiaries of these “assignments”, it’s a safe bet that most of them are market research for the Fortune 50 clients who back the app.

Fortunately, the agent jobs required by the clients don’t involve horses heads in beds or extortion either. Most of the assignments involve checking prices at stores or filling out surveys and pay between $3 and $12 if completed properly and within a set time limit. Jobs often require a verifiable GPS location and a photograph in order to keep the clients happy so an iPhone 3G or 3GS is recommend.

Once an agent has made their money it can be transferred to a PayPal account within 48 hours.

Agents also develop a Rep Score that shows how good a job you’re doing for your clients. Starting with 85 points, agents gain points up to a maximum of 100 for successful, accurate jobs with higher rep leading to more frequent jobs. Of course, if you fail at your task or submit inaccurate results you lose points and aren’t at the top of the pile when the next assignment comes in.

It seems that agent jobs are somewhat scarce at the moment with a number of iTunes reviewers giving some pretty harsh feedback that has prompted a response from the company. Apparently the number of agents has increased by 500% in a week and they are waiting for the client growth to catch up. This does sound like a cleverly worded way of saying “companies aren’t quite as interested in the service as consumers who stand to make money” but apparently more jobs are coming soon.

We’re keeping a close eye on this intriguing service that has the potential to be groundbreaking but could also end up wasting a lot of people’s time.

Want to Take Your Money through a Time Machine? DimeTravel Is the App for That..

Posted by Bonnie Eisenman on April 26th, 2010
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Oh, infaltion, thou art a wretched beast. A dollar fifty years ago is not the same as a dollar today—just look at the concept of a dime store to tell you that much. DimeTravel is the app to tell you exactly how your money has changed over time. Here's the developer's take on a typical usage scenario:

You're watching an old episode of Columbo on a lazy Sunday afternoon. An episode from 1976. He gets a haircut and it costs him $25. He is shocked with the cost. You open up DimeTravel and ask it how much $25 from 1976 would be today. (answer = almost $100 - NOW i can feel poor old Columbo's pain).

Pretty staggering, no? Of course, the app can calculate things the other way around, too. Here are a few samples for your amusement, with the numbers taken from this site:

  • Coffee cost $1.11/lb in 1954...which is $14.47 today!

  • A car (a Henry J, to be precise) for sale in New Jersey in 1950 was listed at $1,299...which is a whopping $27,771 today.

  • $1 bought you two large bottles of Clorox Bleach in 1970...that would be $9.55 today.

  • Someone needed an accountant and was willing to pay a $9,000 annual salary in 1970...or $85,942 in today's money!

Conversely, if you take modern numbers and change them:

  • A $60 video game would sell for a paltry $4.92 half a century ago,

  • and that $200 you spent on your iPhone 3GS would have been just $153 back in 2000.

Playing with numbers is always fun. Sadly, DimeTravel only goes back to 1948 for us Americans. I don't know why—Wolfram Alpha can handle prior centuries just fine—but even with the current data, it's still nifty to look at these numbers! And you can look at them, too, because DimeTravel displays the path of inflation as a nice graph. If you're a sucker for realizing how transient your money is, go ahead and give DimeTravel a look. And more importantly, invest your remaining money wisely, because if you leave it under your mattress, it's likely to vanish into grasp of good ol' inflation.