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Quicken for iPad, iPhone, Macs

With over 100 million iPhones sold, 15 million iPads sold, 200 million iTunes accounts, and not to mention iPod Touch users and other Mac systems, when is quicken going to pay attention to the Mac crowd by supporting a full-function app with desktop syncing, bill pay, etc, not a pared-down, limited-use web-based service? Not to mentioned a full-fledged desktop application rather than something with just the "essentials"?

Been asking this questions for 3 years with no real answer.
    People seem to have a very native view of what it takes to bring out a new software product.

    Lets take Quicken Essentials for the Mac as an example for what happens in the real world.
    For many years Quicken for Mac struggled with what was essentially a ported version of Quicken Windows.  The code was ugly (as in hard to maintain) lacked features and generally behaved like a Windows program instead of a Mac program.  And clearly Intuit was much more interested in the Windows product then the Mac product.

    OK few years ago Intuit says we need to fix this, but how?  The only way is a total rewrite, but more then that you need to find out exactly what a "Mac" product is suppose to look like instead of "Windows", and on top of that you aren't going to put the same amount of people working on the Mac product as you do the Windows product (Windows product makes more money, so you allocate according to that).

    So you put together a group and you start developing.  You release a very basic product, and then add features, and such as you find what does and doesn't work.

    Fast forward to today.  Everyone is happy with Quicken Essentials right?  Wrong.  People are complaining about its lack of features even though they probably have been adding more features to it faster then in the Windows product.  It just has a long ways to go to get all the features people want.

    I think that Quicken Essentials was first release almost 2 years ago.
    Now you have this iPhone thingy popup with a completely different OS, and then this even newer iPad thing and people wonder why Intuit doesn't have a Quicken for it.

    Not to mention all the different mobile devices, all with their own OS/Platform where you can't share much of the code.

    If it was as easy as people think to bring out and maintain Quicken then you would see a hundred competitors with software selling for $10.  It is not an easy thing and it takes time and money, and a business has to decide where to put their resources and Intuit not only makes Quicken it makes a whole host of other products some of which make them much more money for the resources they put into it.

    There is a reason that Microsoft dropped out of this kind of product.
    • Good detail about Essentials, QPW. (It was only 14 months ago when it came out, though :-) But, you are right, these are complicated apps to put together. Moreover, the banking relationships are a big deal and require a lot of time and effort. We both know how many of those low price competitors are merely pretending to be Quicken to get things to work.

      That said, my gut is that we ARE going to see some form of mobile app. Will it be a standalone app? Will it be some kind of service? I don't know. I just remember hearing somebody once mention to me that "mobile devices do include much more than cell phones".  And then the conversation was quickly changed. . .
    • My sense of time is quite different then the average person's.  I have "Now", "A little while ago",  "Some time ago", and "Ancient history".  So I'm not good at pinning down to this funny "years" things that people use.  ;-)

      I too think that Inuit is working something for mobile devices, but I don't know what that would exactly be.
    • I can definitely appreciate everyone's opinion and feedback on this subject. No one has to look far to quickly find a longtime avid Quicken user that is struggling with what to do for a personal financial management application that can work on all of their devices that have turned into Apple products rather than PC in their home.

      Little qualifier given I'm a new contributor, I've been working in the banking/finance/payments industry for 22 years. I work with large corporate customers that are in the media, telecom, technology, eCommerce and mCommerce industries (including the one that made the mobile device I'm using now). I also work closely with all independent payment brands to help them emerge industries into electronic payments or emerge new methods of presentment (like mCommerce, etc.).

      I have to say that the position Intuit is in is definitely of their own doing. It's actually a common mistake made by many companies that get a market-share lock on the industry they provide products/services into. They can get so focused and accustomed to allocating resource to maintain it that they forget to allocate real adequate resources into emerging solutions.....even when it feels like it's throwing money away at times after reviewing the ROI. The best technology companies hold their position the longest do so because their customers enjoy doing business with them and not because their customers are held hostage and can't leave.

      Now.....has anyone seen Intuit's TurboTax iPad application? It's VERY well done and looks amazing. It's everything I've come to respect and love about Intuit over the years. It's the perfect delivery method into the targeted clients that will use it (free iTunes Store download with in-app purchase that enables consumer to decide what version they want and it will transform on the spot to the version selected.....you don't even pay for it until you file your return!)

      The reason for the honest accolades is to simply demonstrate that Intuit CLEARLY gets the Apple community. It CLEARLY has the ability to engineer software applications that run on Apple devices using Apple's OS. You don't have to know executives at Intuit to deduct on your own a simple conclusion. Once you have the in-house knowledge to do that at their level of business, then it clearly comes down to the fact that they have made a business decision to NOT have an iPhone, iPad or iPod application for their Quicken products up to this point. Let's not make excuses for a company that owned the personal finance software industry and had no real competitor AND has the resources to allocate development funding to get there earlier if they wanted to.

      I don't doubt there are challenges int the core of their code that would require them to start from scratch. But they must if they want to survive in the industry that they had a lock on, they must do whatever is needed. Intuit can clearly see from hundreds of press releases each day that the payments landscape on how consumers pay for things and they are  as well as the way they get access to personal information is more likely NOT on a PC but rather from an Apple product. Apple's quarterly financials released this week show them as the most profitable technology company in the US and abroad. If you were a shareholder of Intuit stock, you would expect the company you invested in to be on the forefront of product development to capture the consumers that Apple clearly has as customers around the world.......consumers that love doing business with Apple because they choose to and not because they're held hostage and can't leave.......the same consumers like me that have found applications like iCompta from a small technology company in Europe that has already surpassed Intuit in going to market with an app that syncs across all devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod) back to the desktop.

      Innovators create change....but change with a purpose that's usually driven by financial models that will reward them for doing so. Intuit used to be an innovator in their space and many of us became loyal customers. Now that they're business decisions show them to be more complacent with just keeping what they have and failing to see where their customers are going, they are adding their name to the list of great companies that made the big mistake and lost their position. What amazes me even now is that they can still correct it as it's not too late. They have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain by publicly saying they hear what customers are asking for and see how the industry they serve is changing and they are up to the challenge of delivering a solution.

      We're all listening and hoping to hear them make a statement but now we're doing so as we start using applications from other companies and spending our time searching/posting on boards like this one for a better solution.
    • RatherBeAtWDW,

      A very good and well thought out post.  I will add something.  It has been clear in the past that Intuit was milking the Quicken product (yes even on the Windows side), not doing much, but funneling the profits over to other divisions.

      In the last year or two I do see Intuit waking up about putting more effort in the personally finances area, and some of that in Quicken.  But frankly I don't think that Intuit really knows what the right thing to do is, and I don't either.

      My post above is exactly what is happening, but I didn't also go much into the business side of this either.
      Some projects the more people you put on a project the worse it gets, but on the other side if you don't put enough people on it, it takes longer.  Pretty simple.  Well in any business they have to decide what they want to put their resources on, and they can't spending on "lets just do it everything, everyone wants".

      You have to have a clear understanding of what people really want and will pay money for.
      And frankly unless you have unlimited resources I see this as a really hard place to decide where to put your resources.

      First you have the parts that all of these products are going to face.  Frankly the banking system stinks in its support of allowing the downloading of data.  It is a mixed mash of non-conforming "read my web site that looks nothing like anyone else's web site" kind of problem.  This point alone keeps most competitors out of the field.

      Next you have the "cloud" people and the "I don't want my data to leave my computer" people.  For instance frankly the easiest way for Intuit to support as many platforms as possible is not to support any platform.  As in you make a super version of Mint and tell people to use a web browser on their device and you store their data on your servers.

      And that might have been exactly what Intuit thought the model should be.  You mentioned the iPad application for TurboTax.  Where is the data stored?  If it is on their servers then you are looking at nothing more then a GUI nothing much more then a web browser.  Not a desktop application that has to be self contained.

      So as we move from the "cloud" or "web" we move to the "Desktop" and/or syncing directly not going through the "cloud".  This is a very different world, and one that starts to really care "am I running on a Mac or a Windows machine, or iPad, or Android?"

      And from the business side of this if you can't pick them all which do you really go with?  Which is going to win?  And if you are going to do some of them, how much for each?

      The advantage Intuit had when it first started out is it could say "We are going to make this personal finance program, called Quicken for DOS and we are going to put our hearts and soul into it, we are not going to  try to solve the worlds problems, we are going to solve this one problem."
    • "It has been clear in the past that Intuit was milking the Quicken product (yes even on the Windows side), not doing much, but funneling the profits over to other divisions".

      I'm not sure how this "has been clear".

      Intuit has publicly reported that Quicken is in Intuit's least profitable group of products/services.

      Unless you assume that Intuit is lying (and causing Quicken to be unprofitable by redirecting its revenues to other products ... something that would require noticeably more information than you have provided ... and more information than I believe is publicly available - and most importantly: for Intuit to be lying in their public filings), there is no way that Intuit is "milking the Quicken product".

      In fact, I believe the publicly available evidence suggests pretty much the opposite ... namely that Quicken has been serving as something more like a "loss leader".

      Hopefully that will not remain the case.
    • Actually now that you call me on it NoWayJose, and I think back to where I got the "milking" statement, I realize it was a rumor and that is something I shouldn't have based that statement on.

      I should have done my homework.  And I was certainly not talking about anything like Intuit lying.

      I really don't like the idea of them losing money on Quicken (even though I can see how they might be).  MS Money is a clear indication of what happens when that happens for too long.
    • "I really don't like the idea of them losing money on Quicken (even though I can see how they might be). MS Money is a clear indication of what happens when that happens for too long".

      I share your sentiments.
    • I am a museum technology developer, so I fully understand what it takes to roll out a new product. But it would be incredibly helpful to have a mobile app for iPhone/ipad... please notify me when you get it going. :)
    • This discussion is 3 years old. If you had looked for a newer discussion, I think you might have found that they (Intuit, not us) have "got it going".

      http://quicken.intuit.com/personal-finance-software/quicken-mobile-app.jsp
    Seriously, doubt this is something that you will ever see  .......... The iPad can only run apps made for iPad (or iPhone/iPod Touch). So unless a Mac app was re-done as an iPad app, it won't work.

    Here are some financial apps for the ipad............   http://financialsoft.about.com/od/pdasoftware/tp/iPhone_Apps_Personal_Finance.htm
    • That's a brilliant business model - 15 million iPad users and RAPIDLY growing, and the preferred answer seems to be: buy someone else's software.  Just how long does Intuit think it will take for an enterprising company to fill the void they're ceeding?  Each month they ignore their users' requests, they lose potential revenue and customer base, and eventually they will lose the market when a competitor beats them to product release.  Ever heard of the dinosaurs - that cautionary tale?  Remember IBM? Wake up!
    • I have asked in forums and direct emails to customer service.  Intuit seems to think that the iPad and the Mac won't really catch on.  Since the average cost of a Mac is about 3 times that of a PC, you can understand why a personal finance software company would want to stay away.  Wait - that doesn't make any sense....
    Several more weeks have passed and Intuit still sits back and says nothing to its customers on how it plans to address their concerns....

    If you need Quicken to sync to your desktop application and/or across all Apple mobile devices (iPhone, iPod and YES the iPad), then I highly suggest you check out iCompta:

    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icompta-2-personal-finance/id294191195?mt=8

    They still have room to improve and it appears that they take customer comments seriously.  It works and gives the user some flexibility to adjust their interface into financial institutions directly if not one on their memorized list.

    iCompta does more than just getting the job done!!
    • Intuit wants you to use their other product Mint.com because they think the future is in Cloud computing.  Their silence on an iPhone/ iPad app is deafening.  Another example of corporate short-sightedness.
    • There are a number of apps that tether me to my laptop, Quicken is one.  Not going to even consider Mint.  So, I want to and will move to iPad 2 or 6 or whatever is coming out at the end of this year and abandon Intuit completely. With no app and no app in sight, they will lose me as a customer.
    • Me too, i have a iPhone and a iPad and i will abandon Quicken completely if Intuit doesn't launch a app for OS5
    • Just finished my 2012 family budget in Quicken - . As everyone knows the easy part is making the budget. The hard part is sticking to it. My wife and I want reminders daily on how we are tracking per category and it is just not reasonable to fire up Quicken on our desktop every night. I want to review it  on the train, in a cab, over a glass of wine by the fire, etc. I have been patient with Intuit but it is now wearing thin. I signed up for Mint's free trial and I'm going to run things in parallel for a bit. My thinking now is I will likely say goodbye to Quicken for less functionality with tight mobile integration. Intuit, I'm not gone yet - show me something.
    • One thing that has become more and more apparent about Apple's customers (especially now that the iPhone and iPad have come to dominate in their respective spaces wrt money made by developers providing apps for the platforms) is that they are more willing to pay for software than, shall we say, users of other platforms. Speaking for myself, as the owner of three Mac desktops, a Macbook Air, an iPhone 4, and an iPad2, I would have no problem spending, say, $100 for a full-featured version of Quicken that combined the strengths of Quicken 2007 and Quicken Essentials (and believe me, I am FAR from wealthy). The Mac-like interface and ease of use of Essentials, along with the online bill pay capabilities of 2007. I would willingly pay an additional $50 or so for an iOS version that tightly integrated with the desktop version, via e.g. iCloud. I would much rather pay $100 + $50 for powerful products that are a pleasure to use than $60 + free for products that are frustrating, ugly, and underpowered.

      Apple users (some of them, anyway) are more than willing to pay a premium for well-designed software that "just works." If they weren't, they wouldn't be Apple users in the first place. It cannot have escaped Intuit's notice that Apple, with something like 5% of the market for PCs, makes more like 50% of the profits, and makes a similar proportion of profits in the mobile space with a somewhat higher market share. Even in the current economic climate, there is money to be made for companies that are willing to put in the extra time and effort to make insanely great products.
    • Quicken/Intuit is beginning to resemble RIM/Blackberry.  I've read the comments above, many of which were thoughtful and helpful, especially about the technical choices that have to be made between a pure "cloud" approach or a native app for each platform that syncs to the cloud.  Regardless.  It still boggles the mind that Intuit has been silent on the subject.  I haven't found a solution yet (I will investigate iCompta as someone has suggested), but it is only a matter of time before a reasonable alternative emerges that allows us Quicken users to either access our Quicken data and use it on other devices, or allows us to migrate off of Quicken.  

      One alternative that might emerge is "Onlive Desktop Plus".  They have a product right now that I have started to play with that allows me to use Word on the iPad by creating a Windows environment in the cloud that you log onto.  My understanding is that they will be soon coming out with another, enhanced, version that will allow you to run other Windows app in their cloud environment.  Quicken obviously comes to mind.

      In the long run, however, I see migrating away from Quicken.  Maybe someone will come up with something like "Documents to Go"  or "QuickOffice" of "Office2HD", all iPad apps that work with Dropbox and allow you to run Word-like products on the iPad that sync with your documents on the cloud (via Dropbox) and then the updated files magically appear on your desktop.  Maybe something like that will happen with Quicken.

      In the meantime, the only difference I can see between Intuit and RIM is that Intuit hasn't yet experienced the inevitable erosion that will occur.
    • I think the RIM comparison is valid.  In the last two weeks I have undergone a home project of simplyfying our technology.  I just retired an old HP desktop and an older iMac.  That leaves us with one shared Sony laptop and we both have iPad 3's and iPhones.

      At this point, Quicken is literally the only application on the entire laptop that keeps me tethered to it.  If it wasn't for Quicken I could probably retire the laptop at this point as well (although I would keep it for backup just in case).

      I've been actively exploring money management solutions and fortunately for Quicken there just isn't anyone else in the market space just yet that offers all of the features Quicken has.  There are several that offer some of what Quicken does and seemingly with better results but nothing soup to nuts that will replace it.  I think it will happen though if they don't get on the ball with this.

      As soon as something new comes along that syncs well, offers bill pay with direct connect to my bank, tracks investments and has a usable budget component I'm out!
    • YouBet,

      Your list:
      Bill pay, direct connect, investments, budget, and of course works on mobile devices/cloud, knocks everyone off the block (for more then just one of the things on the list).  

      And in fact there is is hidden ones in there.  Most Quicken users still intend to use Quicken as their main program, but want to "sync" with mobile devices.  That means that the mobile devices wouldn't be standalone, they would only have partial list of things it could do targeted for "mobile".  You desire to retire the laptop suggests that you want full blown personal financing on your mobile devices.  That is a much higher bar then the people that just want it for mobile/sync to main computer.

      For the people that basically want Quicken and then have their mobile devices that will sync to it say through the "cloud", I think Intuit has best shot at that.  At the GetStat site they say they are working on it.
      https://getsatisfaction.com/quicken/topics/quicken_for_iphone