Cents is a new iOS app from independent developer Marco Bellinaso. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and carries additional in-app purchases to unlock full functionality.
As the name suggests, Cents is an app designed for users to track their “micro-expenses” throughout the week and find out where their money is going. The app allows for the creation of up to eight “quick expenses” for items the user purchases regularly — cups of coffee, food, travel tickets, parking and the like — and these may be immediately added to an itemized weekly “receipt” by dragging up the bottom of the app and simply tapping on them. Expenses outside these standard eight may also be added by tapping an “other” button and filling in the price and description.
Each of the eight “quick expenses” may be edited by tapping and holding on their respective button, so if the default prices are incorrect or the user does not regularly buy a newspaper, for example, they can configure the app to work with their own daily routine. The app may also be set to work in one of seven different currencies.
The free version of the app limits how much the user may record in a single month to just 15 separate transactions. Leaving a review on the App Store (or, as usual, tapping on the button to switch to the App Store then simply multitasking back into Cents) will reward the user with an extra 5 uses, as will sharing it on Facebook and/or Twitter. Alternatively, an additional 30 uses may be purchased for $0.99, or the app may have all restrictions lifted with a single $1.99 purchase. This is a pretty good model for the app, as the full price is not at all unreasonable, and in the meantime the user may “earn” enough uses to try the app out for themselves for quite a while and figure out whether or not it will fit into their daily lifestyle.
Cents is a well-presented and intuitive app that does its job very well. Unlike many expense-tracking apps, it is designed to be quick and simple to use, thus encouraging people to think more carefully about their outgoings on a regular basis. The interface is simple to navigate and is not cluttered up with unnecessary features. It’s also presented well, with an attractive old-school “cash register”-style display at the bottom of the screen that updates as the user records more transactions. Occasional optional sound effects help support the experience, but may be easily ignored or silenced with a flick of the device’s mute switch.
On the whole, Cents is a good, simple and easily-understandable app for those who want to get started with expense-tracking, but who don’t need the depth of more complex accounting apps out there. It’s easy to use, intuitive to navigate and allows users to get a feel for it without having to pay anything. The full price to unlock the app’s full functionality is very reasonable, and most users won’t have a problem paying it if they find the app to their liking. Conversely, if the app doesn’t do what they want, they’ve lost nothing since it was free in the first place.
You can follow Cents’ progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.