Apple Should Balance My Books

Khoi Vinh’s recent post about finding a successor to Quicken has gotten me thinking.

Like him, I’ve been using Quicken way, way past what feels like its useful shelf life, grin-and-bearing-it through one weirdo quirk after another. It may sound hokey but Quicken is hands-down the most “un-Mac-like” of any of the apps I use. It’s not even a close contest. Much of the interface feels like a time warp back to the awkward age of the OS 9 to OS X transition. A veritable HIG calamity that I’ve simply grown accustomed to. (Would it be too much to ask that Intuit at least implement standard text fields?)

There are some alternatives, but some of the most intriguing offerings aren’t really mature yet. (I briefly flirted with using iBank back in its 1.5 incarnation and have recently returned to experimenting with the latest release. Only time will tell how well that works out.) I think the Web service route that Khoi mentions has some real potential, but that model probably has a huge psychological hurdle to vault in the form of “perception of security” before it can gain any real traction.

All of which leads me to ponder out loud, “Why doesn’t Apple make a personal finance application?”

Bear with me here. I know this can be deadly un-sexy stuff. But, boy oh boy, is this application category ever core to those, “Computers are here to make my life easier!” fantasies we’ve all had since the day someone first plopped an Apple II or PC XT on our desks.

The more I think about it, the more unbelievable I find it that Apple has kept away from this niche for all this time. Is it just me or would a personal finance app fit perfectly into iWork? Once Apple completes the “word processor-spreadsheet-presentation” app triumvirate I really hope this is the next stop on their development roadmap for the nascent office suite.