IGG Developers' Blog

What are you looking for?

March 24th, 2014

This  post is going to be pretty simple: I want to focus entirely on iBank for iPad. We released iBank for iPad almost two years ago. Since then it’s received major updates and got a complete UI overhaul for iOS 7. iBank for iPad is the most robust and full-featured financial app for iPad and we are continuing to invest heavy resources into it. Today, I’m pleased to announce that iBank for iPad 2.1 will be released this spring. I’ve outlined the biggest new features in this post.

Autofill. One of the main features that has been conspicuously absent from iBank for iPad is type-ahead/autofill. For 2.1 we’ve implemented this in a way that allows the speed of autofill, while maintaining the easy, tap-to-select options we’ve had since version 1.0. As you begin typing in a payee, we autocomplete the appropriate values and we maintain a list of matching payees that you can tap if you want. I’ve been using this feature for a while and its really, really convenient. In the screenshot below you can see I typed in “Th” and it shows me the list of matches and autofills other fields, like amount and category.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 12.18.05 PM

 

Search. Another feature that has been requested for a long time is search. We’ve added a new search toolbar button that is accessible from any screen. If you search from the overview screen, you’ll get results for all appropriate transactions separated by account. If you search while you are on an account’s page, you’ll just get transactions that are found in that account. Searching begins as soon as you stop or pause typing and results are presented as they are found. Once you find the transactions you are looking for you can double-tap to edit, delete or categorize.

Search

Manage. We also added a sections for managing Categories, Securities and Templates (aka Payees). You can now easily add, edit and delete categories in a single streamlined interface. The same goes for templates and securities.  The screenshot below shows the Manage Categories screen. Just double-tap any row to edit or delete.

Manage Categories

For managing securities you can also see if a security is “in use” — iBank displays its price as of the date of the last stock quote. Once again, double-tap a row to edit or delete.

Securities

 

I’ve been using iBank for iPad 2.1 for some time now and I’m really pleased with it. The addition of autofill is a huge time saver! I can’t wait to get it out to all of our existing (and new) customers in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading.

-Ian


iBank 5.1 Public Beta

February 5th, 2014

It’s rare for us to release a beta of our flagship product during a point release. But today we are doing so, and here’s why.

iBank 5.1 adds a lot of great new features that you’ve been asking for. Some of those features (and bug fixes) affect the way that the app connects to banks. While we have lots of test accounts at IGG with some of the biggest financial institutions, we can’t cover them all (and we certainly can’t cover every financial situation at every bank). iBank 5.1 has passed all of our internal tests and we think it is ready to go, but we are asking for your participation: to make iBank 5 the best app out there by helping us find any last minute bugs with bank connectivity (or other parts of the app).

As for specifics, you may still be wondering: what’s new in iBank 5.1? In fact there are over 100 features and  fixes. Here are the top 10 main features and improvements:

1. Accounts in the source list are badged with the number of recently downloaded (or imported) transactions.

2. There is now an internal rate of return (IRR) on appropriate investment reports.

3. There is a new Categorized Payee report.

4. You can drag and drop transactions to merge them.

5. Changing the category of a transfer presents the option to break the transfer or delete it.

6. You can show an imported/downloaded transaction’s original import information.

7. Direct Access now supports multi-factor authentication connections.

8. Performance improvements (you now control how often auto-saving occurs — helps with big documents).

9. You can now export report tables.

10. Batch changing transaction types presents an option of what to do when the amount and transaction type conflict.

So, for those that like to beta test software, make a back up of your iBank 5 file and try it out. And most importantly, let us know if you find any issues in the beta: ibank5beta @ iggsoftware.com

-Ian


Let’s Connect

January 24th, 2014

While iBank 5 delivers more and better options for bank connectivity, we also introduced some confusion about how things work. So first, let’s note that we preserved and even improved the existing connection methods from version 4. If you’re satisfied with the way you were downloading transaction data before, iBank should work even better for you now — without any new or additional fees.

But we’ve augmented version 5 with Bill Pay and the optional subscription service Direct Access — two significantly new ways for iBank to interact with your bank. In this post, I want to review all of the different connectivity options to clarify any lingering questions and provide some deeper insight into how some of the technologies work.

 

Direct Download (OFX). This was a fundamental import method in iBank 4, and we continue to support it in iBank 5. In fact, we’ve made dramatic under-the-hood changes to our OFX engine to make it more reliable and robust. The only problem with Direct Download is that not every bank supports it — but if your bank does, it is a great way to bring in your data. After setting up an initial connection with your bank, your transactions will download automatically each time you press the Update button on iBank’s toolbar.

Bill pay is a feature we’ve added for iBank 5 that deserves mention here, because online Bill Pay works through Direct Download (OFX). Once again, not all banks support OFX Bill Pay, even some of those that do support OFX transaction downloads. Additionally, some banks may require you to enroll in OFX transactions downloads and OFX bill pay as two separate features (and some charge fees for either, or each). When customers contact us about connectivity issues with OFX, one of the most common issues is that the bank hasn’t enabled their accounts for this kind of connectivity. Usually a call to the bank will get it turned on.

 

Web Downloads. This is a slightly more laborious type of import, but it works with almost every bank and never entails fees. You may have used this method in version 4, but we also made improvements to it for iBank 5. The idea here is you log in to your bank’s website, either through iBank’s integrated browser or the browser of your choice, then navigate to your account and find the export/download options. You then download a QIF, OFX or CSV file of your current data and import it in to iBank. If you download the file through iBank’s integrated browser, iBank helps import those transactions automatically. If it comes from an outside browser, you import the new data via drag and drop to the dock icon or through File > Import… When you import the file, an assistant sheet will appear asking you to confirm which account to import it in to.

One of the nice new things about iBank 5 is that as long as you consistently import the same file type (QIF, for example), we screen out any duplicates. We do this by storing a “fingerprint” of the original imported transaction so if you try to import it again, we look at the “fingerprint” of the incoming transaction and make sure it doesn’t already exist. This means you can always just import “the last 30 days” or “this month” from your bank’s website and iBank won’t import any duplicates.

 

Direct Access. This is the connectivity option that we introduced in iBank for iPad, and have now brought over to the Mac. There’s no requirement that you use it, and for many users it will seem redundant. But let’s look at why some customers might opt to subscribe in order to download their data.

Once you set up accounts with Direct Access (DA), transactions download automatically when you press the Update button. This isn’t so different from using OFX, except that Direct Access connects with thousands more banks worldwide. So it’s especially useful if you’ve got many accounts that otherwise connect solely via web downloads, as well as for many non-U.S. iBank customers. Also, the service is available on iBank for iPad, so you can use it to download transactions on the go, sharing the same subscription with iBank 5 (your account is linked to your iBank ID). And DA-enabled account data syncs between iBank for Mac and iPad, so you can get updated transactions from either device.

Astute readers might wonder, if my bank charges for OFX downloads, but I want to use Direct Access, can I cancel my OFX service and just use Direct Access? The answer is yes! Some customers who’ve been paying bank fees find that DA has cut their monthly costs.

A side note: sometimes DA-enabled accounts make a connection and later appear in the sidebar with a ! in the middle of the cloud icon. This may occur because the DA server hasn’t learned all of the login information needed for your particular bank. For example, it might fail when it encounters a security question it doesn’t know. Once you enter the response, it is stored on our back-end provider’s secure servers and typically you won’t be asked again.

 

I hope this  post offers a good summary of the various ways to import transactions in to iBank 5. I wanted to try and resolve any confusion customers might have, especially if you are upgrading from iBank 4. The bottom line for previous users: you can upgrade to iBank 5 and keep importing the way you always have. You don’t need to change anything, and no subscription is required to use iBank 5 successfully. But if you weren’t able to connect automatically to a bank before, it might be worth looking to see if it’s supported with Direct Access now.

-Ian