I’m writing today with an update on what we’ve been working on since our last blog post a couple of months ago. Before I discuss where we are on our roadmap I want to highlight some of the improvements we’ve already shipped with Banktivity 8.7.5 (the most up-to-date version at the time of this writing).

Shipped and delivered

Before we moved to subscription, some of these improvements probably would have been “held back” so we could tout about them in the next paid version and make a better argument for why customers should upgrade. We fixed a lot of bugs and made improvements to our old payment model, but now, with our flexible subscription, we can iterate more freely.

Search result improvements

A few customers lamented about how we should really show hidden accounts in our search results. When the team read about this, it was like, “yeah, of course, why haven’t we done this all along?” So I’m happy to say that feature was rolled out in version 8.7.5.

Envelope budget improvements

Long-time readers probably know that I’m an avid envelope budgeter. Several years ago we added the “target” amount to your envelopes, but we didn’t show it for all categories. The idea at the time was we only wanted to show it for categories with irregular schedules, like an insurance bill due every 6 months. We recently revisited this based on some customer feedback and we now show target amounts for every category that doesn’t have a basic, monthly budgeted amount. The idea is, if you have any category in which you might need to sock away some extra cash now for a future obligation, we should show that in your budget.

Direct Access 2 improvements

We continue to put time and energy into improving Direct Access 2. Our legacy Direct Access implementation is not being actively developed as it is using antiquated technology that our backend provider is phasing out. The future is with Direct Access 2 and we want to continue to make it better. Banktivity 8.7.5 has several improvements in handling investment transactions. In particular, it does a better job of interpreting what a transaction should be, based on the data our backend provider gives us which is sometimes not totally clear. We also fixed an issue where we incorrectly ignored some transactions altogether when the transaction type was unrecognized.

Roadmap progress

For the rest of this post I talk about how we are doing sticking to the roadmap we laid out in the last blog post. Additionally, I talk about some great (and long overdue!) improvements we’ve been making to scheduled transactions. So without further ado, here is where we stand on some of our biggest forthcoming features.

iOS Reports

We continue to make good progress on reports for iOS. While we still have a ways to go, I’m happy that we can share some screenshots with you all! (Please remember these screenshots are not final!)

Income and Expense report on iPadOS
Net worth on iPad in landscape orientation

As you can see, the reports on iPadOS look very similar to Mac and we think you’ll feel right at home with them. For the initial release, we plan on having the following reports:

  • Income and expense
  • Net worth
  • Payee
  • Payee by category
  • Category detail
  • Payee detail

Bringing reports to iOS has brought some UI challenges given the large difference in screen sizes between a small iPhone and the largest iPad. Really, the largest iPad screens are pretty straightforward. It’s the smaller iPhone screen sizes that pose some, uh, difficulties, in fitting everything in a nice legible layout.

Document Spin Off

This is the feature we mentioned in our last blog post that allows you to purge old data from your document, and move forward with just relatively recent data.

We haven’t made as much progress on this feature as I would have liked, as we spent some time working on the improvements mentioned earlier in this post. We still will want to do this feature, but we’ve shifted gears a little bit and have begun work on improving scheduled transactions.

Improved schedule transactions

Banktivity has had the same scheduled transaction system for over a decade. It’s easy to model the majority of basic bills, things like a cellphone bill due on the same day of each month. Where our current system falls short is when you want to model something like the last Wednesday of the month or the last day of the month. Or the second Tuesday of the month.

We’ve decided to tackle this and we are currently revamping our scheduled transaction calendaring system. To be clear, this was not a last-minute decision, we’ve been planning on improving scheduled transactions for the last several months, I just didn’t mention it in the last blog post. Better to over-deliver and underpromise than the other way around.

UI Scaling on Mac

A big chunk of this feature is done. As you’ll see in the video below the main content area of our app scales up and down as I’m pressing some command +/-. I pause in the middle and then resume some scaling magic.

Summary

We’ve made some great progress on our roadmap, but there’s still lots more to do. Apple’s developer conference (WWDC or “dub-dub” for those in the know) is happening in early June and we fully expect them to announce new operating systems with new features and technologies. We’ve built some time into our schedules to make sure we can devote resources to making sure the next versions of Banktivity are fully ready to go with Apple’s new operating systems. Of course, you never really know what Apple is going to announce!

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8 comments on “Spring roadmap update

  • I was one of those who was a little “critical” at the time of the Winter Update. Mainly because there was little mention of ironing out some long standing wrinkles.

    So thank you very much for your work on Envelope Targeting, hidden accounts and schedules. It is appreciated!

  • Ian

    As you know I’m a big user of scheduled transactions so improvements here are very welcome. One feature in MS Money I really liked was to schedule a transaction ‘Only Once’. This may seem an odd use of a ‘scheduled transaction’ but its invaluable when you are looking at cash-flow effects/timing of single, large one-off transactions.

    My other plea for functional improvement on iOS is to enable groups of accounts. On my Mac I can group all my different savings, credit card, investment accounts into their respective groups and in one simple view get a summary, for example, of all my savings. Fantastic! But entirely absent on iOS. This is a big opportunity for functional iOS improvement.

    One emerging problem – I think the last iOS update hoped to address the infamous and difficult to reproduce ‘blank screen’ problem. Whatever was done seems to have made things worse rather than better. I have moved from needing to restart the iPad app 2-3 times per month to 2-3 times per week – or even more frequently! Hope you can get to the bottom of this issue quickly!

    Thanks.

    • My workaround for one off scheduled transactions is to set up the transaction and then use the provided setting to end it after one instance.

      • Paul – thanks – appreciate there is a workaround but have occasionally forgotten to set the number to ‘1’. Seems a simple usability improvement to have an ‘Only Once’ option that pre-populates the fields.

  • That scaling video is great, but can we PLEASE get single line mode? I prefer it SO much, it’s almost a deal breaker.

  • I don’t know about Direct Access 2. What I do know is that in the current version 8.7.5 I have Direct Access problems with at least 1 account (Acorn) for over a month – with no date when it will be fixed – and the frequency of updates. Never see this issue on Quicken. Could it be that whatever 3rd party Banktivity uses has a low priority with the major banks?

    Also, an “Only Once” option is a no brainer. Many of my new bills are once only payments. The workaround is clumsy.

  • Any plans to improve the Import Rules matching from the payee field? My bank supplies a bunch of data in the payee field in addition to the payee name. The part that is a problem is the purchase date in ddMmm format. This means Banktivity can’t match these transaction because the date keeps changing. Banktivity’s current match method takes a year to compile all the variations (it’s the month change that throws it). This means I still spend a lot of time manually changing these to the correct payee.

    I did find a regular expression that does work well, but it’s a manual process to add it to new payee’s Import Rules. Even for the regular payees, if they change their payee name (ie new business owner, but same “trading name”) I have to fix the expression.

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