Bankr 2.0 adds Siri and Reminders integration

Personal finance app is still a serious contender

I normally don't revisit apps unless there's a good reason for it. The personal finance app Bankr has evolved so much in the last three months that I feel it's fair I give it a second look. In my original Bankr review I said "it looks like Facebook is doing banking". The blue interface theme has changed with version 2.0 along with some native integration will change the way you use it.

Let's start with the user interface redesign. The layout remains the same, the changes are in the theme. It's like someone had slapped a new skin where lighter tones predominate. Gone is the Facebook blue, in are the light metallic greys and the black leather. Did I say leather? The new look sports skeuomorphic details galore.

This term, skeuomorphism, is tremendously current after the departure of Scott Forstall from Apple, who was said to be responsible for all the leather stitching and paper shedders you get in iOS. Bankr 2.0 also comes with stitched leather — possibly from the same tanner as Reminders. It also has paper receipts carefully cut in zig-zag. I'm not a fan of the look, but in Bankr it's utilised carefully. It gives the feeling the developer wanted to keep the app current and in line with the design elements of iOS. It does feel like an app unique for iOS.

Add new expenses with Siri

What Styled Syntax has done with Bankr 2.0 is one of the most useful Siri integration I have used. Thanks to a clever synchronisation with the native iOS app Reminders, now you can add new expenses without even launching the app. Simply tell Siri to remind you of that coffee you bought. The note will be added to the native Reminders app in iOS and Bankr will read than information and deduct that expense from your budget.

This is possibly one of the most useful implementations of Siri + Reminders with a third party app I've seen so far

And like with any productivity app, the main issue is always entering the data. Since Bankr's strengths rely on the user adding every receipt or income, adding these with voice simplifies this task in a big way. I was kind of sceptic about the implementation of Siri with Reminders. The system will recognise different language expressions without trouble. It works.

More and more refinements

Along with the interface makeover and the Siri integration, there are some changes that current users will welcome. First is one of my criticisms when I first tried the app. In version 2.0, every time you add a new item it's going to be an expense by default. It turns out I didn't have the wrong profession.

For recurring payments the app includes a method to include your weekly travel card and your monthly rent. There are also a new setting that allows you to flag transactions so they aren't deducted from your budget. The option to attach a picture is now gone and there's still no way to export your lists into an cvs or spreadsheet file.

Bankr is still a fantastic option to keep your track of your expenses and your stock portfolio in a simple way. The new interface elements keeps it in line with the latest design trends in iOS. Moreover, innovations such as voice data entry via Siri make data entry less of a pain and should encourage users to add expenses on the go without forgetting.

Continue reading Bankr's full review: