MoneyBook: Expensetracking the iPhone way

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by ale1981, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. ale1981 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    #1
    Dear macrumors people :)

    We are two young software developers and UI-designers...

    In the last four months we have been working intensively on a new program, MoneyBook, an app for tracking daily expenses in various categories and keeping an eye on them, over the days and months.

    We know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of apps in this category, but, at the risk of sounding arrogant, we don't feel that many, if any, of them have really 'got' what the iPhone is about. We have tried to treat a complex theme with loving attention to detail and a beautiful, user-friendly interface. Not an easy task, but that is, for us, the real challenge.

    We would be honored if you would take a look at MoneyBook:

    iTuneslink: http://itunes.apple.com/ch/app/moneybook/id337954399?mt=8

    Home page: http://www.noidentity.ch

    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKS7ooCmRTQ&feature=fvsr

    Best wishes from Switzerland

    Screenshot:
    [​IMG]
     
  2. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #2

    Sorry I really like when devs try to make nice and elegant apps, but in this case there are many sections of your app where you have blatantly tried to rip off Pennies, and that is IMO not "the iPhone way"

    Examples of screens from your app and in Pennies:

    P.s.
    Good luck, I hope that you will use your talent to make some truly unique apps in the future
     

    Attached Files:

  3. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
  4. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #4
    a few more:
     

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  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
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    #5
    I understand your point but disagree.

    While they look similar, the screens are different.
     
  6. TonyL08 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #6
    Improving on something that works is how progress happens.
     
  7. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #7
    How so? The layout of the main page is exactly the same, except of course they use one type of gauge and Pennies use another.

    The way you enter an expense is the same, even most of the little expense category icons are the same.

    The way you see previous expenses is the most blatant, oh wait no, because these guys use tape instead of a paper clip it´s a completly new screen right??

    First of all, the devs of Pennies obviously put a lot of time and effort into their UI. You have to understand that they made that entire layout from scratch, and it obviously works because it´s a very popular app. It´s not okay that these guys just copy/paste and afterwards change a few minor details. Especially not when they make statements like this:

    "We know there are hundreds, if not thousands, of apps in this category, but, at the risk of sounding arrogant, we don't feel that many, if any, of them have really 'got' what the iPhone is about"

    People complain that windows rip off Mac OS but that is nothing compared to this.
     
  8. ale1981 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    #8
    Thanks to TonyL08 and sushi!

    This is exactly our opinion. We loved pennies and used it every day and in our opinion it was the best way for budgettracking on the iPhone.
    Not as bloated as other apps.

    So why reinvent the wheel? We took the best from pennies, improved it our way and added missing features like recurring expenses, more categories, diagrams, statistics etc
    It's so much more than a copy of pennies.

    Thanks to the people who see that, we appreciate any feedback :)

    here are two promocodes, take them fast :)

    4LKT6MHLRLM7
    3JFJ9Y3AFXW3
     
  9. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #9
    So if I manage to copy everything about OS X then change the color of the dock, call the "finder" "explorer" instead and give it a nice leather theme, I can call it my own and claim that I´m a innovator?
     
  10. ale1981 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    #10
    We worked 4 months on this app, I would not call this "copy and paste".
    We already submitted the 1.1 update with tons of new useful features that you won't find in pennies.
    It's not our fault that the developer of pennies don't take care of their app, there are no updates since months, bugs, missing features.

    So, you take something good and make it even better. There's nothing wrong with that. I understand your point, but we put so much work in this app that it's not ok to "destroy" someone's work with such aggressive words like yours.
     
  11. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #11
    So you were lazy, stood on the shoulders of others who had already done the hard work and just added some extra.

    There is a fine line between being inspired by something and copying, and IMO you copied.

    It takes a lot of work to make some good UX, and much less to add that extra stuff.
     
  12. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #12
    So because the dev of Pennies hasn´t added the features you wanted you think it is okay to copy their unique layout instead of investing the time needed to create your own?
    It might have taken you 4 months, but it would probably have taken you a lot longer to create good UI if you hadn´t copied one someone else already did.

    I don´t come here to "destroy" your work, but when you claim that you app is doing it the "iPhone way" I just feel that it is unfair since the iPhone is about innovation, not building on others stuff. You could call it the "windows way" that would be more appropriate.
     
  13. TonyL08 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #13
    It's a fine line, and they're treading it, but I don't feel they crossed it. They offer enough difference that it's its own app. There are plenty of cases in the world of software exactly like this. Take a look at web-browsers, mail applications, to-do lists, twitter apps, et cetera. Swap out a few graphics and differ the icons a bit and you have the same apps between different development houses.

    Take a look at Windows Explorer v. Mac Finder. Writing software is one upping someone else at their own game.
     
  14. apporacle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #14
    And there is a reason why there are so many lawsuits about these things today. When someone has worked hard to make something good, and someone else just takes the good parts, change it a little and call it their own it´s not okay.

    While it is true that some to-do lists and twitter apps look the same it´s because they all use the same standard UI components. The ones with unique UIs are not being copied because devs have more intregrity than to do so. You might see an app that looks like Tweetie because it is made of standard components (except for a few unique elements that other devs wouldn´t/shouldn´t copy), but you won´t find a copy of Twitterrific because its a unique UI that you can´t just copy, it belongs to Iconfacotry. The same is the case with the UI of Pennies, it´s unique and they created it.

    I probably wouldn´t have had nearly as big a problem with it as I do, if they hadn´t introduced themselves as innovators within the category with an app that makes a complex thing simple and easy. Since they clearly got "inspired" by Pennies they should have given credit where it is due. Claiming to understand what the iPhone is about with one hand while borrowing more than 75% of the UI of another app is not kosher.
    Be humble about what you do unless you really revolutionise something, these devs are neither.
     
  15. pasipple macrumors 6502a

    pasipple

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #15
    I don't have any ties to either of these apps....but personally.....looks like a blatant ripoff to me! Wow...shameful!!!!!
     
  16. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

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    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #16
    i would totally agree with this..
     
  17. anjinha macrumors 604

    anjinha

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #17
    Booo, I didn't get a code on time. And I was the one who asked for one. :(
     
  18. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #18
    i bought pennies on the day of release, cos i like Austin's work...

    but to be honest, after using it for a few weeks, i found myself not using it since! lol..

    and to be honest, i don't know what's happened to them and the updates...

    so i say all fairness to the dev of this app... he's changed it, built on it, and hopefully more people will actually use it on a regular basis...

    oh and ps: could i have a promo code please? :D
     

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