It has been a while since I got my hands on this nifty little iPhone app called SettleApp. Since then, I have been in two minds whether or not to write about it here on Beautiful Pixels. SettleApp has a really simple premise — to help you keep track of your shared expenses and debts. Many a times, you end up spending for your friends when you’re out and then spend hours figuring out who owes exactly what. SettleApp makes this easy for you.
The app looks great. It has a very minimal, bare-bones UI and barely any controls. When you launch it, there’s just a single button you tap and two segmented controls up top — Debts & Transactions. To register a transaction, you enter the price, choose an icon from a choice of eight, name of the person who spent the amount and who else was present or for whom the money was spent. Once entered, SettleApp automatically splits the amount and calculates how much each person owes the other(s). It integrates with the contacts on your iPhone, so typing out a name pulls out a matching list from your contacts. On the main screen, it uses the colors Red and Green, with arrows, to simplify reading who owes whom how much. The Transactions tab shows a list of all the transactions you’ve entered in the app, along with the date and place.
Unfortunately, although SettleApp looks great, I have nothing but complaints about the way it works. On my iPhone 5, the app is terribly slow and often ends up crashing. As you type a person’s name, the keyboard becomes unresponsive while it does the filtering of contacts and again, often ends up crashing. There is no Settings or Info screen, so no way to find out about or contact support from within the app. There’s also no way to backup/restore your transactions in the app, making it a single point of failure.
That said, I do like the idea & purpose that SettleApp is trying to solve here. Obviously, I do wish it had a few more features. I’d have loved to enter a custom note for each transaction. I also wish it automatically entered the name of the person who’s paid the amount in the list of who was present when needed. I hope the developer also considers adding a ‘trip/travel’ mode wherein you pre-pick the people who are with you, so you don’t have to manually enter everyone’s name for each transaction made during the trip.
SettleApp is a great start, but requires plenty of polish before it becomes a solid recommendation. SettleApp is available on the App Store for $0.99.