There once was a time when Intuit’s Quicken money manager ruled the Mac.
Even today, many Mac users stick with Quicken for Mac 2007 because it was a decent product with a good blend of useful features.
Somewhere along the way, Intuit decided that Mac users were not worth their time, trouble, or development money, and Quick for Mac languished. In the interim, a dozen new Mac money management apps picked up the slack, filled the vacuum, and became popular in place of Quicken. Oh, and along the way, the Mac became popular again and Mac app sales surged.
Then, Intuit decided to put Quicken back into the Mac game with an updated an anemic Quicken Essentials for Mac. Essentials?
That’s another word for basics, which is another word for limited feature set, which is another phrase for anemic.
To Intuit’s credit, Quicken Essentials was a start at a new relationship with Mac users, and the company promised regular updates and feature enhancements. So far, so good.
Much has already been written about Quicken Essentials; some good, most not so much. Intuit had to backtrack and release a version of Quicken for Mac 2007 (that was five years ago, folks) that would run on Mac OS X Lion.
Earlier this year I decided to give Quicken a try again, and installed Essentials on my Mac. I’m still keeping iBank, but I don’t use all the features, and thought Quicken might be a better fit because it doesn’t do much (which is good if you don’t have much money to managed.
First things, first. Quicken Essentials is attractive and straightforward and typical Mac. Tools, Accounts, Reports, and Budgets line the left Sidebar.
From the Quicken window you can view every account, budget, and report with a click, so there’s less digging around to find out what happened to your money.
Quicken is similar to most mid-range Mac money management apps. Create accounts, populate each with transactions, view reports, set up budgets and recurring expenses.
Quicken’s Overview does what you’d expect, a quick look at your financial status, upcoming bills, budgets, and more.
Quicken Essentials tracks bills and paychecks so you keep expenses and cash on hand in balance. If you’ve used Quicken on Mac or Windows, the new version will import some data and there’s a few steps to get you there (a sore spot among many who’ve upgraded from previous Quicken versions).
If you need to download transactions from your bank, Quicken now handles 12,000 different banks whose data will work in Essentials.
So, it’s fair to say that Intuit is in love with the Mac again, hence the new Quicken Essentials and the Quicken for Mac 2007 upgrade to work on Lion.
That’s the good news. The bad news? Installation of the update hasn’t worked for some Mac users. There’s no warning before deleting a transaction. The mouse, not the keyboard, is a requirement to select some categories. Ditto for eliminating QuickFill from old entries. Quicken is mouse rules, not always keyboard friendly.
If you’re moving to the Mac from Windows and expect the Mac version to be similarly feature complete, you’ll be disappointed.
If you don’t mind holding onto the past, Quicken for Mac 2007, the OS X Lion version, is available online for $14.99.