Way back in 2007, back when Apple was transitioning from PowerPC chips to Intel Inside for the Mac, Quicken maker Intuit decided that Quicken on the Mac was more of a bother than a profit center and the much maligned money management app was discontinued.
History begins anew every day and since Apple’s switch to Intel CPUs on the Mac a funny thing happened. The Mac’s market share increased and the company’s once flagship product is selling at record levels. A few years ago, long after the vacuum Intuit created by dropping Quicken from the Mac, the company decided to get back in the game with a mostly anemic and highly criticized product named Quicken Essentials for Mac.
Even that lonely and desperate attempt to persuade Mac users back into the fold was retired earlier this and replaced by plain old vanilla Quicken (Quicken is no longer available on the Mac App Store, either). This new version is part and parcel to Intuit’s standard operating procedure, the modus operandi of the financial giant. Sell you something. Discontinue what they sold you. Sell something new.
What’s interesting about both the situation and history is that the latest version of Quicken for Mac is pretty good, certainly better than any version going back to the one that ran on OS X Lion in 2007. It’s packed with useful features, some of which haven’t been available in Quicken for Mac since then.
For example, there’s no bill payment system but there are Bill Reminders (something you could do for free in Calendar).
All you accounts can be tracked from a single app page whether bank accounts, credit cards, even investment and retirement accounts, and Quicken still has a lengthy list of financial institutions which allow you to download transaction data and stuff it into Quicken.
For most of us, though, transactions are the name of the game and here is where Quicken 2015 for Mac excels. Add whatever categories you need, split as needed, even print checks from the Mac.
Transactions are made up of income, bills, and spending, and the latest Quicken, while not exactly iBank for Mac (now the gold standard for Mac financial apps for the masses), is decent and tracks bills, spending, payments, and with reminders built-in, makes sure you pay what you should when you should.
The calendar view displays the details of all your transactions on, what else? A Calendar. Plus, as you’ll see below, Quicken handles budgets and displays green (under budget) and red (over budget) for specific categories so you can see at a glance where the money went and why there is too much month left over at the end of the money.
Quicken, while leaving the past behind with new versions that cost more money, has at least a pathway from the past to the present with import options that include the recently discontinued Quicken Essentials and even Quicken Mac 2007, and Quicken for Windows.
Quicken also does a good job with the step-by-step setup if you’ve never used anything by Intuit in the past. And, yes, there’s just enough eye candy to make Mac users think that Quicken might be around awhile. I’m thinking Charley Brown and Lucy and the football here.
Perhaps the most revealing document on the Intuit Quicken for Mac website is the FAQs. This is where you learn that Quicken doesn’t believe in upgrades as much as pay up, that there’s neither a bill pay service, nor a trial version (but, there is a 60-day money back guarantee), and Quicken can be i installed on up to three Macs in the same household.
In short, Quicken is going in the right direction but I worry more about Intuit’s intentions for the future. For example, there’s an iPhone and iPad version of Quicken, a companion for both Mac and Windows. And it’s free. But it hasn’t be updated since summer of last year. Go figure.
Financial institutions love to show off how secure they are with big buildings and lots of marble. That’s a time honored method to display how trustworthy they are. Intuit’s history with Mac users, and now iPhone and iPad users, does not display a similar level of trust, despite an improved feature set and a well known brand name.