YNAB for iPhone Lite — Rejected & Re-Submitted

We received notice this morning that the YNAB for iPhone Lite app was rejected because the reviewers needed to be given a test Dropbox account. We set that all up for them and re-submitted immediately.

Since the update to the current iPhone app is still “Waiting for Review,” we update the Reviewer Instructions there as well, hopefully avoiding another round trip with the reviewers.

We’re now back and “Waiting for Review” with both apps. We’re going to request an expedited review again in a few moments. We’re told the clock doesn’t reset if you just update your application’s metadata (which is all we’ve had to do so far), but there was still a nine-day delay between re-submitting the Lite app and having it go to review again. So who knows how long this wait will take.

Here’s hoping there’s only good news going forward.

YNAB for iPhone LITE moves to “In Review”

Woot! That’s progress folks. Let’s just hope we get green-lighted (lit?) here shortly.

The full version, (the one you’ve been using if you’ve had YNAB for iPhone up to this point) is still “Waiting for Review.”

If the Lite (free) version does become available before the full version, I’ll still let everyone know, so you can start using Cloud Sync asap. The differences between Lite and Full can be found here.

Once the full version has the green light, you could upgrade, then uninstall the Lite version.

I’m trying unsuccessfully not to get my hopes up.

YNAB for iPhone Still Delayed

5:06 PM MDT July 4, 2012 >> The Lite version has moved to “In Review”

If you want the whole spiel, with 400+ comments (and my answers to a lot of questions), you can read the original status update.

This is for those people that read the blog via RSS and don’t want to manually go back and check the blog.

Both YNAB for iPhone and YNAB for iPhone Lite are still “Waiting for Review.” They were submitted originally on June 15.

We received a rejection for YNAB for iPhone late on June 25th telling us that we couldn’t include a 30-day moneyback guarantee in our app description. We immediately pulled it and resubmitted with new metadata. According to Apple, the submission did not put us to the back of the line because no new binary was required.

That same day, late in the evening, we received a rejection for YNAB for iPhone Lite, telling us we needed to include a video demoing the Cloud Sync feature. We made a quick video, uploaded it to YouTube, and shared the video link in our reviewer instructions.  We also made a second video demoing YNAB for iPhone and included that in its reviewer instructions (just in case the reviewer asked for that later, we didn’t want to delay the process by having to make another round trip).

It’s now July 1 and both apps are still sitting at Waiting for Review. We are guessing Apple is simply backlogged and that it’s not something fundamentally wrong with the apps. This guess stems from the fact that the apps aren’t sitting for a long time in the review process, but rather waiting in line for the scrutiny.

We have no best guess for when they’ll be approved. Our best guess (based on Apple’s reporting) was that we had a 98% chance of approval in five business days. We now can no longer venture any guess at all. In our experience, this is unprecedented.

We apologize for the delay of the iPhone’s availability.

YNAB 4: Mobile App Status for iPhone & Android

5:06 PM MDT July 4 >> The Lite version has moved to “In Review”

3:07 PM MDT, July 3 >> Forgot to update here that I wrote a fresh post on our status.

10:23 PM MDT, June 30th >> Still “Waiting for Review” for the iPhone and iPhone Lite version.

10:15 AM MDT, June 29th >> Still no word from Apple.  We’re really sorry about this. We should have probably pushed off the whole YNAB 4 launch until we had the app approve and in hand

The Android version received an update last night to fix a few stability issues we found surrounding setting up for Cloud Sync. So far that build seems to be looking pretty good! We are excited to start working feature parity for Android :)

8:45 AM MDT, June 28th >> I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. Taylor’s writing some desktop code to hopefully make the transition from having the current iPhone app with lots of unsynced transactions a seamless one when you DO finally get to use YNAB 4 with the new iPhone app. Still no word from Apple. Not even “in review” yet.

In other, better news, Android’s been in the wild for about 12 hours and is behaving fairly well. We noticed an issue with users running 2.1 and we hope to get that fix pushed out today.

3:28 PM MDT, June 27th >> Still no word from Apple. *sigh* However, on the Android front, we just hit “Publish” so it should be getting put in to Google Play any moment now… if you like the changes, please do leave a great review! (If you have something bad happen, please let us fix it before you leave your review ;))

10:45 AM MDT, June 27th >> We submitted some videos of us demoing Cloud Sync to Apple. We’re now back “Waiting for Review”. It didn’t require us submit a new binary, which means we did not go to the back of the line.

With Android, we tested it late last night and ran into another show-stopping bug. We hope to have it fixed today, and to get it published. We are sorry for the delay and should have done a better job anticipating these last-minute delays.

9:24 PM MDT, June 26th >> iPhone: the Lite app was rejected. They’re asking us to send a video demoing how it works with YNAB. Wish they would have attended the webinar…

We found some more showstoppers with Android. The push will definitely not happen today.

7:34 PM MDT, June 26th >> iPhone: the Lite app is now “In Review”! The main app was rejected because we had copy in our description saying we would give a moneyback guarantee. That copy has now been removed and it’s back “Waiting for Review.” We contacted Apple to ask if that sent us to the back of the line (Please no…) and haven’t heard back yet. We’re hoping it didn’t.

For Android, I’m just about to test a build that should hopefully fix the issues we experienced with our test release last night.

9:12 AM MDT, June 26th >> iPhone: no word yet. Still “Waiting for Review”. We did a small test launch last night and found a showstopper for the Android. A fix will take several hours, and we’ll hopefully release it before the end of today.  We’re sorry these mobile platforms are giving us a bit of a snag, but we’ll get things right and in your hands as soon as possible (or able, considering the iPhone situation).

We are about 14-15 hours away from switching the site over for YNAB 4 to be unleashed to the world.

And Apple still has not reviewed YNAB for iPhone v. 2.  This version is waiting for approval and is the one that will let you use Cloud Sync with YNAB 4.  The version that’s currently in the App Store, that you probably already have installed on your iPhone, will not work with YNAB 4. Not even wi-fi syncing.

Let me repeat that: your current version of the iPhone app will not work with YNAB 4.

YNAB 4 will Cloud Sync great with other desktops, and with the updated Android app. (Update: We’ll be publishing the Android update soon)

We will let you know as soon as the iPhone app is available.

We are hoping and praying that Apple will approve us here soon. We’ve been in the queue for longer than what they say is normally required to pass their inspection.

As soon as your iPhone app is upgraded, it will connect with any budgets that you set up as part of working with the brand new YNAB 4.

We’ll update this post, and will also be posting to our Facebook page and Twitter feed to let you know that status of things. Heck, we’ll probably send out another email blast if that’s what it takes.

We’re sad and sorry you can’t watch the magic happen with your iPhone app and Cloud Sync just yet.

A Method to Your Madness

As the YNAB Team, we’ve been living and breathing YNAB 4 and its evolution for the past 18 months.

We’ve debated minutiae that would drive most of you insane (“This is a pixel off. What if we did a slightly lighter blue? Couldn’t we give this a bit more breathing room? What happens if someone working on the Desktop deletes an account, but then their spouse with an offline iPhone adds a new transaction to that account? What if the Desktop deletes a category and someone on an offline Android modifies that category, while also adding transactions to it, then comes back online?”)

All this talk of features and functions has me missing The YNAB Method.

To be honest, all of my blog posts and emails since last Thursday have focused completely on the software. The software’s just a tool to implement the method.

The Method has worked under every iteration of the software.

When I used to sell the YNAB spreadsheet (it was called YNAB Basic), it only had one Register. You had transactions from all of your accounts all mixed in to one register.  There was no scheduler. There was no Quickbudget, no split transactions, and certainly no importing of OFX files or anything of the sort.

When we launched YNAB Pro, people happily upgraded from the spreadsheet (duh!). YNAB Pro still didn’t let you use multiple accounts. The first version still didn’t let you import! We improved YNAB Pro, added some hideous tabbed accounts across the top, and you could import bank files.  We added splits, a scheduler, reports etc.

Then we launched YNAB 3 just before I went bankrupt, which ended up being very good timing (avoiding bankruptcy I mean…and I’m actually kidding, though it was horribly stressful).  We gave it a new look, lots of new features…

And now we’re at YNAB 4, with our best YNAB yet.

It’s still all about the method.  Fancy Cloud Sync algorithm aside (don’t shoot me for saying that Taylor), the software is there to help you become more aware (Rule One), anticipatory (Rule Two), flexible (Rule Three), and secure (Rule Four).

Rule One: You’ll still be giving every dollar a job. That will raise your awareness. It will help you communicate better in your relationship, will highlight money “leaks” and will show you if your money is actually doing those things you truly value. Once your money lines up with your values, you’ll feel content.  I was feeling that contentment using YNAB Basic.

Rule Two: You still need to be looking ahead and anticipating those larger, less-frequent expenses. It’s June, which means we need to renew the registration on our vehicles. That was the first expense that surprised me and Julie back in 2003. We’d never owned a car before, and I get this bill in the mail for $105! I about lost my lunch. I learned from that, and we created a “Car Registration Renewal” category where I’d plug $8.75 into it each month. I’ve never been surprised by a car renewal again.

(Well, not true. I got a ticket last year because I forgot to actually renew. But the point is that the money was there for it…)

The holidays are in six months. Are you halfway toward your savings goal for holiday spending?  Paying cash for the festivities and gifts, with zero stress…that is living the method. And that type of thinking, applied to all sorts of future events that are coming down your life’s pipeline, is what will transform your life.  The software will help you stay on top of it, but it won’t do it for you.

Rule Three: Some of you feel so mad/ashamed when you overspend in a category. My goodness, let me show you something:

Not too hot of a performance is it? That was May’s budget results. Frankly, I’d have to dig around to know exactly what went awry for the month. You know what’s interesting though? May wasn’t particularly bad.  It was particularly normal.

You see that balance of $3,230.74? Those are our “Fixed Bills” where I save for things like Property Taxes, Life, Car, and Homeowner’s Insurance, HOA dues, and some others I don’t recall off the top of my head.  That climbing balance is why I feel fine with missing some of the other categories.

I don’t budget to see if I can stay within budget and not overspend, I budget to arm myself with the information needed to make good decisions.  Follow Rule Three by being flexible. Adjust things as needed. Roll with those incessant punches.

Rule Four: Save for that Buffer! Set aside a bit from each paycheck to be Available Next Month.  Just keep making that amount bigger with each paycheck. You’ll get there (on average it takes YNABers about four months, but it’s okay to take much longer than that!).

You’ll love living on last month’s income. It’s liberating. Your bill-paying process becomes an absolute breeze, and you’ll work with a known number each month instead of doing crazy projections (a fancy word for JUST GUESSING :))

Imagine receiving a bill in the mail and…just…paying it.  (Couple that with Rule Two: imagine receiving a huge bill in the mail and…just…paying it.)

All of this talk about features made me pine for the method, so this was somewhat cathartic for me. Hopefully some of you reading it were reminded of why YNAB works (it’s because you do).

YNAB 4: Playing with Mobile Apps

6/25/12 @ 3:14 pm MDT Update >> One item I failed to mention and that’s a big deal, is that the current iPhone app will not wi-fi sync with YNAB 4. That means we are really crossing our fingers that Apple will approve the app by tomorrow when we launch.

A weird thing happened the other day. I was sitting in front of my computer with YNAB 4 running and I had just purchased a book on Amazon. Instead of tabbing over to YNAB 4, I grabbed my iPhone from off the desk and recorded the transaction.

Why did I choose to use my phone instead of the desktop? I honestly don’t think I chose at all. It was just automatic.

My hope is that two to three months from now people start emailing me telling me that they’re recording their transactions at the point of sale, that it’s made them even more aware of what they’re spending, that money is easier to manage between two spouses, and that their finances have improved as a result.

So here’s the skinny on the mobile apps.

Both YNAB for iPhone and Android will receive free updates that will allow them to take advantage of our new Cloud Sync technology.

Both have seen other improvements (mainly behind the scenes).

The Android app still doesn’t have feature parity with the iPhone (it still needs split transactions and geo-aware payees, but we got category favorites in!). We’re excited to have the Android Cloud Sync-able, meaning we can begin focusing on that feature parity. We’ve actually done quite a bit of development along those lines, with lots of code already written for the geo-aware payees specifically; it just didn’t make it in time for launch.


We’ve created a YNAB Lite version for the iPhone (an Android Lite version will come eventually) that has a lot of features removed, and really focuses the user on the core functionality of the mobile app: checking category balances and adding transactions on the go.

YNAB Lite only uses Cloud Sync. There is no wi-fi option. It does not have geo-aware payees, category favorites, or even account views. It is truly a Lite version of YNAB for iPhone, and it will be free.

Waiting for Approval

We submitted our update apps to Apple for approval on Saturday, June 16th. Apple claims that 98% of apps are approved within five business days. At the time of this writing, we are still “Waiting for Review” in the app store.

We’ve requested an expedited review twice, and have been denied twice. At this point, all we can do is hope.

If, and this is likely, we are not approved by launch tomorrow, we will all be sad. However, I’ll send out an email as soon as we are approved to let you know that the upgrade is available.

The Android app isn’t subject to external review, so it will be ready for launch tomorrow.

Mobile Apps Going Forward

Our plans for the mobile apps going forward:

  • Android to have feature parity with the iPhone
  • Android to have a free Lite version.
  • Both platforms to receive upgrades offering ever more functionality (editing budget amounts, viewing the budget historically, reports…basically trying have the apps eventually be standalone).

We hope you enjoy the free upgrades coming to you shortly!


YNAB 4: Extended Language Support

We’re really happy to report that YNAB 4 has extended language support for…pretty much any language your computer supports.

Please note, we didn’t translate YNAB 4 into your language, but we are now allowing you to use your language when naming accounts, recording transactions, adding budget categories., etc.

It was tough for CS to tell people we couldn’t let them add transactions in their native language. Glad to support it now!

YNAB 4: Net Worth Report

What?! There’s a new version of YNAB coming? Yes. It’s YNAB 4, and it’s awesome. If you missed the announcement, you can catch it here. We talk about pricing, availability, etc.

The whole reports section got an entire revamp, and gained some great new reports to boot. In this post, I’ll highlight the Net Worth Report.

The purpose of this report is to give you an idea on your overall progress toward your goals. If your net worth is going up, that’s a good thing.

In the gray box you have all sorts of filters you can employ to get an accurate picture of your net worth. Perhaps you want to exclude certain accounts …that’s no problem at all:

As you hover over a month in the chart, you’ll see the legend change, telling you exactly what the Debts, Assets, and Net Worth is for that month:

The sidebar gives you a tabular form, with some quick red light/green light indicators on net worth movements from month to month:

You can also click the Export button and get the asset/liability/net worth break down by month in spreadsheet format:

While YNAB 3 had a Net Worth report, we believe we’ve made serious improvements to it. The exporting is cleaner, the chart is visually stunning (with subtle gradients), and the filtering is faster and more intuitive.

Enjoy this new report, especially as you see your net worth climb through diligent use of YNAB 4 (and the underlying method of budgeting right).