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!