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Of all the things our iOS devices have made obsolete, we're least nostalgic about our checkbooks. With fast, secure apps for each of our banks and robust spending trackers like Mint and BillGuard, we've ditched the pencil-and-paper method for good and become more fiscally responsible as a result.
As an iPhone app, Next took the checkbook model and turned it on its head, collecting your transactions and displaying them as a gorgeous picture of your financial trends. Now, developer noidentity has brought the spending tracker to the iPad as its own paid companion, and while the minimal concept works well enough on the larger screen, we have a tough time recommending a double-dip here.
Like the iPhone version, Next for iPad has a simple, clean aesthetic. Adding a new expense is as easy as tapping the plus button that appears in the top-right corner of every screen, which brings up a grid of 27 identifiable icons to denote the transaction type. The different symbols cover a lot of ground, but we wouldn't mind a bit of customization.
Next is currency-agnostic, so its main focus is on numbers, not conversions. There are no budgeting tools, per se, but the app arranges purchases in ways that naturally highlight areas that may be draining your wallet. The data is presented differently and proves somewhat less useful at a glance than in the iPhone version—we particularly missed the handy week view—but the two apps work very well as companion pieces, updating quickly and effortlessly via iCloud. Next’s unique interface uses the iPad's larger screen mostly to its advantage, but the inability to use it in portrait mode is a bit of an annoyance, as is the complete lack of automation, including simple shortcuts like recurring payments.
The bottom line. Much as we like Next for iPad, it’s a tougher recommendation as a standalone purchase than the handier and more robust iPhone version.
iPad running iOS 7.0 or later
Smart, minimal interface. Nice graphs effortlessly visualize your expenses. iCloud syncing keeps your transactions up to date across both the iPad and iPhone apps.
No budgeting tools. Landscape-only orientation. Misses some of the tracking tools on iPhone. Doesn’t offer any new functionality for the cost.