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Mint.com’s updated app brings better functionality for Android tablet users

by Marty Gabel

When it comes to apps that help you manage your money, Mint.com Personal Finance has been a popular fixture in the Android Market (as well as online and via iOS devices) for a few years now. Today, the folks at Intuit released a great update which makes the app optimized for Android Honeycomb tablets and increases its usefulness too.

It should be noted that the Mint.com app still lacks the full functionality of its mother site. If you want to edit entries or categories, you still need to log-in to your account at the Mint.com web site and do it from there. Hopefully, Intuit will add this capability in future updates.

Still, the app is very nice in some ways. If you don’t already have an account with Mint.com, the app lets you set one up right away. You’ll need to log-in with that Mint.com account before you can access any of the app’s features. Once you do, however, you’re greeted with an impressive overview of your current finances, and it’s clear that the large screen real estate on most Android tablets really benefits from this.

The design is fresh and inspired by its iOS iPad counterpart with a unified action bar at the top of the screen, smoother animations and a general look and feel that fits in nicely with tablets running Android Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich. We found the app worked perfectly on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, however, when we launched it on the smaller Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, it defaulted to the smartphone look and feel instead, so we have to presume the device isn’t being recognized as a tablet, which is a tad disappointing.

Your spending by category is illustrated with a colorful pie-chart and things that need to be brought to your attention are clearly highlighted. Swiping the screen takes you to another section which breaks down your spending over time. If you’ve been trying to curb your expenses or cut down your costs, the bar graph here is a handy way of displaying this.

Delve deeper and you’ll discover your recent transactions broken down clearly, right down to a map on the right side of the screen which shows the exact location where you bought something. Once again, the large tablet screen means all this info is displayed more clearly than ever.

Mint.com is one of those apps that depends on how much time and effort the user is willing to put in. It’s easy to set up, but you do need to provide it with all kinds of personal financial information to truly make it shine. With tax season approaching rapidly and W2s being mailed out at a frenetic pace, Intuit chose a great time to extend the app’s functionality, and many Android tablet users should find it a convenient way to track spending and help them budget in this lean financial times.