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Monitor money matters on Android with Mint

An Android app from personal finance service joins its iPhone counterpart, though neither lives up to the full-fledged site.

Article updated 5/3/2010 at 1:28 pm with new details about operating system compatibility.

Mint logo

About a year and a half after releasing a mobile version of its personal-finance service for the iPhone, is bringing its free credit-card and budget tracker to Android phones.

As with the iPhone app, passcode-protected on Android has you monitoring credit card, bank, and investment accounts; your budget; and your cash ebb and flow. The app presents your money matters in summary form, with the ability to drill down to the item level of a purchase. Follow the trail to the end to edit an item's transaction details or jot down notes or tags. Apart from those modest editing allowances, Mint is largely read-only. You'll need to set up and manage budgets and alerts online.
One of the best features of hasn't made it onto the phone app.

Mint--which was swallowed up seven months ago by Quicken- and TurboTax-maker Intuit-- has kept both the iPhone and Android apps simple with just a few customizations. The settings menu contains an option to add a 4-digit passcode. Another setting enables a widget or Android Live Folder that displays your total assets and expenditures, assuming you're the type who doesn't mind slapping details of your personal haul onto the prime viewing location of your home screen.

While Mint's Android app hands you the tools to quickly eyeball your fortunes, it also bypasses some of the Web site's best features--such as suggestions on ways to save dough and those colorful charts and graphs that diagram your spending habits. These are the same missing features we've been pining over since Mint released its iPhone app in 2008. Frankly, we were hoping for more.

You can still access Mint's full range of tools and features at the mobile-optimized Web site. But starting Monday, those who prefer to snap open an app rather than wait for a site to load can download Mint from the Android Market app on their phones. Mint for Android runs on phones running version 1.5, 1.6, 2.0, and 2.1 of the Android operating system. You will need to register for an account to use Mint.