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Mint launches iPad app that's better than its Web site

No longer a "sidecar" to the main Mint service, the new Mint iPad app stands alone, proudly.

"Honey, we need to talk." Mint gives you a good intuitive grasp on why you're going broke.

The personal finance site Mint is getting an iPad app to go along with the smaller iPhone app that's been out for a while. It's being pitched as the full-on Mint experience, not a companion or "sidecar," according to Aaron Forth, Intuit's VP of personal finance.

The free app will offer offline access to data it's downloaded, so you can see how far you are in the hole when you are, actually, in a hole. Forth says the new full-screen graphics are both intuitive and "good for having a discussion around finances."

If you take your iPad out into the world, it can use geolocation to help you automatically enter in merchant data when you create cash transactions on the device (you don't need to enter in credit card transactions; they'll get downloaded automatically).

I got a brief demo of the app and agree with Forth that it's more intuitive and attractive than the Web-based service that made Mint popular. But Mint users like me are still waiting for the service to catch up to Intuit's other finance app, Quicken, in a few key features like investment tracking and bill payment.

See also PageOnce, an interesting competitor to Mint that just launched a strong bill-pay feature on its iPhone app.