Announcing Splitwise for iOS : version 4

The groups tab shows your recent groups and outstanding balances, as well as non-group expenses.
Splitwise v4 includes tabbed navigation, balance breakdowns, and an easier way to add bills.

Our whole team has been crafting a major new version of Splitwise for iPhone over the past few months. We’re excited to announce that it went live on the App Store earlier this morning.

We’ve focused on improving the two most important parts of Splitwise: adding bills and checking balances. The “add bill” form has been streamlined into a single screen, and the new navigation tab bar makes it easier to see balances with both groups and friends.

In addition to the major changes, we’ve included popularly requested features like spending totals for groups and exporting to spreadsheet. We’ve also added many more subtle improvements and bug fixes that greatly improve Splitwise for iOS.

Continuing our tradition of naming major releases after silly animal names, Splitwise version 4 is called “Lazy Salmon.” Read on for a detailed tour of what’s been added, changed and improved. Continue reading Announcing Splitwise for iOS : version 4

Splitwise Seed Funding – We’re Hiring

Dear users,

I’m happy to announce today that Splitwise has raised $1.4MM in new seed funding from leading tech investors. Raising outside money means we can continue to invest in building the world’s best product for reducing the stress of money in relationships. Hooray!

We’re using that money to hire talented people to help us make Splitwise even better. If you are a software engineer who wants to work on a product you love, please hop on over to our jobs page.


Splitwise has been a labor of love for the founders for nearly four years. This year has been incredible: Splitwise users have shared over $1B in expenses so far in 2014, just counting US dollars. We’ve been featured alongside companies with dozens or hundreds of engineers. I’ve found that most users are surprised to learn we currently have only two engineers, and that our CTO is also our lead designer.

Our goal for Splitwise is to remove the stress of sharing money in our most important relationships. How does this translate into a product roadmap? While still being annoyingly vague, allow me to explain our priorities for the coming years.

Continue reading Splitwise Seed Funding – We’re Hiring

Coming to Splitwise for Android: Offline mode, multiple payers

When we released Splitwise for Android v3 last November the whole team let out a sigh of relief: We no longer had an Android app that sucked, but rather a native, sleek beast we could all be proud of.

Seems like all our Android users breathed a sigh of relief, too — our average rating in the Google Play store climbed by .3 in a matter of days, and we got tons of excited emails, Tweets and blog comments from our long-suffering Android folk.

Today we’re pumped to announce that we’ve kept our Android-awesomeness momentum going. We released multiple payers a couple days ago (version 3.2.4), and offline mode is being beta-tested right now by some very kind community members. We’ll release it to the masses once we’ve slain all the bugs.

Our hearts do a little dance every step our Android app takes towards feature parity with web and iPhone. As always, we’re so grateful to have you (yes, you) along for the journey.

Take the leap to learn how co-founder and lead mobile dev Marshall got offline mode for Android up and running. Spoiler alert: It was hard.


Co-founder and lead mobile dev Marshall was inspired by Dropbox’s “incredibly helpful” dev blog posts on their Carousel and photo-sharing infrastructure. Their put-it-in-the-queue model is the foundation of how our offline mode for Android works.

Previously, the app was designed to communicate with the server each and every time a you made or edited a bill. In the absence of an internet connection that communication would simply fail.

Now, the app keeps a log of all changes made, and tries to push them to the server in the order they were committed. When you don’t have a connection the app can simply skip over anything it can’t immediately execute, intellegently saving it for later. The best part is it can do all this in the background, meaning you can add a bill and then immediately do some other task, like checking a balance with a friend, without being subjected to an annoying saving toast and lost seconds. This means that even if you never use offline mode for Android, you’ll now enjoy a better, faster add bill experience.

Conversely, our offline mode for iPhone still tries to save the expense on the server. Once the request has failed, the app marks the expense to be saved later. This still makes you sit through the saving screen, waiting for 30 seconds until the request times out.

About this new iPhone/Android difference Marshall was happy to note “this is the first case of our Android app having something significantly more awesome than iPhone”. We know it’s long over-due!

Marshall also lauds Path and the Robolectric testing platform as critical resources during this development cycle.

Improvments to Splitwise Notifications

Recent activity feed, on web.
Recent activity feed, on web.

The team is happy announce the release of a broad set of improvements to how Splitwise notifications are generated and presented. Usability and ease-of-knowing-what’s-up are going to skyrocket thanks to an improved ‘Recent activity’ feed (now on mobile, too) and more sophisticated push notifications.

All 3 of our devs — Ryan, Marshall and Caleb — have been hard at work on this effort since December, when we introduced expense comments for the web and decided to really commit to building out notifications. Marshall and Caleb have focused on Android and iPhone respectively, with Ryan taking care of back end stuff, the web experience and overall look of the new features.

We made these changes to eliminate all possible sources of confusion when viewing Splitwise, because confusion causes uncertainty and stress! We’re waiting eagerly for your feedback on the changes, at feedback@splitwise.com.

Take the leap to see a more in-depth explanation of the changes.

Continue reading Improvments to Splitwise Notifications

Improvements to Delete Friend Functionality

Late last week, Ryan made a much-needed improvement to Splitwise’s delete friend functionality. Now, you can delete any friend as long as they’re not in a group with you.

Previously, Splitwise blocked you from deleting friends if you had ever added an expense outside of a group with them AND another friend. This was happening because deleting friends deleted all expense records between you two, and Splitwise wanted to block multi-party records from being deleted in case one of the parties on the expense wasn’t all settled up yet. Ryan built a work-around that will enable you to delete the friends you want, without obliterating a piece of someone else’s balance puzzle.

Google trying to patent bill splitting while lobbying Splitwise for patent reform

Google bill splitting patent authors using Splitwise
The Google patent authors hypothetically using Splitwise

Last week, we learned from GeekWire that Google has applied for a patent on our bread and butter technology: tracking groups of bills split with friends. The patent application describes a system of shared balances and payments between friends in a group – exactly what Splitwise and some of our competitors have been doing publicly for years. Google currently has no group-splitting product, and one can only assume they are considering adding a splitting service to Google Wallet. (Google, if you want to integrate Splitwise with Wallet, reach out to us).

A thorough search for prior art
The equally ironic prior art search

Obviously, it’s “not a joke” to have a tech giant submit a patent application for exactly what your business has been doing for years. But we couldn’t help but laugh when, within the same week, a lobbyist paid by Google approached us to ask if we would publicly support a patent reform bill. We are literally being lobbied for patent reform and patent-trolled by Google at the same time. Continue reading Google trying to patent bill splitting while lobbying Splitwise for patent reform

Android Tokenized Auto-Complete, a New Splitwise Open-Source Project

gmail autocomplete in Android 4
This is what we’re going for.

For the past few months, Splitwise has been hard at work making much-needed improvements to our Android app. We released a faster, less buggy build in late August, and since then we’ve devoted nearly all our developer resources to a pristine 3.0 candidate that we can’t wait to get into your hands.

To achieve Android awesomeness for 3.0, we needed to build a Gmail-style autocomplete field for selecting friends when creating expenses. I was expecting to find this fairly easy to do with the Android SDK. Lots of apps must need this need, and I was aware of the AutoCompleteTextView and MultiAutoCompleteTextView classes. How hard could it be?

The short answer: Pretty darn hard! Hopefully, not anymore. We’ve just released an open-source version of the code on GitHub! Go grab the Splitwise TokenAutoComplete project to have your own wonderful, tokenized autocomplete view up and running in about half an hour. It works on Android versions all the way back to 2.2 (Froyo). More on my process below the fold.  Continue reading Android Tokenized Auto-Complete, a New Splitwise Open-Source Project