Plates Listed as #1 Best New App in Apple App Store

Plates
Our dinner bill app Plates featured in the App Store!

Late last night, the team was delighted to discover that our dinner bill app Plates has been listed as the #1 Best New App in the Utilities section of the Apple App Store.

We released version 1 of Plates in July 2013 to great critical and popular success; both BusinessInsider and MSN Money covered the tool, and user reviews in the App Store have been overwhelmingly positive (average rating 4.5).

This latest recognition from Apple feels amazing, and confirms our belief that we’ve made a world class app to help friends avoid awkward conversations about money after enjoying a meal together (yuck). We’re tremendously proud of our intern Liz Neu, who built Plates with limited assistance from Caleb and Ryan and has been steadily shipping updates to the app while finishing up her final year of undergrad. Most recently, Liz optimized Plates for iPad (it’s currently listed as the #2 Best New Utility App for iPad as well).

We’re incredibly grateful to all the Splitwise users who have given Plates a whirl. We look forward to providing you with ever more, ever better solutions to all of life’s splitting problems.

Free US Population Density And Unemployment Rate By Zip Code

US Census Population Density By Zip Code
Take a peek: the population, land area, and population density of every zip-code / ZCTA in the USA.
  • 2010 US Population Density, By Zip Code, in XLS and CSV
  • 2007-2011 US Unemployment Rate By Zip Code, also in XLS or CSV

Unemployment and population density are probably two of the most important local statistics you might hear quoted about a city or town. Our US Population by Zip Code post from September has gotten rather popular, and a polite commenter requested population density and unemployment rate. So here they are, totally free and in the public domain, in two different formats (see above).

How did I get this data?  Two different Census APIs (the Decennial Census 2010 and the ACS 5-year 2007-2011), combined with the square-footage by ZCTA listings from the 2013 U.S. Gazetteer Files.

I was planning to use this post to document my methods and send everyone on their own journey through the data, but it got too long and I realized that I wanted to talk a more systematic approach. In a follow up post, I will explain how to pull Census data yourself for different variables at different geographical resolution. But if you need a jump start now, my first and most helpful guide was the National Civic Day Of Hacking support slides.

Buxfer users, come join us!

Buxfer logo
If you want to switch from Buxfer to Splitwise, we’ve released an importer using their API.

In August 2012 we built an importer for Billmonk data as that service started to have problems. It helped a lot of their users seamlessly switch their expense histories and balances over to Splitwise, sparing them hours of re-entry and even worse, the horror of losing it all. We loved helping die-hard sharers find a new home, and it was a blast getting to know the Billmonk-turned-Splitwise community through the whopping 79 comments they left on our importer blog post.

We’re happy to now release an importer for Buxfer data, which we’ve developed in response to some observations about the service: The founding team appears to have moved on to Facebook, and there have been rather lengthy outages over the last year or so, with very spotty support throughout. It doesn’t seem that the site is going to close down anytime soon, but we wanted to give Buxfer users an easy way to turn over a new leaf if they felt so inclined.

If you’re a current Buxfer user and would like to get started with Splitwise, go import your Buxfer data! Or, keeping reading about the tool and co-founder Marshall’s development process below.  Continue reading Buxfer users, come join us!

Splitwise for Android v3: New Design, New Love

Splitwise Android v3 Home Screen
The new home screen! The top row lets you filter by either debts, credits, or all friends.

The whole Splitwise team is proud and thrilled to announce the release of the most wonderful Android app we’ve ever designed – Splitwise Android v3. It’s a whole new look and the result of many months of toil by Marshall, with help in the last couple months from Ryan and Caleb. Testing was carried out by the whole team as well as volunteer testers from our user base, to whom we are very grateful.

To my thumbs and eyes, our Android app has gone from a source of embarrassment to one of the most polished productivity apps in the Play Store. Some highlights from the new build:

  • Unified logo and color scheme and a look that embodies the Android style
  • Pay friends via PayPal (for US users only)
  • Simplified and streamlined “Add Bill” dialog
  • Push notifications for new expenses and edits
  • Sidebar menu to easily find balances with groups or people
  • New friend view, including both group balances and private IOUs

Continue reading Splitwise for Android v3: New Design, New Love

Plates by Splitwise: A Free App for Splitting Restaurant Checks

Plates iPhone app
Plates by Splitwise: Dinner bill splitting for iPhone

We are excited to announce the launch of Plates by Splitwise. Plates is a beautiful, lightning-fast, free iPhone app that calculates who owes what after a group lunch or dinner.

iPhone users, you can download it from the app store right now! (Android users, we’re working on a major update for you too).

The question of how to split a restaurant check has haunted society for generations. How many drinks did you have? Who shared those nachos? How much do I owe? Some people will want to pay for solely what they ate and drank, while others just want to split the bill equally to avoid talking about money and wrestling with mental math.

Continue reading Plates by Splitwise: A Free App for Splitting Restaurant Checks

Presenting Splitwise v3: Fat Rabbit

fat rabbit watching fat rabbit 1
Nosey is excited he is a launch mascot!

It’s my great pleasure to announce version 3  of Splitwise for iPhone and web, which Marshall has memorably code-named “Fat Rabbit.” This is a major new relaunch, which changes our look and feel and adds popularly requested features like expense search, offline mode, bill editing, and push notifications. Perhaps most notably, we’ve entered the world of “mobile payments” with iPhone payments via PayPal.

We have decided to relaunch Splitwise today, in spite of yesterday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon. We are deeply upset by the attack, and many dear friends of Splitwise were near the scene of the bombing or experienced a near miss. Our thoughts are out to anyone affected by the tragedy. In light of everything, we believe that the most ethical thing for Splitwise to do is to go ahead with business as usual.

If you care to, join us for a tour of the new app. Continue reading Presenting Splitwise v3: Fat Rabbit

Centwise, Windows Phone 7.5, Splittr Updates

Awesome Centwise feature – in app calcualtor.

To Splitwise fans using Windows Phone 7.5 or 8, the last few weeks have been really exciting. Personally, I got so excited I purchased a Lumia 620 off of eBay just so I could keep up with these two new 3rd party releases. It won’t be my primary phone, but the Metro UI is very nice.

A few days ago, Centwise (created by Kamran Ayub) released its first version for both Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8, making it the first third party app for long-time Windows Phone 7 fans! It’s a full featured app, with group support, simple IOUs, and lots of bells and whistles. Kamran is charging $1.29 to support his efforts, but it does have a free trial and a couple unique features I really like – including the sweet calculator-within-the-add bill flow pictured at right. Check out the full Centwise feature set here.

Miron adds groups to Splittr – with pics!

Miron has been keeping the awesome updates coming at free Splittr. The 1.1 release, which hit the app store yesterday, adds totally full-featured group support, so you can see all the expenses associated with a group, group balances, and repayment instructions. One neat idea is the ability to directly pin a group shortcut to the home screen. What a cool feature – I wish I had that on Android. I’m told a Windows Phone 7.5 version is submitted to the review queue as well. As of March 26th, Splittr now also supports Windows Phone 7.5, so all Windows Phone users should have two choices – a free and a paid app. Joy of joys!

Want Splitwise on Blackberry, Symbian, your toaster? Email developers@splitwise.com and we’d love to give you early API access. Personally, I can’t wait until we have an Arduino that creates Splitwise IOUs for the office coffee jar. 🙂

A Windows Phone 8 Client, At Long Last

splittr shot 1
Splittr lets you access Splitwise on Windows Phone 8.

We are so excited to announce that Miron Vranjes has developed the first Windows Phone 8 client for Splitwise, called Splittr. It’s free and awesome, so if you use Windows Phone 8, go grab it now!

For over a year, users have asked us “when are you going to support Windows Phone?” Miron stepped up and did it himself, using our open API. Splittr is a 3rd party app not developed by us, but it works with your existing Splitwise account and everything should more or less work with Splitwise as normal once you sign-in with Splitwise (just like a “Login With Facebook”). We like the UI he designed – it’s a very “Metro” look.

A few other notes:

  • Miron tells us a Windows Phone 7 version will also be out soon. For now, this is just for Windows Phone 8.
  • It has a tax/tip functionality that we don’t have yet – cool!
  • This is actually the 1.0.9 version. After a small update, the app now supports supports groups as well as friendships.
  • Users who have multiple groups will notice a missing feature – you will not be able to sort expenses/balances by that specific group, as you can in the website or native Splitwise apps. However, Splittr will tell you the group when you view a specific expense, and will let you select a group when you add one.

Continue reading A Windows Phone 8 Client, At Long Last

Preview/Feedback: Splitwise 2.5 (iPhone)

photo 1Mere hours ago, Apple approved version 2.5 of Splitwise for iPhone. We weren’t expecting this to get through the review queue before the holidays, but lo and behold, we’re here!

As we described in the version 2.5 web preview Ryan and Jon just posted, we’ve been trying to make Splitwise continuously more simple and delightful as we release new versions. This is just the beginning, but we’d love to get your feedback, either here, at our dedicated feedback site http://feedback.splitwise.com, or email us via support@splitwise.com. Continue reading Preview/Feedback: Splitwise 2.5 (iPhone)