September 30, 2014

App Review: aiCurrency

aicurrency_mainaiCurrency is, as you might have guessed, a currency converter for Android.  It’s not just your standard conversion app though – there are some really nice features you might find enjoyable or helpful.

Because of my travels, my online purchase addiction (Hi, my name is Raphael and I bought tons of stuff online..!) and my job with clients and vendors all over the world, I always have currencies converters nearby: bookmarks in my browser or an app on my phone. I would use these to convert mostly in three currencies: EUR, USD, GBP and from time to time in JPY, CHF and CAD so I was a bit overwhelmed by the 203 (according to the help, I didn’t count!) currencies available in aiCurrency.
The application retrieves the conversion rates for all these currencies from a choice of 3 sources: Yahoo Finance, European Central Bank and the National Bank of Ukraine (ArtfulBits, the company that developed the app, is located in Lviv, Ukraine).

In the settings, you can choose the default provider for these data. You can also specify to have an automatic update when the app is launched. In addition, you can let the app try the next provider if the one you’ve chosen can’t be reached.

On the main screen (first tab) 4 currencies of your choosing are displayed.  Beside each amount there is an icon to access a calculator. This is the method of input, the virtual keyboard will not appear.   The calculator is nice as it can be used to calculate the amount before pressing OK to get the converted results.  A percentage (%) key would have been a welcomed extra (for example for taxes) but this might be something the developers can integrate into future versions.

The amount entered will be converted to the other 3 currencies so the order in the list has no importance and there is no need for a “swap currencies” option.

One of the best feature of this app is that you can go back in time and use the conversion rates from a specific date. Select the date first and synchronize from the menu to retrieve the rates. I was able to go back as far as 10 years ago (!) with Yahoo Finance. One option is missing though, it is not possible to get back to “today” rates directly with one press, it would be nice to be able to, rather than having to select the date.

You can set you own rates if you want, it can be useful if you want to do a conversion with a predicted rate. When the rates have been changed manually, the converted amount will appear in a different color. To get back to the conversion rate corresponding to the selected date, you will need to synchronize the rates again. It doesn’t take very long but it would be great to be able to cancel the change of rate you’ve made, especially if you don’t have an internet access when you need to synchronize.

On the second tab, a chart will show you the trend between two currencies over a period (from 7 to 90 days). There are 4 types of charts (Line, Hilo Open Close, Candle Stick and Step Line), it is using aiCharts the Android Chart engine develop by ArtfulBits. The last tab is used to define the different settings: Exchange rate provider, decimal precision and so on.

While there are many currency converters available for Android, aiCurrency is definitively in the top. This is a good application with nice features and, I think, a good and well designed interface. There are few things that could be easily fixed in an update (Percentage in the calculator, undo for fixed rates,…) but I recommend it.

You can find it on Android Market for $1.29 or you can download a 30 days trial version in our store and buy the activation code directly from the developer for $0.99 via a link in the application.

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