Instead of downloading ridiculously useless applications on your iPhone, like the famous lighter, here is below a preview of the list of the 10 iPhone Finance Apps That Count, published last week by Mint.com, the money management website that is taking off (see video presentation of Mint). I would personally not use all of them - on the iPhone that I don't have - but I would definitely pick the Bloomberg Mobile. And if HSBC had a Mobile Banking iPhone app where customers could find out where the nearest branch or ATM is located, and also check their available balances, I would definitely go for it and upload this second application... Anyway, take a look.
Mint article begins:
Managing your money shouldn’t get in the way of living your life. That’s why personal finance apps are such a natural fit for the iPhone. They let you track your stocks, convert currencies, calculate how much you owe, and track expenses—all on the go. The more full-featured among them even let you manage multiple accounts and transfer money between them. The best apps are those that take advantage of the iPhone’s finger-friendly interface or unique features such as location-awareness. For example, GPS or WiFi can be helpful in finding the way to the nearest ATM. Most of these apps are free or available for a nominal charge so there’s little to lose by trying them. Here’s a look at 10 that count.
Bloomberg Mobile (Free)
Wall Street Traders swear by the Bloomberg Terminal to analyze real-time financial market data, place trades, and get news and price quotes. Bloomberg Mobile isn't quite the same thing but it is a beautifully designed app that provides up-to-the-minute news, stock quotes, company descriptions, and price chart and market trend analysis. The My Stocks feature is a more detailed replacement for Apple's stock Stocks app. And Bloomberg Mobile takes full advantage of the iPhone's position sensor by providing larger charts when you rotate the phone to a horizontal position.
Mobile Banking (Free)
Bank of America
Bank of America's iPhone app, Mobile Banking is little more than a wrapper around its existing mobile site (which isn't optimized for the iPhone) but if this is your bank you'll still find it useful. You can use it to check available balances, pay bills, and transfer funds on-the-go 24/7. Its best feature is its ability to find the nearest ATM and Banking Center locations using the GPS in the iPhone, something that isn't possible with the mobile site. BofA's Online Banking Guarantee is its assurance that you won't be responsible for any unauthorized transactions and it uses advanced encryption technology to prevent unauthorized access to your accounts and to protect your online identity.
In Japan many have thrown away their wallets in favor of paying for everything from train tickets to beer from a vending machine with their mobile phones. We're not quite there yet but the PayPal app provides a tantalizing glimpse at this future. It provides complete access to your PayPal account allowing you to check your balances and send money to your friends and family, all from your iPhone. It supports 16 currencies and is secured by your existing PIN or password. It's a good start but I'd like to see it go further. Missing is any way of displaying your transaction history and I'd also like to see it use the notification indicator on the app icon to show when money has arrived in your account.
Loan Shark ($4.99)
Designed to help you navigate the often treacherous waters of financial lending, Loan Shark provides a number of features that let you calculate and compare loans from different vendors. You can calculate any component of a loan, including payment, interest rate or loan amount, see the full Amortization Table for the loan's lifespan and play with "what-if" scenarios that let you determine the effect of making extra, higher, or lower payments. Loan Shark can help you determine how long it will take to pay off that credit card, determine how close you are to paying off your mortgage, and compare the cost of different loans, among many other uses. Kudos to FoggyNoggin Software for an easy-to-use and good looking interface that works well on a mobile device.
Bonus feature: Lets you locate nearby banks using the iPhone's location-awareness
---Mint article continues here