ViceCalculator iPhone app not helpful for resolution-keeping

Jan 11, 2011
Tech

If you made a resolution a few days ago to give up a vice or two this year, you may be looking for a little support in iPhone app form. The 99-cent ViceCalculator, for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, might appear to be the solution to cutting back in 2011, but you’re better off funding […]

If you made a resolution a few days ago to give up a vice or two this year, you may be looking for a little support in iPhone app form. The 99-cent ViceCalculator, for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, might appear to be the solution to cutting back in 2011, but you’re better off funding your habit than buying this app.

ViceCalculator could have merit if it was an actual expense tracker, but as the app stands now—and to be fair, the app’s developers don’t make claims the app doesn’t live up to— it’s really just a calculator with a projection function. To use the app, users select from 11 categories, including “coffee,” “magazines” and “shopping,” and then enter the amount you spend on the item and indicate the time frame in which the vice is purchased (per hour, per day, per week, etc.). The app then generates a projection of what your daily coffee habit will cost you for your lifetime (which is restricted to 50 years in the future — an odd choice).

You can generate a report and email it to yourself, which seems like could be useful in trying to convince someone to quit their vice, but it is of little good for true budget tracking. This is because ViceCalculator doesn’t account for any variables, which invalidates its projections. Many people buy coffee during the workweek, but might not on the weekend, while some caffeine addicts make multiple Starbucks runs in a single day — these variations in habits can’t be accounted for. The app only supports one numerical value for each vice, so you’d have to add up your expenditure manually or keep track of your weekly spending to see an accurate picture. And again, these numbers are only accurate if you are a creature of habit. Frankly, if you’re spending this much time doing math to try to cut back, you’d be better off getting a full-fledged expense tracking app, or simply relying on your integrated iDevice calculator.

READ  Another British invasion – the Royal Wedding takes on the app world

Save the dollar you’d spend on ViceCalcultor and add that extra shot to your Venti vanilla latte instead.

Search for more

Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

    Home Apps Games