Category: Development

The Road to 2.0: Compatibility and Sync

With the new Toshl, we have rebuilt from the ground up. We’ve learnt a lot along the way and used this knowledge when constructing the next version of Toshl. This new modern architecture will enable us to do some really nice things in v2 as well as enable us to scale a lot better in the future.

Since the changes are quite radical, both in the user facing features as well as on the back end, we needed to pay a lot of attention to compatibility. To enable everything to work seamlessly together we brought parts of the old sync system to the new one, so people with either generation of the Toshl apps can continue to sync their devices just as they have before.

sync compatibility


Web App, iOS v2

You get the new app right away and can use and sync categories, accounts and all the new stuff. Everyone’s web app will be upgraded to v2, no matter which phone app they use.

Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry (BB10 Android port), iOS v1.x, older Toshl apps

Android and Windows Phone users will get the v2 of Toshl a bit later. We would love to do them all at once, but sadly it’s impossible for us to do so at this point. But don’t worry, you will still be able to use the sync as you did before, as well as use the brand new v2 Web App.
Here’s how it will work:
–     You sync your app normally just as you have before. If you don’t use the Web App, you won’t notice any changes.
–     The expenses that you added in the 1.x app will show up with category “unsorted” and the default financial account in the web app, since the 1.x apps only use tags. You can assign a category later in the web app if you want.
Added on Android Toshl v1.7
40 €
Tags: food, groceries
Shows up on Web App v2
40 €
Category: unsorted
Tags: food, groceries
Account: [the default one, most likely Cash]
–     The expenses that you added on the web app or the v2 iOS app will have the category and account displayed as a tag in the 1.x apps, but will remain as you entered it on the web app.
Added on Web App v2
30 €
Category: Home & Utilities
Tags: internet
Account: Bank of Lilliput
2 photos
Shows up on Android Toshl v1.7
30 €
Tags: Home & Utilities, internet, Bank of Lilliput
–     Your budgets will continue to sync normally. Only budget types that were supported in 1.x will sync to 1.x mobile devices. That means budgets for all expenses and specific tags. Budgets for categories will not be synced.
We’re sorry we can’t update all the apps at once, it doesn’t mean that we love some of the mobile platforms any less. It’s just a lot more complicated and time consuming to develop them all at once with such a major leap. The combination we chose is quite simply a good mix of a relatively large market share and simpler testing due to less device fragmentation on iOS.
We hope to develop the Toshl apps more in step once we return to our regular cycle of smaller and more frequent updates. We don’t have a date planned yet for Android and Windows Phone, but they will be coming. We’ll let you know once we can share more.
If you have any further questions regarding the compatibility, let us know and we’ll try to fill in the additional information.
Posted in Announcements, Development

The Road to 2.0: Toshl Pro and Pricing

With Toshl 2.0 we will be enhancing a lot of existing features, adding some new ones and generally making things nicer. So the question we get asked a lot is, “How much more will this cost?”

The answer is, “It won’t”. Our pricing plans for the Toshl Pro subscription will stay mostly as they are now:

1 month – $1.99

1 year – $19.99

3 years and the T-shirt – $59.99

As you can see the only change is with the 3 year plan, which is a little bit more expensive. We’re making swanky new designs for the T-shirts, with even better materials, T-shirt models for women and we hope to speed up the delivery in the future as well.


The discount system will remain in place as well, 5% discount for sharing on Twitter, 5% for Facebook and we’re adding 5% for Google+. Post on either two of those and it becomes a 20% discount.

What about existing Toshl Pro users?

Things will stay as they are, you will still have Toshl Pro and you’ll simply get apps with way better functionality once we release the new version. You already have Toshl Pro, so there will be no additional upgrade pricing. Thank you for your trust and patience!

Payment methods

We will keep the payment methods we have and add a bunch of new ones as well. You will still be able to upgrade with the in-app purchases on iOS, Android and Windows Phone. On the website we’ll continue to offer upgrades with credit cards and PayPal but with a friendlier interface for the former. We’ll also be adding AliPay, TenPay, bank transfers in the European Union countries, Amazon Payments, Paysafe card, UnionPay and, of course, Bitcoins.

Which new features will be in Toshl Pro?

Now you wouldn’t want to ruin a surprise, would you? ;)
Generally, some of the new things will be payable, some will be free right from the start and we will make some of the previous Pro features free as well. In general, both the free and Toshl Pro members will be a lot better off.
But most importantly, we’ll continue to strive to make Toshl Pro…
… more awesome than lightsaber wielding ninjas on unicorns!
Posted in Development

The Road to 2.0: Migration from Toshl 1.X

As we are accepting the first limited batch of beta testers on the site, let’s take a look at how migrating your data from the previous version of Toshl will be like.

As you may have gathered from our sneak peek at 2.0 or our posts on the Toshl community forums, we will be changing how the expense data is structured in the new version.
This simply means we’ll be adding some new information to each expense, like categories, locations, reminders etc. Most of these are optional and don’t affect your existing data at all. The main change will come with tags and categories.
Here are the main things you need to know:
1. Every expense needs a category.
2. An expense can only have one category.
3. Tags are now optional.
4. You can still use as many tags as you want.
5. You can transform your existing tags to categories or leave some as tags.

The Migration

We have prepared a migration wizard to make this transition as smooth and understandable as possible. There will be a little bit of reading and clicking, but once you’re done, you will be able to use the new Toshl with all it’s new graphs, features and your existing data.
To not beat around the bush too much, let me just show you how the migration process will look like. Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress and that there are bound to be some changes before this ships in the final version.
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget Step 4. Step 4 is for sorting incomes, Step 5 for sorting expenses. Otherwise the interface is the same, so let’s just skip to Step 5 one, as it’s a bit more interesting.
The tags that you see in the red buttons on top are the ones that have been brought over from your existing Toshl data. When you’ll be migrating, your tags will of course show up there.  You might also notice that some tag names in this case already match the categories below. This is only because I have been experimenting with the tag names before and have manually renamed them in advance. Your tags will show up exactly as they were.
The easiest thing is to drag a tag into one of the categories that have been pre-created below. The other way is to click on the tag and you will see all the actions you can do with this tag.
We have developed a smart system to help match the tags that you would usually use together in a category. It depends a bit on how you used Toshl so far, but likely you won’t need to drag them all one by one as we can suggest some automatic moves for you.
After you have finished sorting all the tags we’ll show you where things stand in the new interface and you’ll then be able to see your data in the glory of the new graphs, lists and with some cheeky comments, courtesy of the Toshl monsters.
The interface for editing and merging categories, tags etc. will remain available as Edit categories even after you have already migrated. You can sort out some details there and perfect your categorisation system.
If you don’t like the results of the migration at all and would like to start over to sort the expenses and tags differently, you will be able to  revert the migration in Edit categories up to two weeks after you have done it. If you revert it, all your data will be returned to the state before the migration and you can go through the process again.
One of the reasons why we are posting this in advance is to get your feedback about the migration process. If there are things that are unclear or if you have additional questions, please ask us here or write to our private support. Perhaps you can help us improve the process before we release this for everyone to use.
Posted in Development

New mini app: Toshl Currency for Android

We have something new up our sleeve today. A new app called Toshl Currency. It will help you quickly convert currencies, calculate tips and you can already download it on Google Play.

Download Toshl Currency

Toshl Currency helps you convert currencies quickly and easily on your phone. We designed it to be simple, effective, yet pleasing to the eye. Simply enter the amount in foreign currency that you wish converted to your home currency and it will be done instantly.
Here’s what it has going for it: 
– simplicity
– daily refreshed exchange rates
– 165 currencies
– calculator: add, subtract, multiply and divide to your heart’s content
– tip calculator, quickly add or subtract a percentage
Toshl Currency screenshots
The full story
Now that you know the gist of the app, we can give you some details on how it came to be. A while back Kaja Prah joined our team during her internship. She was interested in building mobile apps, especially the cross platform kind. So we came up with a project that she could develop relatively independently, but still learn a lot and actually finish a complete project. So Toshl Currency came to be.
Toshl Currency actually features small bits of functionality that we’re building into the next Toshl Finance. The design of the keypad and the icon share many similarities with it, as well as the calculator and tip calculator functions that will be making their way to the full blown Toshl Finance.
An important difference is that Toshl Currency is built with web technologies, whereas the regular Toshl Finance is completely native due to greater complexity. Kaja built the app using the PhoneGap framework. It means it could also be deployed to other mobile platforms relatively quickly, but it would require additional polishing and testing. So we’ll rather let it be for the moment as we focus on our big update to Toshl Finance.
We asked Kaja for a comment to go with the release and she said: “Until now I never knew how much blood, sweat and tears goes into building an app.” We certainly hope the experience hasn’t left any permanent app phobia as she did a great job and we look forward to her future projects.
So now you know. Go, try out Toshl Currency and let us know what you think.
Before you ask, yes we’re very busy building our major release to Toshl Finance and it’s on track for this summer on iOS and Web and a bit later on Android and Windows Phone.
Posted in Announcements, Development

Microsoft Responds to Our Woes, Publishing on Windows Phone Marketplace Much Improved

In July, I wrote about our experiences with publishing Windows Phone apps on the Marketplace and compared it to walking barefoot on broken glass. Few months leading up to the post we had horrible experiences with publishing Windows Phone apps that broke the camel’s back and I felt I had to share what’s been going on in hopes of improvement. I’m glad to say things have much improved on the Marketplace front since then.

What happened next

The blog post generated quite a lot of interest and a lively debate on Hacker News. It turned out that the post was making the rounds at Microsoft as well, as the next day Joe Belfiore, VP of Windows Phone at Microsoft replied in the comments apologising and promising improvements. It was very refreshing seeing people very high up at Microsoft responding directly to developer concerns. It’s something that Apple is very much unwilling to do, so Microsoft’s approach was truly a breath of fresh air.


In fact the next week I had a call with the team in charge of the Windows Phone Marketplace and we went through the issues that we faced in the past months. They explained some of the background issues and promised improvements soon. Since they were obviously instructed by the management to initiate this meeting to appease us I was a bit sceptical about the actual delivery on these promises.
Luckily, I was soon very pleasantly surprised. Microsoft indeed updated their Windows Phone Dev Center and addressed most of the issues that were causing us problems. Let’s look at our original complaints and whether they were addressed.


Publishing apps worldwide – mostly fixed
With the update, they’ve expanded the developer registration to a lot more countries, including Slovenia and have quickly been adding new ones. Microsoft guys mentioned that they were previously using some of the components from the xBox publishing side, thus bring a lot of legacy issues such as illogically limited country support along. We’re glad that’s fixed now.


Publishing tools – mostly fixed
Uploading is much nicer now, Silverlight components make a lot less appearances making for a much nicer process. I can finally enter data normally in various browsers. The new layout is also much clearer and pleasing to the eyes. Some questionable UX decisions still remain and I’m clueless why the latest statistics I can get for app downloads are a week old, but other than the statistics the Dev Publishing tools are now better or on-par with other app marketplaces.



Publishing time – fixed
This is an area with really big improvements for us. We needed more than a month to get the app up last time due to slow response times and incomprehensible rejections, but lately that time has really improved. We suspect that we might have been especially flagged due to the publicity from the last post so your mileage may vary, but we generally get the app approved by the Marketplace team in about 3 days. It’s a big improvement and much faster than the week or two Apple’s App Store usually takes.


Moving apps to other accounts – ?
To be honest we can’t really update on this one since we haven’t attempted this since the last time. If any of our readers have info on the possibility of moving apps among developer accounts please let us know.


Ridiculous morality standards – probably fixed
After quite long discussions we came to the conclusion that the funny sentences in our apps probably had nothing to do with the rejection. Turns out that they simply lumped all the local-rejection reasons into one policy, thus bundling together a China Bing maps issue with morality standards of Quatar and leaving the developer in the dark about what was actually the issue. They mentioned they fixed that, but I’d be curious to know if anyone got rejected for similar reasons lately and how were the reasons communicated?


In conclusion, many things have been improved and I certainly hope they continue to make lives of developers easier. The update my previous metaphor, publishing on the Windows Phone Marketplace is no longer like walking barefoot on broken glass, but reminds much more of a barefoot stroll on a pebble beach. What we’d like to see now is that beach become more popular with more people. We’d prefer to be flexing our abs on a beach where more than a few percent of the hot girls come to.


Good luck Windows Phone, may your user experiences be smooth!
Posted in Development, Opinions