Here’s a quick update about the mobile apps and the short term plan for Buckets: the mobile apps, legal stuff, backups and more.

The most exciting bit is: look for an iOS invite this week!

Photo of a road
Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

But first, a little celebration: we’ve reached Inbox Zero! After the deluge of support requests and “Chat with Matt” messages from last November, we reworked how we go through them and have finally replied to every last one! We should be more responsive going forward.

Okay, back to the upcoming plan:


In summary, for the next little while, we’re planning to:

  • Release another version or two of the desktop app (this and next week)
  • Release another iOS app for testing (this week)
  • Implement automated backups (not this release, but the next one)
  • Add the ability to merge two budget files from different devices.
  • Support file-sharing services (e.g. Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, etc…) as a means to share budgets between devices
  • Bring up the public relay server as another means to share between devices.

In tandem with the above we’re also going to fix some SimpleFIN syncing issues, do some End User License Agreement (EULA) and Privacy Policy updates and fix as many other bugs as possible.

iOS coming this week

If you’ve signed up to be a mobile app tester for iOS, you should be getting an invite later this week. Please upgrade to the latest version of Buckets before you attempt to connect your phone to the desktop version. It will probably work with older versions of Buckets Desktop, but it might not.

I’ve fixed several bugs in the original iOS app, upgraded to the latest SDK and am running it on my phone as a test. It’s still read-only and incomplete, but the goal is to get it released generally by the end of the year, if not sooner.

Automated backups

To make merging budget files work, we’ll be making some changes to the budget database. While we will test things as best we can, now seems like the right time to finally implement automated backups of budget files. This way, if your budget file gets corrupted for whatever reason, you’ll be able to restore from a backup!

Merging budget files

Before we’ll be able to update our budgets on the mobile app, Buckets needs a way to resolve incompatible changes made to the budget on different devices. For instance, if you kick your “Doughnut” bucket on your phone, but your wife renames it to “Donut” on her phone, you’ll need to be able to tell Buckets which version of reality should continue.


Once budget merging works, it will be a fairly simple task to support using third-party file sharing services to share your budget between devices! Right now, you have to be careful not to make changes in two places at once.

Public relay server

Currently, you can only share budgets between devices on the same local network. Yes, yes, you could forward ports across the Internet and sync from anywhere, so I should say:

My mom can only share budgets between devices on the same local network. And it’s honestly a little cumbersome to set up. So we’ll be hosting a public relay server that Buckets will use be default to sync between devices. You’ll still be able to sync on your local network. The relay server will be open source, so you can host your own if you want.

We haven’t yet decided if the relay server will be available to all users or only to those with a license. If we do end up making it a payment-only service, it will not be a subscription! It will either be included with the normal Buckets license or free.

EULA and Privacy Policy updates

We prepared a new EULA and Privacy Policy several years ago. The lawyer that helped us said that we needed to have everyone who uses the app accept them. I’ll admit that I’ve dragged my feet a bit because I love the current, very simple Privacy Policy.

Anyway, in an upcoming version, you’ll be prompted to accept them. Please look them over now and provide feedback if anything looks amiss. Either comment directly in the Pull Request (this is public), or else email [email protected] (this is private).

  1. Privacy Policy: Full textDifferencesPull Request
  2. EULA: Full textPull Request


When CSV and OFX file importing were revamped, SimpleFIN importing got left behind a little. So at some point during all this, we’ll be revamping that as well to provide better error-reporting, more control over modifying incorrect data and more visibility into what’s going on.

And bugs, of course

We’ll always make fixing bugs a priority. See the issue tracker to see the list of bugs.

— Matt