Intuit announced on June 12, 2014, the QuickBooks App for Mac, a native Mac app that will provide an improved experience for Mac users who subscribe to QuickBooks Online.
The Intuit Business Operating System
In my October 2013 article “The Intuit Business Operating System,” I talked about how Intuit believes that its future is “in the cloud,” and that Intuit wants to provide QuickBooks on every platform. Figure 1 is a diagram Intuit provided, indicating the intended direction for QuickBooks:
Figure 1: QuickBooks on every platform
At that time, there was a lot of discussion about what the future would hold for QuickBooks for Windows and QuickBooks for Mac if everything was going to be “cloud based” – but the above diagram shows both Windows and Mac as being a part of Intuit’s plan? What did that mean?
My interpretation at the time was that Intuit intended to build a “hybrid” system for Windows and Mac users. That is, you would have a “native” app running on your computer, rather than accessing your data through a browser. You would be accessing the QuickBooks cloud database rather than a locally stored QuickBooks company file. Think about it – if you’re using an iPad (for example), which do you prefer to use? A web-based application that works through a generic browser interface, or an app that runs natively on your device, that takes advantage of the specific features of that device, but still accesses your online data? As an iPad user myself, I always prefer a native app over a browser-based product.
The QuickBooks App for Mac
This “hybrid” app is exactly what Intuit has introduced with the QuickBooks App for Mac. It’s a native app that Mac users can download – starting June 12, 2014 – from the Mac App Store. It runs on your Mac, it provides you with the kinds of features the Mac user wants and expects, but it’s accesses the QuickBooks Online database.
Intuit’s goals with this product are to:
- Provide the Mac user interface and experience that Mac users need.
- Improve the speed of the user experience.
- Provide menu bar notifications.
- Convert users to QuickBooks Online.
Let’s take a quick look at how the QuickBooks App for Mac will meet these goals.
The Mac User Experience
If you’re a Mac user, there are certain features you expect to see in an application running on your computer, which you won’t see if you’re working with a program in a browser. That’s one of the advantages of working with a native app – it should feel like a Mac.
Here’s the QuickBooks App for Mac, showing information very similar to what you would see when using a browser to look at QuickBooks Online, but with a distinct Mac flavor. You’ll find your standard Mac navigation features, menus, and more (Figure 2).
Figure 2: QuickBooks App for Mac user interface
Multiple windows are supported. Double-clicking on a transaction will open it in a new window, reports will automatically open in new windows, and more (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Multiple windows
Support for the common Mac keyboard shortcuts also will be included.