Let’s take a look at two applications named Currency in the Android Market, and compare these free offerings.
Some weeks ago, I was planning a trip overseas and wanted to have a handle on the currency exchange rates since I’d be using a debit card versus a standard credit card. I did a quick search in the Android Market for “currency” and two applications of the same name came up. One ended up being better than the other, though both have merit for use. Here’s my look at both of these.
Currency App is a simple currency exchange rate screen (it’s hard to call it an app; it really is just one screen). All you get is the base $100.00 number for U.S. Dollars, and then what that would look like in Australian Dollars, British Pounds, Canadian Dollars, Chinese Yuan, European Euros, and Japanese Yen.
From the settings menu you can add currency marks from several other markets. Beyond that, what you see is what you got. There’s no function to calculate a precise amount from one currency to another. Rates can be set to be refreshed manually, at app launch, or at several preset intervals. Otherwise, there is no means to customize this app.
Bare bones, I know, but it’s hard to beat the cost: free.
FXware Currency Guide
The other “Currency” app is much more featured. FXware’s Currency Guide lets you see exact exchange rates based on latest information.
A Key Rates screen shows selected world currencies against the default money setting you have selected.
The Most Actives panel shows which currencies have had the most changes (gains and losses) and allows you to favorite items to keep tabs on specific currencies.
There’s also a link to news postings from FXware, a built-in Tip Calculator, Travel Guide, and Currency Quiz. In a sense, you get a whole lot for $1.49.
For my needs, FXware’s Currency was a much better app to use for preparing for my trip. The ability to use the charts to budget for travel abroad was very helpful considering the nature of this and future trips.
The other currency app stayed on the device. It is a lot simpler and in cases where I just need a quick recall of the exchange rate for loose change, this works out very well.
In both cases, you’d need a data connection while abroad to use these apps in the best possible manner. Which, given the point of these apps to let you know what you are spending exactly, isn’t a bad way to also define whether a currency app (or two) is worth the cost.