The complications that come with splitting bills when you are co-existing are unavoidable. Keeping track and then later reconciling the difference can be time consuming if you’re IOUs are all little sticky notes or scribblings on paper. Debtster is an Android app that helps make sharing expenses, and recovering them, easier. It makes allowance for expense sharing with different groups so if you’re splitting bills with a room-mate or occasionally end up paying for lunch or coffee for a co-worker, the app lets you keep track of both separately. You add yourself as a user, likewise, other users are added the same way. The app supports most popular currencies but not all of them which is a surprise and gives you a nice historical view of money that is owed for a particular transaction.
Start off by creating the first group i.e. Account for recording expenses. Tap the USD button to select a different currency. A group requires a name and a description.
Once you’ve created the group, you have to add users to it. You can create a new user or, if you’re just exploring the app, use one of the pre-added users. To add a user, you need to enter a name and an email. A user is added centrally and you can include it in any group. To record an expense, select the group, then tap the Money button. At the bottom right of the next screen, you will see a plus button. Tap it and select the people who owe money to each other. For each side, i.e. the lender and the borrower, you can add multiple people by tapping them in the user selection screen. Once you’ve added users, enter the amount that is owed. You also have to give the transaction a name.
You can view a summary of the expenses by tapping the same money button after selecting a group. If you tap the piggy bank button, you can get a more detailed view of who owes who money. Tap any one of the users to see a history of a transaction. The date for each transaction is set the same as when it is added in the app. From the app’s settings, you can change the currency, add existing users to new accounts, and enable or disable notifications.
The concept of the app is pretty good but what surprised me was that lack of integration with an online service and the fact that you can’t sync expenses with your friends. It seems a little one sided if it’s only one person adding expenses. The interface is another thing that users may not like. It’s fun but it doesn’t lend itself to a very intuitive flow. Considering how Material design is coming along, this interface is borderline confusing.