Westpac's new iPad banking app isn't just a large-screen version of its existing iPhone app, adopting a different interface and focusing on making it easier to track balances and payments to individuals. That's a worthy goal, but the end result feels a little underdone.
Westpac released the app earlier in July (and apparently already has 14,000 downloads), but officially launched it at a media event today. Bank officials stressed that it had been designed as a tablet-native app, allowing drag-and-drop to make transfers between accounts and taking advantage of the larger screen real estate of the iPad.
While this looks neat, it feels very limited. A case in point: while you can see who you have made payments to or received payments from, you can't add new billers or payees. To do that, you need to use the mobile site or the existing app. While those options are on schedule to be added to a future version, it seems slightly ridiculous to have an iPad app that's considerably less powerful than the iPhone equivalent.
Don't hold your breath waiting for an Android version either. Westpac general manager online and mobile Harry Wendt said there was no firm time frame for an Android tablet release, citing the familiar excuses of the wide variety of Android devices and the higher sales of the iPad. (Westpac does have an phone-centric Android app already.)
If you're an iPad owner and you have a Westpac account, it's free to install. But for serious banking, I suspect you'll be heading back to your browser or into the existing iOS app.
Westpac Mobile Banking for iPad [iTunes App Store]