The 2013 editions of Intuit's venerable Quicken personal finance software are out, but they're not incredibly different from the 2012 versions--with one notable exception: They can sync automatically with Android and iOS mobile apps, the first Intuit has produced to work with Quicken.
The good news is that the mobile apps are free, and there's no charge for Intuit's cloud-based syncing service either. But Quicken 2013 editions are all $10 more expensive than their already-pricey 2012 counterparts. You have to really want to use desktop software to pay these prices when there are so many free cloud-based alternatives--including Intuit's own Mint.com.
For the record, the 2013 lineup consists of Quicken Starter Edition ($40), Quicken Deluxe (adds budgeting features for $70), Quicken Premier (adds features for investors for $100), Quicken Home & Business ($110, for people who want to manage business and personal finances in the same app) and Quicken Rental Property Manager ($160, for landlords who want to manage their personal and business income).
In a quick demo, Intuit highlighted a couple of minor enhancements in Quicken 2013. These include a spreadsheet-like grid view of a year's budget that lets you make adjustments with the big picture in sight, and the ability to download mortgage and other loan info from financial institutions (previously you had to enter loan data manually).
There are also new email and text alerts, according to Intuit's website.
However, mobile app support is the big news with the latest versions of the software. If you opt to use the mobile apps (you don't have to if you don't want to entrust your data to the cloud), Intuit will automatically sync data from accounts you specify to the cloud, so that you'll have access to the same info whether you're using the desktop software or a mobile app.
Here are a couple of screenshots; stay tuned for a full-blown review of Quicken 2013 and the new mobile apps.