Location and profiles are in the app now? What about privacy?
We were very deliberate in how we implemented these features. We default everyone to anonymous when you first open the app. You have to authenticate before your username, gravatar, or optional website will appear for other users and even then you are immediately presented with the option to hide your information.
Location is gathered one time by using your IP address to find the nearest city with a population greater than 5000. You can change your home community via the map by selecting a city and clicking the "outlined" home icon at that city (although the North Pole doesn't work because there are fewer than 5000 people there. we tried :). Your home community will show a filled home icon and is displayed in the map as a brown home icon (or brown circle if inside a cluster). The location information will not update when you are traveling and remains in whatever city you choose to place yourself.
We also explicitly disallow passing any location information to advertising networks. Your privacy is more important to us than a few extra dollars.
If you authenticate you have the option to anonymize your information by pressing the "eye" in the profile page. Note that anonymizing your information will disable messaging and commenting since you cannot post new comments or respond to messages without sharing your display name.
Why am I authenticating to MMM Forums?
The authentication change from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Email to the MMM Forums was made with two purposes in mind. First, we did not like the amount of data flowing to Facebook. Even when not authenticated with Facebook we were seeing unexpected traffic to their network that we are very happy to remove. By removing authentication we can remove the Facebook SDK entirely. Second, we have integration features planned for the forums. We already implemented the first phase of messaging and have some great ideas on how we can further integrate the mobile app and the forums. We look forward to sharing more in the next few months!
Why don't you support older iOS and Android versions?
We agonized over the decision to drop support for older iOS and Android versions since we know many Mustachians are using older devices. Our goal is to reach the broadest parts of the Mustachian community and originally we built the app to support Android 4.1 and above. However, we ran into a conflict when we added security (specifically TLS 1.2) when connecting to www.mrmoneymustache.com. Ultimately it came down to a decision of security vs broader support and we chose security.
iOS is similar to Android and we would have preferred to support a larger number of devices. However, Apple is very aggressive with pushing developers and users to their latest versions and limits their development tool support for older platforms. Having said that we greatly appreciated many of the time saving features available to developers with the latest version of Xcode and we were able to get the initial release launched in just over 3 months by limiting to 9.0 and up.
What information are you storing and why?
We take privacy very seriously and have no intention of ever selling private data. We use the MMM Forums for authentication which stores email addresses and unique identifiers. We switched to this in part to increase privacy by removing unnessary calls to 3rd party authentication systems. We store data you enter in the app using anonymized unique identifiers. We include ads (for non-subscribers). These likely contain a tracking cookie similar to what would be found on a web based advertisement. Location data is genericized to the city level and fully changeable by the user.
Why should I sign in?
Authentication is required to read and send messages, share profile information, and post comments to a Mr. Money Mustache article. It is also used to synchronize between multiple devices (subscription also required). We also are using the sign-in information to store your favorites, articles read, and other application data in the cloud. An added benefit of authentication is that your comments on the MMM article are color coded light green in the app so that you can more easily find them in the future.
Didn't you say you weren't using ads? What gives?
We tried for over a year to support the app on affiliate links and donations. Unfortunately our donations and affiliate revenue in 2018 did not cover our costs. Mr. Money Mustache also loses money on the app as he sees a major reduction in affiliate and ad revenue from app users. We are hoping that a minimal subscription fee and ads for non-subscribers will provide enough support that we can continue developing and growing the app.
Why should I become a supporter?
Because you are awesome! Being a supporter (in-app subscriber) is intended to be a way to show your support for the MMM App and allow for its continued development. You will also receive some extra features (along with our gratitude and love) including:
Text to Speech MMM Articles
Unlimited Offline Articles
Multiple Device Synchronization
Text to Speech? What's that and what options do I have?
Supporters (in-app subscribers) can have MMM articles read to them using text to speech. This option is super handy for listening to articles on bike rides, road trips, or while commuting in your your gas guzzling monster truck.
We recommend changing your preferred voice for TTS but play around and see what works best for you. While we typically test with "English (male)" voices we do enjoy hearing the articles read with an Australian accent!
On Android you can find this in the Settings > System > Languages & Input > Text-to-speech Output
The preferred engine should be set to "Google Text-to-speech".
On iOS you can find this setting in Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice.
For both platforms we have only tested with the TTS language set to English.
How does multiple device sync work?
As a supporter (in-app subscriber) you automatically receive multiple device synchronization. The basic premise is that most of your use of the app (read articles, favorites, user and tools info, etc) will synchronize between multiple devices.
However, there are some caveats:
First, you must be logged into the same account on multiple devices to receive the synchronization.
Second, you must have an active subscription on both devices (which means you need 2 subscriptions to cross between iOS and Android but only 1 subscription between 2+ Android or 2+ iOS devices).
Finally, the synchronization occurs on app open, login, and when selecting "Sync Now" from the menu drop down.
Synchronization works best with a single app open at a time (typical usage). Having two apps (on separate devices) open simultaneously will potentially cause minor synchronization hiccups. Using the "Sync Now" menu option will ensure you have the latest synchronized version.
What new features are coming?
We have lots of great ideas and can't wait to bring you more features!
Based on feedback from the features poll we introduced 2 new tools (FI Calculator & Savings Acclerator) in February 2019.
In May 2020 we launched the Maps & Social feature (phase 1) which includes a global map, very basic profiles, and messaging capabilities. This is really the backbone for additional features still in development.