Why is it that even the most technologically advanced phone in the world doesn’t have an investing app worth using?
We’re increasingly becoming a wire-free society. Since the Blackberry became a cult phenomenon in the early 2000s, business-class mobile applications have been coming out in a big way. After all, you can get your Bloomberg terminal ported over to your Blackberry these days. You can even make trades from your Blackberry. For better or worse enterprise-level business software helps busy professionals stay connected when they’re not at the office.
Here’s the problem – I traded in my Blackberry a year and a half ago for an iPhone, and until now I haven’t looked back. But when you’re responsible for keeping an eye on a portfolio of stocks for a couple hundred BETA subscribers, it becomes helpful to have a half-decent investment platform on the iPhone. The problem is that it doesn’t exist right now.
If you’re after stock information on the iPhone and the standard “Stocks” program just won’t cut it, the stable of Apps available today consist of:
- Bloomberg – free, but doesn’t do a whole lot beyond delayed stock quotes and news. Certainly not the same as the Bloomberg Anywhere service you can get on your Blackberry.
- StockWatch – a portfolio tracker for the iPhone. Like Bloomberg, limited feature set.
- StockCharts – while I was initially excited at the prospect of interactive stock charts for the iPhone, reviews suggest that the timeframe is locked in at 1 year. Great.
- TickerPicker Lite – this (and its full featured cousin) offer the technicians a possible (but not yet passable?) solution for the iPhone. In addition to advanced charting features, this one offers real time quotes.
Notably left off this list are the premium Apps that offer real-time quotes for a small fee… right, because I wouldn’t just go to Google Finance, Yahoo! Finance, or one of the other free sites that have real-time data now. Unbelievable.
If you’re an iPhone developer and want to make a halfway decent investing utility for anyone who needs a feature set beyond what’s available now, consider including portfolio monitoring, news, level II quotes, and halfway decent charts. Yes, it’s easy to throw together a crappy iPhone App and sell it for a couple bucks if you know what you’re doing. If you spend the time to make a good one, you might actually build a following and make some money too.