Product: Stocktouch App
Sleek. Responsive. Colorful. These aren't words used to describe the new iPad, but a new stock market app for your iOS devices called Stocktouch. Is this graphically beautiful app all show and no go? Or does it have what it takes to earn a spot on your app utility belt?
Stock market apps generally aren't glamorous. Take a quick look through what's currently available in both the Apple App Store and Android Market and you'll see that clunky, confusing, and way-too-much-data-squeezed-onto-one-screen layouts are the norm.
What Does it Do?
The Stocktouch app changes up the boring stock-market monitoring game by introducing a slick new retina-display compatible interface. The app is designed to give you a quick, at-a-glance look at the stock performance of the top 100 stocks in each of the 9 leading sectors. This is achieved with a heat map, with the brightest green and darkest red colors indicating the best and worst performing stocks, respectively.
All the switches and levers to the app are located intuitively along the right panel. These buttons give you options to check global or US stock performance over a day, week, month, 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, or 5 year period. There are also options to view trading activity by volume, or monitor price change versus the S&P 500 or sector average. Any favorites you set are conveniently synced across your iOS devices over iCloud.
How Does it Work?
The app is easily navigated by using a series pinch-in and pinch-out gestures, and we always found the app snappy and fluid. Each gesture is accompanied by futuristic Tron-esque sounds that actually complement the look and feel of the app quite well. You may find your spouse looking on in confusion, however, if you're navigating around for more than a few minutes. "No dear, I'm looking at stocks...not Angry Birds Space. I promise."
You can zoom in to an individual stock and see a graph of its performance along with important statistics. We liked the links to all the latest news articles related to that particular stock, listed below the graph.
Clicking these links immediately opens a browser, within the app, that displays the article so you can read more. When you're done you can conveniently close the browser and go right back where you left off — no toggling back-and-forth between Safari necessary.
Unfortunately, all this data isn't live. Instead, fluctutations in the market are updated every 5 minutes, but only when you manually touch the refresh button. There really should be a way to automate this, and the interface is practically begging for it. In fact, with an optional live-update feature I could easily see this app serving as an extra monitor for the stock enthusiast or day-trader.
Dig deeper and you'll find a few other shortcomings. The first thing you're likely to do with this app is mark your favorites. However, you'll soon find that if you own or watch ETF's, Mutual Funds, or stocks that aren't among the top 900, you're out of luck for tracking through this unique interface. Bummer.
We also were curious about making our own portfolio or watch lists, but found that those too are options that are not currently available. If this app could provide a configurable grid of all stocks, funds, ETF's PLUS offer a way to track price changes against purchase price, it would be the only way we monitor our stocks. Stocktouch falls a bit short of that, and its usefulness beyond monitoring general market trends is limited.
Who is This App For?
Tracking stocks is important, and that's why it natively sits next to the weather in the iOS notification center or home screen. We feel Stocktouch lies somewhere in between the native stock app on your iOS device and a full-fledged trading tool offered by your e-trader. If you are a casual investor looking for a more microscopic view into the general movements of the market, then Stocktouch is a useful utility for an affordable $4.99. However, if you're looking for a more powerful and customizable stock app then you'll need to look elsewhere — and it'll be a tough call after seeing how nice a stock app can look and feel.
Pros: Beautiful, responsive graphical interface. Provides a quick view of market trends. Great charts and summary information for a stock. Can browse useful links to a stock without leaving app. Good amount of options for viewing historical market data (up to 5 years). iOS integration.
Cons: Can't monitor ETF's, mutual funds, or stocks not classified in the the top 100 of their sector. Can't create watch lists or portfolios. Limited amount of usefulness beyond seeing general market trends.
We give the app our Recommend* rating largely because of its graphical interface, ease of use, and responsiveness. The lack of features and configurability beyond the basics holds it back, and we'll look forward to seeing improvements that could make this app a more essential companion in the future.
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. This specific product was provided by the manufacturer for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Chris Perez)