We’ve all seen news reports on the TV when stock markets take a nosedive. The footage is always the same: traders looking in despair at screens full of red rectangles, each one representing a falling stock.
Those magical digital rectangles are no longer for traders only. Now you can play with them yourself, in a $4.99 iOS app called StockTouch.
It pulls in stock data and display it beautifully. It looks particularly good on an iPad.
It’s one of those apps that isn’t overloaded with features, but just does a handful of tasks very well. Stocks are displayed in an overview, like having hundreds of index cards laid out side-by-side. One tap zooms in on a sector of industry (like tech, or health, or energy. Another tap zooms in on a particular stock (like Apple, for example; which is looking very healthy, as usual).
It’s easy to mark particular stocks as faves. These stand out slightly from the others (although it would be nice to have a viewing mode which only shows your favorites). A slider lets you adjust the timeframe of stock data you want to view, whether it’s a day’s trading or five year’s worth. It’s available in all views and no matter how you sort the displayed stocks, so it’s especially handy.
The app is a pleasure to use (moreso if you’re an AAPL stock holder, I imagine). It combines beauty, speed and simplicity. Information is beautiful, a wise man once said, and that’s demonstrated here.
The only part of StockTouch I found lacking was the built-in browser. On every single stock’s card, you’ll find a selection of recent relevant news headlines at the bottom. Tap one to view it in the browser. This browser, though, is basic to the point of hopelessness. There are no in-browser controls whatsoever – not even a Back button. Don’t tap any links in the news articles you read, because you won’t be able to return to the news article when you’re done. The share button is also disappointing. I expected it to display some options, like most share buttons do. This one only opens the page in Safari. Which is useful, if you want to actually do any browsing; but it would be nice to be able to share in other ways too.
As a browser for stock data, though, StockTouch is an excellent piece of work. The simplicity of the controls belies the complexity of the data being displayed, and yet it all feels very simple to use, and never overwhelming.
Pro: A stock holder’s friend; looks great.
Con: Built-in browser needs some love.