Developer: Bloomberg
Price: FREE
Version: 2.10.3

Design Rating: ★★★★☆
Features Rating: ★★★★☆
Integration Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Reviewer’s note: looking for the iPad edition review? Click here.

In my recent review of FT Mobile, I hailed it as a “rich, succinct” application, and that “as a student of Finance, I find it invaluable.” It is one the twelve applications that I keep on my first home screen. Bloomberg is there too.

First up, news. Bloomberg splits Headlines (text) and Audio into separate categories, the former being the default choice when starting the application. Some thirty four headline categories exist, you simply choose which ones you want and re-order them like you would in the Stocks or Weather applications. The articles are churned out quickly, effective and accurately – meaning the articles on your front page are never more than a day old.

The audio section lists all of Bloomberg’s published podcasts and most radio addresses. You can download these audio sessions from within the application, meaning you’ll always have information on-the-go. However, even on Wi-Fi, our download speeds were never more than 100kb/s. Additionally, listening to Bloomberg radio live or watching TV in the application is a no go.

The Markets section house the main categories: equity indices, commodities, bonds, currencies and equity index futures. Equity Indices covers a number of indices, divided by continent (its last price and percentage on the day are also presented). You can view each index in greater detail when tapping on it, where a quick year summary graph is presented, along with prices, financial statistics (like its high in that time, price/earnings ratio and market cap) and a summary of what the index measures. Bloomberg breaks up the index into the main industry and stock movers, meaning you can see which section is pulling the market in either direction. Rotating the device sideways turns the entire iPhone into a stock screen with Bloomberg’s trademark orange colouring. View 1 day, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year and 5 year charts. Zooming is possible – something that it isn’t in the official Stocks app – but selecting two points and seeing their real or percentage change, like in Stocks, is not possible.

Commodities, bonds, currencies and equity future indexes do not have any more information when tapped on. For secondary markets this is understandable, but for commodities and publicly traded currencies it was surprising to see no charts. Bonds have no yield curve graph.

The third tab in Bloomberg’s application is dedicated to “My Stocks” – where you add your own stocks to monitor. Furthermore, you can enter in your position and price for recording, but with nowhere to see your return this feature is fairly redundant. The final tab is a stock finder – simply type in the company’s symbol (all major indices are covered, including the AIM market). Stocks can be viewed in the detail that equity indices have, along with related news.

Some fundamental features, eg. news search, are missing from the application, and its lack of detail over the desktop website is frustrating (the plethora of graphs and video that make Bloomberg such an invaluable resource to myself are nowhere to be seen in this application). It is free yet ad-supported.

The actual data side of things is much better. Charts and graphs make use of Bloomberg’s well thought out design, and charts are always the centre of attention. Rotating it to landscape view makes it even better.

Posted in: Finance, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews

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