Review: Quotestream

I got my first taste of BlackBerry stock managing with Pocket Express, but it lacked some of the depth that I assumed stock-owning types would be looking for. With RIM doing so well this week, we thought it would be appropriate to try out Quotestream, which brings live stock information to your BlackBerry on an ongoing basis. Paired up with a versatile web interface as well as a desktop client that all synchronize, you can keep a close eye on your portfolio and exactly what it’s up to no matter where you are.


Presentation
There were some serious issues here. First off, clicking with the trackball didn’t activate menu items - you had to hit the menu key on whatever was selected, then chose Select to move through the interface. This practically doubled the amount of time it took to navigate menus. Secondly, the default portfolio issues a popup alert every time one of the stocks change, so while you’re off doing something else on your BlackBerry, you’ll be interrupted with an alert.

This was pretty jarring, but I let it slide and tried to figure out how to disable the alerts. It turns out you disable the option on a stock-by-stock basis, rendering the default portfolios useless. All’s not terrible with the interface, though. The tables are clearly colour-coded, with there’s a helpful trend meter showing you which direction trading is going.

Integration
Quotestream does very little talking with the BlackBerry OS, which is really too bad. Being able to save news stories in Memopad, or e-mail drastic stock changes on the fly would be really great features to have. At most, the Quotestream offers links to online traders, many of which are formatted for mobile browsing. It might be unfair to expect these things from software that works across a wide range of handhelds, not all with e-mail and other high-end capabilities, but there’s a noticeable gap in function when those extra bells and whistles become a part of your daily BlackBerry repertoire.

Comments [7 Responses]

Barry
October 27th, 2007 at 7:00 am

Thanks for the review, since you gave it 3 out of 5, any suggestions for a better Blackberry client that has live stock info? What would be the top 2 competitors? Thanks in advance.

Dave Shworan
October 31st, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Hi Simon,

Thanks for doing the review of Quotestream Wireless.
I’ll respond to some of your comments…

“First off, clicking with the trackball didn’t activate menu items.”

The Quotestream Wireless application is written in J2ME and does not use the proprietary BlackBerry hooks (this is because it works on many other phones other than Blackberry), and the track-ball is part of the Blackberry hooks. That is why the menu key has to be pressed. Blackberry’s without trackballs (just scroll wheels, like the one I use) navigate quite well.

“Secondly, the default portfolio issues a popup alert every time one of the stocks change”

I believe this was a bug with that account. How was the account made? Was it made from our site, or did someone from QuoteMedia create the account for you? The popup alerts being triggered for every symbol is an anomaly and is not standard.

“Quotestream does very little talking with the BlackBerry OS, which is really too bad. Being able to save news stories in Memopad, or e-mail drastic stock changes on the fly would be really great features to have.”

Again, this is because of the J2ME language. Most people just switch to their email client and send messages and then click back to Quotestream (as I do). But this is good feedback.

“The interface for news browsing is a bit wonky. You need to first select the bullet, then select Open Details through the menu. Three clicks seems a bit excessive to get to a news item, doesn’t it?”

Again, this is because of the J2ME language. Radio buttons are required as Blackberry doesn’t allow a multiple line link. We couldn’t fit a whole headline on one line, so the radio button link to view the story is the best we could do with the Blackberry J2ME limitations.

“The handheld FAQ tells you to “login to your account manager and follow the online instructions”, which is actually a way of evading the point that you need to pay $10/month extra for real-time information.”

We are not trying to be deceptive, it is just that there are many real-time packages (US, CDN, Level 2, etc) and it’s too much to put into an FAQ. I believe everyone with market knowledge knows there are fees associated with real-time data. Otherwise, we would just make it real-time by default.

“Beyond that, reception is highly temperamental. If I had anything short of 5 bars, Quotestream wouldn’t log in, and even with full reception sometimes I couldn’t get in.”

Connectivity issues are not related to the Quotestream application. If connectivity to the internet is there, users can login. It’s a simple http request. I personally can login with even 1 bar. I believe it must be a network issue, as when I travel and switch networks, some are better than others. And not just for Quotestream, but for all Internet access.

Again, thanks for the review.
All the best,
Dave

Dave Shworan
CEO QuoteMedia

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February 27th, 2008 at 8:04 am

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