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.
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.
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.