At a basic level, you can quickly check out individual stocks based on symbol (as well as do symbol lookups), and add them quickly to your portfolio. In addition to the range of stock information (last trade, change, % change, volume), you can also pull up news by sector, such as Financial and Technology, as well as by topic, such as Stock Splits or Acquisitions. 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?
By default, stock information is delayed by 15-20 minutes, which can be changed to real-time streaming. 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. Irksome, but that little extra not only gets you streaming updates, but you can also access Level II information, where you can view bid and ask information live on your BlackBerry. It would have been much more helpful if the FAQ just came right out and said it. 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.
$10/month isn’t crazy for web, desktop and BlackBerry stock manages clients, and being able to scale up your plan for real-time stock information puts Quotestream at enterprise-level functionality. For all of its interface quirks, the bottom line is that Quotestream provides a wealth of information from handheld or desktop. We’ll be giving Quotestream 3 Tickertapes out of 5 – it’s not hurting in function, just ease of use. If you’re still interested, Quotestream II is in beta, and will be available as a free upgrade for folks who sign up now. You can pick up a copy here.