By Rob Griffiths, MacworldJUL 17, 2008 5:32 pm PDT
At a glance
The App Store now lists 15 different applications in the News category, giving users a wide choice of products for their news updates. Those in the financial industry—or just those who follow it—will be pleased to see that Bloomberg is one of them. Bloomberg’s name is well trusted in the financial segment as a solid source of company and market information, and this application brings that knowledge to the iPhone.
Bloomberg’s main screen presents finance-related headlines, along with the date and time for each story’s last update. Clicking a headline takes you to the story. Back on the news page, buttons at the bottom of the screen take you to a summary of the world’s financial markets, display your stock portfolio (you can enter owned share numbers and purchase costs, too), and open a stock finder. Unfortunately, there seems to be no way to save or e-mail stories you find interesting.
The financial market summary covers the major markets in North America, Europe, and Asia. At a glance, you can see the market indices’ values, time of last update, and change (value or percentage). Click on any market, and you’ll see a summary of the current day, as well as the last 52 weeks, including a chart. Turn your iPhone sideways, and the chart expands to fill the screen. Once in the expanded mode, you can change the timeframe displayed on the chart, and use zoom and pinch motions to change your view of the chart.
Tap the Stock Movers button to see the market leaders in gains and declines, or tap (if applicable for the index) the Industry Movers button to drill down into that particular index—you can move down from the top level all the way to an individual stock, as seen in the below image sequence (click it to see a larger version):
This ability to drill down carries through to other areas of Bloomberg as well. Tap a stock in your portfolio, and you’ll see the same one-day and 52-week summaries, along with a Related News section—tap that, and you can then browse and read news stories related to that stock. To jump back to the market summary after drilling down, just double-tap the World Markets button at the bottom of the screen. All of this information is presented free of advertising.
Given all the data Bloomberg offers, I wasn’t surprised to find that using the program on a slow EDGE connection can require a bit of patience. But with an iPhone 3G or on a wireless network, speed isn’t much of an issue.
Overall, Bloomberg works well, provides a ton of useful financial data, and does so without any intrusive advertisements. If you work in or around the financial markets, Bloomberg is well worth the minimal download time.
Bloomberg is compatible with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.0 software update.