Fidelity Android App

Updated Monday, September 12, 2011

Android App Grade: C

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Note: This Android app was tested on the HTC myTouch 4G handset


The Fidelity Investments Android app offers a merely average experience.  All of the basic features such as account information, quotes, market news and watch lists are here.  Additional useful features include funds transfer functionality and check depositing using the phone camera.  The charts are very respectable if not quite fully featured.  We dislike several aspects of the stock and options trading platform, including the limit price execution issues that we found with the full web based Fidelity trading platform.  Overall, the Fidelity Android app will handle the basic needs of the average investor but advanced traders looking for the ultimate mobile trading platform need to look elsewhere.

Android Market Facts:


When users open the Fidelity Investments Android app they are greeted with the home page, which shows the latest quotes for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, S&P500, Russell 3000 as well as a log in button (click on images for larger views):

Note that the application stores user names but will not store passwords.  This means that all passwords must be typed in.  Sessions are saved for an indeterminate amount of time though thus making multitasking possible.

The navigation menu is located at the top of the app and slides to reveal additional items with the flick of a finger.  Let's take a look at some of the more important menus and features.

The accounts menu features separate tabs that show positions, balances, orders and activity history.  When we select a position this will bring up the detailed quote page:

Fund transfers to and from outside accounts are available within the app.  This has become an increasingly popular feature found in most newer apps.

Deposit Checks
This menu offers the ability to deposit checks by taking a photo on the phone.  Enter this menu and then agree to the terms to instantly gain access.  Very cool feature.

The quote menu allows users to get stock or option prices by searching by symbol.  It also keeps track of search history for a quick reference of recent queries.  The quotes menu consists of detailed market information, charts and company relevant news articles.

Charts are accessed from the quote page.  One nice chart feature is that users can touch and drag across the chart to see the exact price for any period of time.  Here is a look at the quote screen chart  for Chevron (CVX):

Chart style is limited to mountain charts only and time periods available are 1d, 1w, 1m, 3m, 1y, 3y and 5y. Turning the phone horizontally shows an enlarged chart.  In horizontal mode, two stocks can even be charted at once.  For example, here is a 1 year chart comparing the performance of Exxon Mobil (XOM) with Chevron (CVX):

Watch Lists
Watch lists are user customizable groups of stock quotes shown with their associated prices.  Viewing, creating and modifying lists is a breeze.

The News menu features articles covering US markets, international markets, technology, mergers & acquisitions, IPOs and more.  News articles are provided by Reuters, MarketWatch and CNNMoney.

Stock Trading
To trade stocks, select the trade icon from the top menu or open a quote page and select to trade from there.  Trading from quote pages simply opens up the trade ticket and populates the symbol.  It would be a lot more convenient if the limit price and other fields were populated as well.

Order types available are market, limit, stop loss, stop limit, trailing stop loss $ / % and trailing stop limit $ / %. This is quite an extensive list of order types but is limited when compared to the full web based Fidelity trading platform and the desktop application Fidelity Active Trader Pro.

Here is an order that we submitted to purchase 1 share of Exxon Mobil (XOM) at a limit price of $85.00 and a duration of Good 'til Canceled (GTC):

When we were satisfied with our order we clicked on the Preview Order button.  A warning message appeared because our limit price was above the last trade price.  This warning is annoying as we regularly submit orders like this but thankfully the message can simply be ignored.  When everything looked OK we selected the Place Order button.  After that, a message appeared notifying us that our order was received.  We were also provided with an order confirmation number and a link to view the order status.

From the order status menu, open orders can be canceled but they cannot be modified.  Once orders execute, all positions can be viewed in the Account Positions menu.  Unfortunately, there is no functionality to close out holdings from this menu.

On a separate order, we attempted to submit a limit trade but the order was rejected.  The error message noted that the limit price cannot be more than 30% away from the last trade.  This is the same issue that is present in the standard web based Fidelity application.  In most circumstances, this is a reasonable safeguard but in a few cases, such as before the market opens on very volatile securities, this limit price rule could cause major issues for traders.  We really wish Fidelity would replace this restriction with a simple warning message that can be bypassed.

Options Trading
To trade options, select the trade icon from the top menu and select the Options tab or open the quotes page, select the options chain menu and then select the desired contract.  Trading from the options chain menu is far superior because the trade ticket does not help you determine the options contract name.

Selecting any contract brings up a detailed option contract quote page.  We found the contract that we were after so from this menu we selected to trade by clicking on the button at the top right.  This brought up the options trade ticket with the symbol populated.  Like with the stock trading functionality, it would be more convenient if the order type defaulted to limit and the most recent ask price was populated for us.  An updated quote for this contract is not viewable from the trade ticket so we had to go back to the options chain to find the proper limit price.  This is all a more of a hassle than it needs to be.

When we were all set, we clicked the Preview Order button.  This loaded the Preview Order menu wherein we selected the Place Order button. After that, a message appeared noting that our order was received.  We were also provided with an order confirmation number and a link to view the order status.  As with stock orders, open option orders can be canceled but they cannot be modified.

Once orders execute, all positions can be viewed in the Account Positions menu.  Unfortunately, there is no functionality to close out holdings from this menu.

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