OptionsHouse Android App Grade: B
The new OptionsHouse Android app hits the ground running with a top notch debut. General app design and functionality are among the best. Basic account information is available but lacks design forethought. Accessing quotes and watch lists are handled well. Stock charts are very poor and could use a total redesign and market news and commentary are missing entirely. Performing basic stock and options trades and managing trades via the orders and positions menus is a great experience. The coolest feature of the app is the excellent options chains which allow for the best in class multi-leg option order trading. Just for the excellent trading features alone, OptionsHouse offers one of the best Android apps on the market.
Android Market Facts:
- App Name: OptionsHouse
- Version: 1.5.18
- Requires: Android version 2.1 and up
- App Size: 1.7 MB
- User Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Upon opening the OptionsHouse Android app, users are required to log in to access any of the application features. User names are stored but passwords must be entered. Sessions are saved for an indeterminate period of time so briefly exiting the app and then coming back in will not require password re-entry. An additional passcode can be setup which allows for an extra level of security.
The main app menu contains a spread of eight large icons: account, positions, chain, quote, watchlist, orders, hints & feedback and settings. The top app menu contains links to return to the main app menu, the order ticket and quote lookup.
The Home tab contains basic account information such as account values, profit and loss values, margin balances and more. Most other broker apps feature more eloquently designed account information menus. Here is a look at the home tab for our account. Please note that all screen shots shown on this page are from the OptionsHouse iPhone app (click on images for larger views):
The Positions menu contains a details list of all currently held securities. Selecting any security will bring up a detailed quote per for that holding. Clicking on the Trade button in the detailed quote page will load the trade ticket with the symbol and quantity properly populated. A limit order set to the current bid price is also handled automatically. This is perfectly implemented for both stock and options trading. Here is a look at the positions tab for our account:
The Chain tab is a simple yet amazingly well designed options chains menu. Selecting a particular contract and the bid or ask price will load that contract into the order ticket. Multiple selections can be made simultaneously, with each leg being added directly into the trade ticket. Touching a selection a second time removes it from the trade ticket. Up to four legs can be selected at once, allowing for such options orders and straddles, strangles, condors and butterflies. Despite the interface being so simple, this is by far the best multi-leg options trading platform on a mobile device. Here is a look at the chain for Citigroup (C) with two selections made:
The Quote tab allows for the retrieval of basic stock pricing information as well as simple charts. The charts are very small and poorly designed. Just below the charts are menu options to buy or sell stock or to view the options chains. At the very bottom of the main quote page is a link to view a more detailed page containing such information as daily high / low, 52 week high / low, dividend yield and P/E ratio. Here is a look at the quote page for Intel (INTC) with a one year chart selected:
Watchlists are user customizable lists of stocks. Selected stocks show the symbol, bid / last / ask prices and the daily $ / % change in price. Multiple watchlists can be created and modified right from the OptionsHouse Android app. Here is a watchlist that we created to keep track of some popular oil company stocks:
The Orders tab contains a list of open, filled and canceled orders shown in reverse chronological order. From this tab open orders can be canceled or modified with the only problem being that orders can only be modified during market hours. Orders that have been filled or canceled can be replicated, which is a nice extra.
The Order Ticket tab is an integrated stock and options trading interface. Stock symbols and options contracts must be selected via the aforementioned Quote or Chain tabs to begin the order entry process. Here is a view of us selecting to sell 10 shares of Honda (HMC) with a limit price of $37.50 and a duration of GTC (good til canceled). GTC orders are maintained in OptionsHouse's system for an indeterminate period of time. When everything was set we clicked the Preview button:
As mentioned, the order ticket can also be used for options trading. Here we are selling 2 calls at a limit price of $0.49 and a duration of GTC:
For both orders, the order preview screen displayed an order summary, including the expected commissions, as well as a warning messages notifying us that the market was closed at the time. Everything looked satisfactory so we selected the Place Order button for both orders. Our orders were then submitted successfully and we were provided with order IDs.
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