When it comes to trading financial markets, it is vital to understand how they operate and what software is the best to analyze markets. Analyzing markets and quickly making correct decisions is sometimes difficult to implement if your trading app is slow or does not offer advanced tools to catch the big moves on the market. In today’s guide, we will discuss trading desktop and mobile software that can make a profitable change in your trading career.
Desktop vs mobile trading
When trading markets online, you will need to use advanced inbuilt or custom tools and indicators to make sense of price movements and correctly react to them. Trading is not about predicting markets, but rather quickly recognizing the current market conditions and reacting to them. In order to achieve this, you will need to analyze price charts and detect any breakouts or price continuations. Technical analysis is a term used by traders worldwide to describe the process of applying mathematical formulas to price charts to determine the status of the market.
Desktop software offers in many cases advanced trading capabilities, the cTrader, MetaTrader, and TradingView offer numerous inbuilt and custom indicators to quickly apply to charts and analyze the situation on the markets. Desktop software is much more advanced than mobile apps and offers much more functionality in many cases. Recently, TradingView and other apps tried to incorporate full desktop features into their mobile trading apps. Mobile devices were known to be slow with small screens, but new developments in technology made newer smartphones so powerful that they sometimes perform better than older desktop computers.
Top desktop trading software
There are three most well-known trading software platforms existing on desktop
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MT4 is by far the most popular trading platform. It is advanced and comes with its own programming language to write trading algorithms and indicators. Even without writing the automated robots known as Expert Advisors or EAs yourself, you can download custom indicators and EAs from the marketplace. The number of custom EAs and indicators available online for free is vast, and there are also paid ones. For paid ones, it is possible to test them on a demo account first and then decide if you want to pay the money for the indicator or EA. Besides, there are around 90 inbuilt indicators and many technical tools to fully analyze the charts.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
MT5 is a newer version of MT4 and there are incremental improvements over its predecessor. The programming language was also updated and MT5 incorporated more social features and very small design adjustments. But overall, there is almost no difference between the two, and traders familiar with any of them will use another without any issues. Since there are not many new features, MT4 still stays as the most popular tool for trading and technical analysis.
This online charting platform quickly became very popular with its focus on community and idea sharing. Users can follow other traders who are successful and share their strategies and ideas online, making TradingView quickly generate a 30 m+ user base. The platform now offers trading functions as well and is known for its custom indicators vast base. Unlike MT4 and cTrader platforms, TradingView’s custom indicators can be searched right from the platform and added to the chart. This little convenience makes the platform much more robust and easy to use than other software on the list. Also, TradingView started as a website, today it offers desktop and mobile apps, making it a strong competitor for other well-established platforms mentioned here.
Yet another popular professional trading platform is cTrader. cTrader is very similar to MT4 and MT5 platforms. It has advanced inbuilt indicators and offers the ability for custom indicators and cBots to automate the trading experience. The platform focuses on the social side and offers more social trading features when compared to MT4 and 5 platforms. The difference is in the programming language used for cTrader indicators and cBots building, which is C#. In the end, cTrader is a robust professional platform that offers the same level of performance and features as other apps in this list.
Must have mobile apps for financial trading
The best overall charting platform for mobile devices is TradingView with its similar capabilities as the desktop variant, it comes with the ability to find any custom indicator right away. Analyzing charts are much easier and the visual appearance is very modern. There are no limits to indicators, and this advantage makes TradingView the first choice for mobile technical analysis.
Pros of mobile TradingView app
- Simple and intuitive design
- Similar capabilities to the desktop version
- Advanced custom indicators
- Ideas and strategies for sharing
- Paper trading offers the ability to trade on a demo account
- Several price data providers ensure high-quality data
Cons of the TradingView app
- Not possible to trade live accounts
- A limited number of indicators at once on the chart for free users
In order to use more than 3 indicators at once, a paid subscription is required. Similar applies to operating multiple price windows at once.
MT5 is a better choice for mobile devices than MT4, and we will discuss its pros and cons here.
Pros of the MT5 mobile app
- Offers trading abilities with
- inbuilt indicators and other technical analysis tools.
Cons of the MT5 app
- Very limited customization
- Prices and data quality solely depends on your broker
Other than these cons, the MT5 mobile app is easy to use and intuitive. Trades can be opened and closed, and stop loss and take profit are easy to set.