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The 30-second iPhone finance app shootout: Apple vs. Daily Finance vs. Bloomberg

Chris Ziegler

Our corporate cousins at AOL Money & Finance (by AOL, Engadget's parent company) just released their Daily Finance app for the iPhone, and since it's kinda cool when someone in the family releases a top-rated mobile app, we thought it'd be a good opportunity to sit down for a second and compare it to Stocks -- the built-in "finance" app that every iPhone owner has whether they want it or not -- and another top-rated finance app, Bloomberg. The screen shots tell much of the tale; read on for the quick take, but here's a preview of what we found: Apple should get out of this business and let the big boys play.

Gallery: The 30-second iPhone finance app shootout: Daily Finance | 11 Photos

Gallery: The 30-second iPhone finance app shootout: Bloomberg | 11 Photos

We're no Wall Street wizards -- we're more Kevin Bacon's character in his bike messenger days in Quicksilver than Vin Diesel in his Ferrari days in Boiler Room -- but in the final analysis, one thing's very clear: the iPhone's built-in Stocks app sucks, which you don't really come to realize and appreciate until after you've played with these heavier-duty options from AOL and Bloomberg. It leads us to wonder why it's there to begin with, and furthermore, why they've continued to work on it for 3.0 by adding landscape mode. Like the equally-weak Weather app, Apple would be better served by cutting Stocks out of the firmware and leaving it to companies that have the know-how and the vested interest in producing a quality product (like, say, The Weather Channel in place of Weather). As for the battle between Bloomberg and Daily Finance, they're both fantastically detailed with tons of options for tracking your portfolio, checking out a variety of chart time ranges in landscape view, staying up on corporate and world news, and keeping tabs on global indexes. Ultimately, we'd say they're neck-and-neck; since they're free, we recommend you download and try them both. We preferred the way that Daily Finance presented news for individual stocks -- on their own tab to reduce clutter -- and liked the fact that you have far more news categories available to you. On the flipside, we marginally preferred the high-contrast visual appearance of Bloomberg -- it seemed just a little more "professional" to us. Either way, though, do yourself a favor and relegate Stocks to some unused page at the very back of your home screen.

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