Overview of Bloomberg versus CNBC Real Time

When we talk about trading apps, the fact that both Bloomberg and CNBC Real Time have made an effort to gain access to mobile devices speaks volumes for the need for this information to be current with business people and market traders the world over. Both apps are reflective of their original structures, and therefore for people familiar with these, there is very little difficulty in shifting modes from full television or computer screen viewing to an iPhone view of the specific app.

Developers

CNBC Real Time is developed by NBC Universal Inc while Bloomberg is peddled by Bloomberg Finance LP. Both apps are derived from original television based reporting programs and are currently distributed on iTunes via their networks.

Head2Head: A comparison of app features between Bloomberg and CNBC Real Time

Having access to either CNBC Real Time or Bloomberg on the iPhone has changed access to business knowledge and trading the world over. In adding access to the iPhone, Bloomberg has managed to maintain a healthy blend of market data, news and of course their ever present watch list onscreen. The difficulty however is that it is not possible to configure the page according to your requirements, and your role here is as a passive viewer only. Generally, though the Bloomberg app has managed to retain high levels of functionality but with lesser features. There are gaps in the information that is traditionally available on Bloomberg including lack of charts for currencies, and some equity index futures.

The portfolio monitoring features of Bloomberg however are way ahead of CNBC Real Time however there is no functionality for displaying total portfolio profit and loss. This makes it difficult for traders who need to track this information, and makes the use of this platform somewhat scattered, with access to some information and not to others. It is also important to note that for individual securities, there is a delay of about 20 minutes before loading. The cause for this delay is unclear, but may cause difficulties for some users, particularly at the end of a trading day.

A review of the CNBC Real Time app however will show that these have more video content available of the current trading day as well as historical data. Therefore, for users who are more inclined to view video rather than plough through charts and reports, the CNBC Real Time app may have greater appeal. CNBC Real Time’s exclusive breaking news coverage is also well done on the iPhone app and there is no comprise on the quality of the viewing or audio.

However, CNBC Real Time has recently added video ads to this app, and this has apparently disrupted the easily interactive usage of this app. Feedback from users suggest that the video ads actually cause loss of access to CNBC Real Time and this problem will require evaluation.

Generally in terms of content that is practical for the iPhone, the fact that Bloomberg does not waste time on hype or sensational graphics allows for greater access to information easily. The iPhone app is very focused and works on the assumption that the user will only need to have at his fingertips, whatever is necessary for him to trade. However there are bits about the Bloomberg app that will have to be reviewed and perhaps upgraded, as mentioned earlier.

Reputation

Bloomberg is rated 4+ and has generally received positive reviews from its users. CNBC Real Time is also rated 4+ but with a significantly lower number of reviews from users.

Cost

Both of them are free iPhone apps.

In a nutshell

It really depends on the type of user. The data driven user who is not interested in videos, comfortable reviewing charts and tables on any platform, and keen to get uncluttered data driven information quickly and easily will be drawn to the Bloomberg mobile app. It is simple and straightforward although it needs some work on fine-tuning its components. The CNBC Real Time app is great with videos and if the user is already comfortable with how this news platform works, and what drives it, then adjusting to the iPhone version of this will not be difficult. The point is that both these apps provide access, pretty much to whatever information is required on a trading day. But as we still need a winner, I will go with Bloomberg by virtue of its slightly edging no-frills approach.

Head2Head winner: Bloomberg

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