3 Best Forex Trading Apps in 2021
Are you looking for a Forex trading app to follow the markets and your trades? In this article you can learn about 3 of the best Forex trading apps to trade on the go in 2021, ranked by popularity, available instruments, charting, accessibility and ease of use.
We will compare them with their desktop versions, and how they contrast regarding the ease of access, how to open an order, assets to trade, the price charts, the available indicators and studies.
Table of Contents
Forex CFDs trading is based mostly on how a trader interprets the price action seen on an instrument’s chart. Most traders will apply studies and technical indicators to a security’s price chart to help them finding the trend, a good entry level to buy or sell an asset, to react to particular market conditions and to make better trading decisions.
Desktop Trading Platforms vs Mobile Trading Apps
Most traders, especially professional ones, also prefer to trade from a trading platform’s desktop version, sometimes even with several auxiliary screens, allowing them to follow the price action of different instruments simultaneously.
With the advent of technology, and its constant evolution, mobile phones are now fast enough, and packing enough memory, to allow brokers to offer their trading platforms to customers on a mobile version.
Adding that to the reality of several newbie traders keen on starting their trading careers, while maintaining a 9 to 5 job, Forex mobile trading apps seem to be the right solution.
Not just for those newbie traders, but also for the more experienced traders, that for various reason can’t be on their desktop terminals, and still want to follow the markets, or their open positions, via their mobile phones.
Most Forex mobile trading apps try to mimic and offer the same layout, the same chart types and the same technical analysis studies of their “big brothers”, the desktop versions, but the available screen size of a mobile phone, or a tablet, plays a fundamental role on the overall user experience and trading quality. Specially with such a fast-moving and highly volatile market like the Forex.
With this in mind, we will talk about 3 of the best Forex trading apps to trade on the go in 2021, and compare them with their desktop versions. In this article we will not compare the broker’s offerings, where applicable, but we will discuss only the trading apps that we consider are the best for trading Forex on a mobile phone.
IG Markets Mobile Trading App
- Account management via the mobile app
- Quality market news supplied by Reuters
- Over 17,000 markets available to trade divided in 23 asset classes
- Dealing directly from the charts
With over 1 million downloads, the IG Markets mobile app seems to be a fairly popular one. And this mobile app is also our first choice for trading on the go. Available to all IG Markets customers with a registered real or demo account, it can be downloaded for iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.
Compared with the desktop version, which in our view is a complete 5-star trading platform, the mobile app tries to copy the same availability by packing all the market data, indicators and studies and functionalities of the desktop version into a small screen.
Of course, the comfortable environment offered by the desktop version is far superior when compared to the mobile app. While it’s very easy to browse the list of available assets, or to add an indicator to the chart, or even a study like the Fibonacci retracements on the desktop version, well, with the mobile version is not that easy.
Forex Trading with the IG Markets Mobile App
To start off, accessing the list of available instruments on the IG Markets mobile app is still quite easy. Traders just need to touch the magnifying glass at the top of the screen, and search for a market, from the 23 asset classes available; Cryptos, ETFs, IPOs, Forex, Indices, Commodities, Shares and more.
By selecting “Forex” on the menu, users can access all the currency pairs offered by IG Markets. Then, by selecting “Major FX”, traders can access all the major currency pairs. After selecting the market, the screen opens with a very basic chart.
At this point the best thing to do is to enable screen rotation on the mobile phone and use it on landscape mode. The trading screen is complete with several tabs at the top where traders can set the orders, market alerts and follow the news.
The main screen is divided with the chart to the left and the market buttons to the right. The buy and sell buttons are big enough and coloured Red (Sell) and Blue (Buy) to avoid pressing the wrong button.
To enable the use of the different chart tools, indicators and studies, the chart needs to be in full-screen mode. To do that, on the asset’s chart there’s an “expand” button, that needs to be pressed. After that, users need to touch anywhere on the chart, et voilà, tools, indicators and studies are now enabled at the bottom ribbon.
We suggest to resize the charts before applying any drawings to it, as it will make the task a lot easier, even to draw a Fibonacci retracement. At the top right there’s the trading buttons, sell and buy. To allow the trading directly from the charts feature, users need to enable the “dealing from the charts” option, by accepting the disclaimer.
Review of the IG Markets Trading App in 2021
There are over 8,000 reviews on Google Play Store and IG clients rate this app an excellent 4.4 out of 5. And we share the same opinion. Overall, the IG Markets mobile app does the job. The buttons and the touch screen options are big enough and easy to understand, becoming intuitive to the traders after a couple of days of use.
We also liked the execution speeds when opening an order, probably the fastest amongst the mobile trading apps, taking only a few milliseconds to open a buy or sell position at market price, making it ideal, not just for trading on the go, but also for scalping on the go!
The huge quantity of markets available on the app, especially the shares markets and indices, is quite impressive, and so, this app is the perfect companion for stock traders to follow the shares prices, even if they are not IG Markets clients! To use this fantastic app users, need to register with a real or with a demo account with IG Markets first, then download the app from the Play Store or the Apple Store.
On a final note, user experience could be improved with a feature added to the deal ticket that could show traders the overnight interest charge on any given market. Also, the drawn objects, like horizontal trendlines or text, it will show on all timeframes, cluttering the screen. An option to choose to show only on specific timeframes could help.
eToro Mobile Trading App
- Complete account management via the mobile app
- Ideal for social and copy trading
- Great selection of instruments available to trade
With over 5 million downloads on Google Store, the eToro trading mobile app is definitely a very popular one. Nonetheless, the eToro mobile app is our second choice for trading on the go.
To use this app users, need to register a real or a demo account with the eToro broker first, then download the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple Store.
The eToro app mimics perfectly the concept and philosophy of the company; be the first for social trading. Available to eToro users, with a real or a demo account, it can be downloaded for mobile phones and tablets running iOS or Android systems.
The eToro trading app is very colourful and flashy, copying the same notion and architecture of the desktop version, by displaying in a very visual way all the available markets, the data, indicators, line studies and functionalities of the desktop design into the small screen.
The biggest drawdown of this trading app is its usability. Unfortunately, this app is not the best for the savvier trader nor for traders relying on technical indicators to read the price action.
Forex Trading with the eToro Mobile App
Accessing the list of available instruments is simple enough, users just need to touch the menu icon on the top left corner of the screen and select the “Trade Markets” tab. As the eToro broker is geared towards becoming the reference for stocks CFDs trading, the main screen will get populated first with the stocks suggested by the eToro algo to be added to a trading portfolio.
Then, scrolling down, eToro will present users with the market movers on the stock market, followed by the most popular stocks tab on technology, then ETFs, followed by the crypto coins tab, indices, commodities and finally Forex.
Let’s imagine we’re looking to trade the EUR/USD. So, after the eternal scrolling, sometimes lagging due to the amount of flashy and colourful data being downloaded by the mobile phone, we reach the “Major Currencies” tab. We select the EUR/USD pair and, instead of, expectedly, being offered a price chart, like most trading apps, the screen opens to what eToro really is all about, social trading. On the following screen we find an immersive social posting page with posts from all types of traders talking about markets, their views, or even what they had for breakfast early in the morning… and also, at the top of the page, a blue “Trade” button.
Luckily, under the blue “Trade” button, there’s also 3 other tabs (the default tab opening is always the social tab). The second tab takes the users to the EUR/USD overview, with the historical data from daily to 3 years, and a line graph for visual reading.
The third tab will take traders to the EUR/USD trading screen. Contrarily to what we should expect, the eToro trading app is not designed to be used in landscape view, as the top blue banner occupies most of the available screen and the price chart becomes ultra-reduced. We recommend to keep the chart/phone in portrait view.
Looking at the chart, traders will find a cog wheel on the left of the instrument banner, and touching it will open the chart settings. Not many options available here… users can select from 5 available chart types, apply to the price chart only 5 available indicators (MACD, MA, RSI, STO, and BB), and choose between light or dark theme. Yes, that’s it! As we’ve stated before, the eToro trading app is not the best option for savvy traders or technical analysis traders.
The opening a trading order screen is not designed for news traders as to complete all the steps to submit an order takes a bit of time. First, traders need to choose the direction, sell or buy. When selecting the order type the next screen opening will be the asset’s trading screen.
Traders have the option of submitting a market order or a pending order. Orders can be placed by selecting “Units” or “Amount”. The Units option stands for the contract size (1 lot in Forex is 100,000 units). The Amount option stands for the amount of the equity the trader is willing to risk.
After selecting the amount of equity or units to risk, traders can set up a stop-loss level by rate or by the amount of equity to lose. Same applies for the take-profit level, that can also be set up by price target or profit in base currency. In between, there’s the “Leverage” option, and here, we have to admit, that we just love the feature of being able to select the leverage we want to use for the next trade, starting at a 1:1 rate, up to a maximum of 30:1.
The pending order screen is very similar to the market order screen, with the extra option of setting pending sell/buy stops and pending sell/buy limits.
When everything is all set, even before pressing the “Open Trade” button (market orders screen) or the “Set Order” button (pending orders screen) the eToro app will also calculates how much traders will be paying on swap rates, for that position. And finally, we press that blue button. Execution and trade confirmations are very quick, but slippage is very common with the eToro mobile app.
After opening a position, traders can monitor it from the main menu by selecting “Portfolio”, which will be displaying the asset, the current market rate, the price move percentage, how much capital was invested on that position, how much it is worth currently and the current P&L. From this screen, and by selecting an open position, on the following screen, traders can modify any SL or TP levels.
Review of the eToro Trading App in 2021
With over 49,000 reviews on the Google Play Store, the eToro users rate this app 4.4 out of 5.0, not because of its usability, but based mainly on its social trading and copy trading capabilities. The main consensus is that the eToro mobile app is more of a Twitter or Facebook social trading app, rather than a proper mobile trading app.
Sharp traders will give this app a pass, and therefore the eToro broker services, as it isn’t designed, nor user-friendly, for traders that need to read price action on the charts to make informed decisions. No, the eToro trading app is all about social chatter and copy trading, with the app constantly bombarding the users with notifications from the “top traders”, with posts by the “following”, what positions some other traders are opening and so on. Unfortunately, we share the same opinion.
Overall, the eToro trading mobile app is not cut for the job. The mobile app, and even the desktop platform, lacks several features, the charts are very basic, very inefficient, with only 5 indicators available and no option to add the most popular studies. Ultimately, this app concept results in a clunky user app experience, adding to the terrible long loading times every time the app is open.
User experience could be improved with a better user interface design, with more available studies and indicators and an added feature allowing traders to check the trades against the live chart. Also, when opening a trading position, the whole process should be more straight forward, with less complicated options, by using the simpler set up field of lot size to trade (i.e., 0.01, 0.10, 1), widely used by all the top brokers.
MetaTrader4 Mobile Trading App
- Hundreds of brokers available
- Fast executions speeds
- Swap between mobile and tablet interface
- Good source for financial news
- Integration with MQL5 Traders Community
With over 10 million downloads on Google Store, the MetaTrader 4, or simply MT4, trading mobile app is the most popular one with the retail trading community. But being popular, in this case, it’s not a synonymous of being the best.
To access the app, users need to register with a real or demo account with a Forex broker first. There’s also the option of creating a demo account with the Meta Quotes server, for training purposes only.
Available to traders with a real or demo account, it can be downloaded for iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets from the Google and iOS app stores. Traders can easily login with their real or demo trading accounts, by selecting their broker and typing the account details.
The MT4 mobile app is our third choice for trading on the go in this mobile trading apps comparison. The huge popularity of the MT4 mobile app is mainly due to the simple fact that almost every Forex broker in this industry offers it as an easy, out-of-the-box trading platform, to their customers.
But when comparing the MT4 desktop trading platform to the mobile app the differences are notorious. Whilst the desktop version is a fully capable trading platform with countless setup possibilities, with almost every study available, with clean price charts and the functionality of using custom indicators, the mobile app is in a different league.
The MT4 mobile app is not as colourful, or flashy, compared to the other two trading apps reviews in this article, nor is the mobile app able to copy the infinite number of functions from the desktop version into the small screen.
The biggest drawdown of the MT4 mobile app, compared to the desktop version, is the impossibility of using MQL custom indicators, a very popular function used by millions of traders on the bigger display platform. Up until today the MT4 mobile app offers only a few default indicators and limited studies. To that purpose, drawing a study on a price chart is also a very complicated procedure, with countless editing’s to get it right.
Accessing the list of the available markets is simple enough with the MT4 mobile app, but subject to the offering of each individual broker. To see which instruments are available, or to add them to the home screen, users should first touch the “edit” icon on the top right corner of the screen and then touch the “+” sign.
From there users can find all the available instruments, orderly arranged by asset’s folder. From here users can open each individual folder and select the instrument to add to the home screen. Alternatively, traders can use the search function at the top of the screen to quickly find an asset.
Forex Trading with the MetaTrader4 Mobile App
Those familiar with the MT4 desktop version will find the process of opening an order quite easy, as it is exactly the same as in the “big brother” version.
To start, traders should select the currency pair to trade from the home screen, which will open the price chart of that pair. Then, to open an order, users should touch the icon with the “+” sign on the top right corner, which will open a trading terminal screen.
On this screen traders can choose from five order types, market execution and four different pending orders and finally. If a trader wants to open an instant market order, just needs to hit the red “SELL by market” or the blue “BUY by market” button.
To format a pending order traders should setup first the limit or the stop price, and also, if appropriate, setup the stop-loss and take-profit levels and the order expiration, GTC (Good-Till-Cancelled) or specify an order validity. Finally, hit the “Place” button.
Open orders will be displayed on the “Trade” tab, and by selecting each order with a long press, a new menu will open, allowing traders to change the order’s parameters; close the order by market price, open a new order on the same pair, modify the order (stop-loss and take-profit levels) and chart.
To use the charts of the MT4 mobile app traders can use their phones in both portrait or landscape view, as the charts auto-resize neatly to include a good reading even when using 3 sub windows with indicators. Scrolling, zooming in and out the chart is quite easy, and can be done using the two fingers gesture.
Touching anywhere in the price chart will make a blue dial appear displaying all the chart time-frames available, a button with a square, circle and triangle to open the draw objects function on the chart, a button with the cross sign that will deploy the cross-view of each bar, showing all the bar info and button with an “f” symbol that will open the indicators menu.
On the MT4 mobile app there are not many indicators available. Users have access to 30 of the most popular indicators, divided by category, trend indicators, oscillators, volumes and Bill Williams indicators. For traders that rely on a heavy technical analysis setup with a few indicators, it might present a problem. Plus, as mentioned before, the MT4 mobile trading app does not offer the same capability of using custom indicators created for the MetaTrader/MQL environment.
Also, relevant, and it could be a great trading aid, is the, accessible from the home page, “News” tab with several updates throughout the several trading sessions of market news and markets outlook from different sources.
Review of the MetaTrader4 Trading App in 2021
With well over 590,000 reviews on the Google Play Store, the MT4 mobile trading app users rate this app 4.6 out of 5.0, mainly by traders that are familiar and are also using the desktop version.
Currently, at the beginning of 2021, the MT4 mobile trading app has more or less the same layout and usability that when it was launched. Despite the huge jump in technology around mobile trading, the MT4 app never had a major update in the past 7 years and functions such as creating a user profile, or set a chart template, are inexistant.
Also, a common problem with the MT4 app is its updates. Often, even after a minimal bug improvement update, all the user preferences applied previously (indicators and settings) tend to disappear, and frustrated traders will have to setup everything again.
Overall, the MT4 trading mobile is ideal for following the markets and the trades open with a broker via the desktop version. The MT4 app lacks several features, the charts are very basic, with only 30 indicators available, and no option to add the same custom indicators that traders might use on the desktop version.
The trading experience with the MT4 mobile app could be improved with adding more mainstream functions, with more available studies and indicators and an added feature allowing traders to open the trades straight on the chart, instead of going to a separate screen.