Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Windows 10 System Apps Review: Money

Note: This page is a review which forms part of the post Windows 10 System Apps Review

What’s this app for?

If you have a love for money, and who doesn’t to a certain degree, this is the app that will keep you on the crest of the financial wave with the latest news on business, markets and some other related topics.

Does it do the job it was primarily designed for?

I’ll admit it. I’d barely looked at this app before today. I have no interest in financial markets so gave this app a wide berth. Most likely the vast majority of Windows 10 users will do the same, but having looked around the app as part of this review, I was genuinely surprised as to how much is jam packed into the one app. Even more so, I was flabbergasted that I actually found some aspects of the app interesting and useful. I’m no financial expert or enthusiast, but I think this is an app with a lot of useful information in that genre. Yet even with my limited appreciation of the subject matter, I do believe this app does definitely achieve its primary aim very well.

First up, the main home screen of the app gives you the choice of viewing stories from several different money related topics; today, news, technology, personal finance & popular slideshows. There’s the option also to just see subject from your own watchlist, but I have to admit I’ve not a clue what I would want to keep an eye on, and this is a rather specific watchlist in terms of keeping an eye on a company’s stock related charts and news. 'Today' is naturally containing the latest money related news, whereas the news section itself will be slightly less recent. However, these stories that it shows aren’t all stocks and shares but mixed up with related stories that are probably a more widely appealing subject matter, such as tips on saving money and those classic rich lists. The Technology section is actually pretty generalise, showing you the stories about what companies are up to with new phones, computers etc as well as internet trends. This is certainly more interesting to most than stock prices. The Personal Finance section allows you to be even more granular on what stories you see, allowing you a filter to view just stories on savings, homes, credit, shopping, travel and more. The popular slideshows section seems like an oddball at first but if you like your celebs and money-rich people, this is a more appealing way than most to scan through what’s going on in that area.

The next section on the app really gets specifically into the meat of the app regarding markets and one doesn’t mean your local farmer’s market but the financial ones. There’s a shed load of information here, none of which I would think most would care about. It covers all the latest active changes in the market, those who have gained and those who have lost is all here at the click of the button. I’d assume it’s the latest information but timedate stamps aren’t always visible. Ever wondered what the price of gold is like these days? Well, there’s the option under the markets section to look at commodities such as metals, energy, agricultural and livestock. It’s covering a decent range of the financial market I would think.

Next section on the app was a pleasant surprise, as it’s about currencies. You can convert currency values and find out how much it’s worth in every other currency you can think of. It’s nothing new, but it’s neat, and useful to know that this facility is actually only a few clicks away in Windows 10. As well as live conversions of money, the latest exchange rates are also available to be viewed along with stats and trends for that currency. It’s more useful and interesting than one would think.

There’s a section in the app for mortgage calculations, which is something most would use at one point in their lives I guess, but it’s a little niche perhaps. Seems to do the job but I doubt most are going to be clicking on this section every day.

World Markets is next on the app and is very much full of numbers which look pretty but I’ve no idea what it all really means. I can say that there is easy clicking and filtering so as to view just the latest values from the major markets, Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, which should satisfy those in different areas of the world or those who like to invest money globally. Clicking on any of the markets will bring you up even further information on how that market has been performing, should anyone really want a further financial headache.

Back to the actual app functionality, and in the settings section there’s extremely little to be tinkering with. You can choose the “edition” to determine what you see depending on where you are in the world, and there's a breaking news alerts toggle.

The only downer app wise is perhaps that there are a few adverts here and there, but they are very limited and tend to only appear when you have the app opened to full screen.

What’s the alternative?

If you’re into finance, the chances are you’ll know all the alternatives already, but there are of course numerous financial websites out there to turn to, although most of them actually contribution content to this app such as Forbes and Financial Times. There’s also plenty more apps in the Store to wet anyone’s money appetite, including those from reputable sources like The Economist.

Hit, Miss, or Maybe?

Hit; I think. It’s hard to be fully sure, but what I can be sure is that this is no lightweight app but one that is packed full of financial information to help one keep track of their stocks and relevant markets. Most of it might be of limited appeal to the masses, but with a currency convertor and mortgage calculator there’s actually some genuinely appealing useful bits to this app that most might never bother to check out, and who could blame them.

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