Trading apps are mobile versions of a broker’s online trading platform that let you monitor positions and trade on the move. Trading apps are an essential part of trading as they enable traders to be connected to the market at all times. Over the past decade, trading apps have become more popular as firms adopt a “mobile first” attitude.
Best stock trading apps compared and reviewed
We have ranked, reviewed and compared the best trading apps in the UK that are regulated by the FCA. You can use our trading app comparison table to compare which brokers offer the most markets, have the lowest minimum deposit and offer the most account types.
Capital.com: Best trading app 2023
City Index: Best trading app trader tools
City Index’s mobile app provides access to 12,000 markets through spread betting and CFDs has just had a facelift with some behind-the-scenes improvements as well.
When I traded on the City Index app I was able to able to access asset overviews, news, and alerts as well as key market info. But, one of the stand out features of the City Index app is the inclusion of SMART signals and Performance Analytics. Having full access to SMART signals means you can keep an eye out for new trading opportunities and place corresponding trades on the move. Performance Analytics also gives the full breakdown how where you have been profitable or not in the past and provides feedback on whether or not you are sticking to your trading plan. Both, mean that the app has a bit more use than just a way to monitor the market when not in front of your normal trading screens.
It’s a well laid out trading app, with the major instruments front and centre, but also the peripheral markets like sectors, thematic indices (like blockchain, NFTs and cannabis), trending markets and options quickly available. The app also has quick access to popular markets, so you can keep an eye on where the days trading volumes are going.
Using and navigating the app is intuitive, with icon-based menus for markets, watchlists, alerts etc. There is a news feed and economic calendar, as well as technical analysis from Trading Central. You can draw and edit charts on the app and add up to four indicators to them. The mobile charting package includes logarithmic sizing and switches between landscape, there is the usual suite of technical indicators from Trading View, but you can’t execute direct from the chart on mobile yet.
Overall City Index’s trading app is a good addition to it’s main platform and should suit traders looking for stimulus and research on the go.
- ✔️ Smart trading signals
- ✔️ Performance trade analytics
- ✔️ Wide range of markets
- ❌ No DMA trading on app
- ❌ No investing account
Spreadex: Best trading app for customer service
The Spreadex trading app, as with the main trading platform, is suited to traders who just require a click and trade app and won’t be using it for research or signals.
The app has access to the same 10,000 markets which you can trade by spread betting or CFDs (no physical investing yet). Pricing is very competitive in the major markets but does get wider the more exotic the product. Spreadex has always been very good at offering access to smaller cap stocks, some of which are also available on the app, as well as the main platform and over the phone.
The watchlists, highlight, popular market, the risers and fallers, but there is not much in the way of cluttered educational content or analysis. you can view market updates, weekly analysis, and financial trading blogs, but these are just links to webpages from the app.
One good feature I found when testing it though is that you can talk directly to customer support via live chat through the app. This is one area where Spreadex has always excelled as a smaller UK broker, offering good customer service where you can get in touch with someone who knows what they are talking about quickly.
Overall, the app is a good compliment to Spreadex’s service.
- ✔️Good in app customer service
- ✔️Smaller cap stock trading
- ✔️Wide market range
- ❌Trading app only, no investing
Interactive Brokers: Best trading app for sophisticated investors
As with the main trading platforms, Interactive Brokers’ trading apps are some of the best around. I tried all three different apps on offer, IBKR Mobile, IBKR GlobalTrader and IMPACT.
IBKR Mobile is the mobile version of the main trading platform and has the most functionality, where you can view your derivatives and investment portfolio, view charting, trade options, futures, and CFDs. You can also access the iBot feature which helps you search for things like dividend dates, corporate earnings reports, and economic events around stocks or markets you are interested in trading. Charting is initially simple, but under the settings, you can add indicators, show live orders, and annotations and change the bar size and chart type.
There is also the IMPACT lens features that measures your portfolio and gives it a ranking based on how ethical your positions are. The news section also lets you filter and search for IBKR news and analysis from The Fly Swawkbox, Real Vision (an excellent premium analysis vlog from Raoul Pal) and Bloomberg.
IBKR GlobalTrader has a slightly easier feel and is focussed more on stock traders. You get inspiration for investing in stocks, based on their sector, price moves, news flow. News is also filtered down based on the positions in your portfolio.
For more ethical investors the IMPACT app is focussed on helping you make more ethical investment decisions. You get access to the same markets to trade in by the app ranks your portfolio by how ethical they are. It will also show you a more ethical alternative, with a similar investment profile which you can switch to with the click of a button.
Overall, Interactive Brokers’ trading apps, are some of the best around with excellent functionality and access to one of the widest selection of markets and investment products around.
- ✔️Discount trading app
- ✔️Excellent market range
- ✔️Invest as well as trade
- ❌ No financial spread betting
- ❌ Complex account opening process
CMC Markets: Excellent trading app sentiment indicators
CMC Markets’ trading app lets you trade over 11,000 markets via CFDs and financial spread bets. It’s suitable for active traders and has the same fast-paced feel as the main platform.
One of the things that makes CMC Markets app stand out for me when I tested it is the focus on media as well as execution. Instead of providing an app that is just a slimmed-down version of the main platform, there is a huge amount of educational and news content available as video. So the app provides a bit more than just a way to stay connected to the markets, it can be a resource and a way to learn whilst on the move.
The analysis section provides insights and intraday updates, news from Reuters, economic calendars and CMC TV can keep you informed and entertained. There are also some quite good platform tour videos, so you can get to know the platform better, some educational videos on how to trade and you can join live events.
The app quite nicely highlights trending, popular and typical markets, which are ranked by activity so you can see the most liquid markets and what is being traded.
One of the standout features though is CMC Markets’ client sentiment data, which is displayed around the order tickets. When you bring up an asset you can see what percentage of clients are long or short, related products and also break it down between which way the profitable and non-profitable clients are trading.
Overall, CMC Market’s trading app is an excellent resource for active traders on the move.
- ✔️Excellent trading app
- ✔️Tight pricing and spreads
- ✔️Good sentiment indicators
- ❌ No DMA app trading
- ❌ No investment account
Pepperstone: Good version of the MT4 app for tight spreads on forex
Pepperstone has two trading apps, MT4/MT5 and cTrader which provide access to CFDs and spread bets on the major markets for active traders with tight spreads.
Pepperstone’s version of the MT4 trading app, will connect you to your MT4 account with Pepeprstone but when I tested it the algo and automatic trading functions of the desktop version are not available through the app.
The cTrader Pepperstone App though is feature-rich including, market sentiment, market depth economic calendars, and technical analysis from Autochartist which displays regularly updated trading signals.
There is no stand-alone trading signal feed, but once you are looking at a market, Autochartist will display the most recent signal from 15 minute, 30 minute, 1 hour and 4 hour time frames and automatically display a buy or sell one-click order button based on if it is a long or short signal.
The app also breaks down your trading statistics based on previous trades per asset. So for example, if you are trading a US stock on the app, it will tell you how well you have done in the past with your overall net profit, what commission you have paid, your best and worst trades and how long you generally hold a position in that stock for.
Market access is narrow and pricing is tight.
- ✔️Good MT4 indicators for the app
- ✔️Tight pricing on the Razor account
- ✔️ Lots of stocks on the MT4 trading app
- ❌No proprietary trading app
- ❌Limited range of markets on the app
IG: Best trading app for market range and DMA trading
IG’s trading app offers access to the same range of markets and account types as the main platform. You can trade CFDs and spread bet on over 17,000 instruments and invest in longer-term products like ISAs and physical shares.
It was nice to see that when I used the IG trading app I could also get access to trading signals from Autochartist with entry, exit and stop levels that can be executed on mobile with the signal data on the same screen as the order ticket. IG’s trade analytics package is also available so you can review your trading win rate, return, and profit and loss ratio as well as see whether you are a better short or long-term trade, the app will also highlight your best and worst markets. The app trade analytics will also show your total financial exposure and your most recent trades.
The app’s news, section, whilst not as comprehensive as the web version can be filtered down by asset class, you can see what is most relevant to you. There is also a macroeconomic event calendar and a diary of company announcements so you don’t get caught off guard with unexpected figures or can take advantage of upcoming market volatility.
One key advantage of the IG app is that IG provides markets over the weekend so you can trade to reduce or increase your exposure on the move and out of normal market hours. You can also see level-2 data and trade DMA on shares. The app syncs with your accounts so watchlists and recently traded and viewed markets will be easy to see. Charting, is good, landscape and portrait, plus you can trade directly from the charts, as well as drag and drop, stop and limit levels.
Overall, IG’s trading app is one of the best out there, with more features and markets than most of the competition.
- ✔️DMA trading app
- ✔️Good liquidity for high volume traders
- ✔️Excellent in app analysis and tools
- ❌App not a comprehensive as the desktop platform
Saxo Markets: Best trading app for professional traders
Saxo Markets’ trading app is a real workhorse and offers excellent market coverage and functionality. The app provides access to over 30,000 CFD markets as well as on-exchange futures, options, and physical investing.
When I used the Saxo markets trading app I got access to a lot of the functionality of the main platform including, level-2 prices, positions, orders, watchlist, trade blotters, charting, options chain tables, stock screeners, price alters, and SaxoSelect Investments. SaxoSelect lets you invest in longer-term capital-grown investment products run by leading asset managers such as Blackrock and Morningstar who create automated portfolios based on your investment objectives. So, as well as having full access to Saxo’s full range of derivatives products you can also manage your investment portfolio from the app.
The SaxoTraderGo app also provides access to Saxo’s research services where you can view Saxo Wire, and get an overview of the major market movers per asset class, news is filtered by what is trending in the “Hot Topics” section. There is quite a good integration of Autochartist as well where you can trade directly from the signals, choosing if you want to add stops and limits.
There are also some quite good educational videos on topics such as technical analysis, risk management, fundamental analysis, and some general “how-to” guides on how to get the most out of the platform. Through the app, you can view live and previous webinars including Saxo’s quarterly outlook and new feature training.
Overall, one of the best trading apps on the market suitable for experienced and sophisticated traders who want more than just trading and charting.
- ✔️DMA trading app
- ✔️Futures and options access
- ✔️Lots of research and data
- ❌High minimum deposit
- ❌Better for advanced traders
eToro’s trading app enables you to view and copy the portfolio of other traders. You can also see the social feed of what is being discussed and trade and invest (in USD only) a wide range of markets. Overall, an easy to use trading app to get started with.
- ✔️Social and copy trading app
- ✔️Easy-to-use app
- ✔️Can change your leverage in the app
- ❌Accounts must be in USD
- ❌High FX conversion charges
- ❌Limited market range
We have chosen what we think are the best trading apps based on:
- over 17,000 votes in our annual awards
- our own experiences testing the trading apps with real money
- an in-depth comparison of the features that make the app stand out compared to alternatives.
- interviews with the trading app CEOs and senior management
Different types of stock trading apps:
Choose a trading app that offers the right way for you to tradeOnce you have decided what you want to trade, you will also need to think about how you want to trade it. There are many different ways to speculate on the market and all come with different features and benefits.
Trade the global markets through CFDs (contracts for difference) through UK-based FCA regulated CFD brokers.Compare CFD brokers
Unique to the UK, speculate through financial spread betting and pay no capital gains tax on trading profits.Compare spread betting brokers
Trade the global markets through on-exchange futures from FCA-regulated brokers.Compare futures brokers
Options brokers allow traders to buy and sell options on stocks, indices, commodities and foreign exchange.Compare options brokers
Direct Market Access (DMA) accounts enable investors to place ordres directly on the exchange order books to get the best possible execution price.Compare DMA brokers
Invest in low to medium-risk investments like funds, ETFs, stocks and bonds through GIAs, ISAs and SIPPSCompare investing accounts
What type of trading app is right for you?
In this video interview, we discuss the differences between online trading platforms that offer CFDs or spread betting and which product is most appropriate for who.
Trading App FAQs:
City Index won our award for the best trading app in 2022.
All trading apps in the UK must be regulated by the FCA.
Never use a trading app that the FCA does not regulate. When a trading app is regulated by the FCA it means that they are compliant with UK law, treats its customers fairly and the FSCS protects your funds.
We only list trading apps that are regulated by the FCA on Good Money Guide. If you come across an app offering financial trading that the FCA does not regulate, it may be a scam, and you should report it to the FCA here.
Related guide: CFD Scams – What are they and how to spot them
Yes, if you have an account with an online trading platform, you will also get access to their trading app. However, there may be some options costs such as level-2 data.
Yes, you can make money trading via an app. Around 20% of traders on trading apps in the UK from regulated brokers make money.
Trading apps issued by FCA-regulated online trading platforms are safe, and your funds are protected up to £85,000 by the FSCS if a broker goes bankrupt. However, they are a high-risk type of speculation, and around 80% of traders lose money on them.
Yes, if your broker allows scalping. You can see which brokers allow scalping here.
No, a broker’s main trading platform will have more functionality and features. however, pricing and market access will be the same. However, they are very useful for staying connected to the markets and for exciting positions on the move.
You need an account with the broker that provides the trading app and if you are in the UK will have to prove your address, national insurance number and understanding of high-risk investment products.
The most popular markets are forex, indices, commodities and stocks. You can read more about the best markets to trade here.
IG is ranked as the best trading app for beginners as it offers lots of educational guides, webinars and analysis to learn. The IG trading app also has a clear interface with simple-to-use features. If you are new to trading, it is important to remember that derivatives are a high-risk form of speculation so ensure you fully understand the risks of trading before you start.
Saxo Markets has one of the best stock trading apps for professional traders. The Saxo Markets app provides direct market access CFDs, futures trading, options and access to its wide range of investment products.
IG is one of the best stock trading apps for high-net-worth individuals for two reasons. First, it can often offer better liquidity on the major instruments than the underlying exchanges due to its clients’ trading volumes and internal matching. Secondly, IG has one of the only apps you can trade with direct market access (DMA).
IG is the best app for trading CFDs as they offer the most markets (around17,000), are well established, founded in 1974, and are publically listed on the London Stock Exchange. On their app, you also get trading signals, trade analytics so you can see where you are successful, news and analysis. There is also the separate IG Trading academy app, which can teach you to be a better trader.
For more info on CFD trading see our rankings of the best CFD brokers.
City Index is one of the best apps for spread betting. They are owned by US broker StoneX which is listed on the NASDAQ, offers over 12,00 markets to trade and have some unique spread bet trading signals from their Smart Signals feature which connects the signals directly to the order feature on the app.
For more information on spread betting see our rankings of the best spread betting brokers.
CMC Markets is one of the best trading apps for forex as they offer the most forex pairs to trade. There are currently 71 forex pairs available to trade on the CMC Markets app. You can trade forex as a CFD or spread bet through CMC Markets. Second place goes to Saxo Markets, although you cannot trade forex as a spread bet through Saxo markets.
For more information on forex trading see our rankings of the best forex brokers.
IG’s trading app currently offers the most market access with 17,000 stocks, indices, commodities and forex pairs available on mobile.
CMC Markets has the tightest spreads of the CFD brokers consistently and spread betting platforms we feature.
Trading apps will be free to download, and the costs and fees should be the same as if you deal on a broker’s main platform. The two specific costs you should be mindful of when trading through an app are; execution costs and overnight financing.
Overnight financing is the cost of holding a position overnight and is charged as a percentage of your position value. This is a cost often overlooked by traders but can add up for longer-term positions. To see how much trading apps charge in overnight financing rates you can compare rates on the most popular traded markets on apps here.
Commission and spreads are the other cost to consider. Apps like Saxo Markets and Interactive brokers will charge a commission on CFDs, whilst apps from IG, City Index and CMC Markets will charge a spread. The commission is deducted from your account post-trade, whilst spreads are included in the buy-sell price quoted on your app and will be roughly equivalent to the commission. For instance,
You can see what commission and spreads trading apps charge in our comparison of UK share trading platforms.
We have ranked CMC Markets as the best app for trading commodities as they offer over 100 commodities markets, which is far more than any other broker. The app also groups commodities together by popularity and industry such as agriculture and energy, and you can trade either the cash or forward price. CMC Markets also lets you trade ETFs on individual commodities or commodity sectors.
For more information on commodities trading see our rankings of the best commodities brokers.
City Index is one of the best apps for trading indices. You can trade over 30 indices from around the world on their app as a CFD or spread bet. Plus, you get trading signals from Smart Signals and you can use their Performance Analytics feature to see what indices you trade best at what time of day and in what market conditions.
IG offers the most UK shares on its app where you can trade large, medium and small-cap stocks through the IG trading app as a CFD or spread bet. You can also invest, rather than trade in stocks via the IG app with an investment ISA account.
As a US broker Interactive Brokers offers the best access to US stocks via it’s trading app through physical shares or CFDs. IBKR does not, however, offer spread betting on US shares so you cannot trade USD shares in GBP as you can with financial spread betting brokers like IG.
Yes, you can trade crypto on a stock trading app. eToro is the best trading app we feature for cryptocurrency. However, it is important to note that the FCA has banned cryptocurrency derivatives for retail traders to trade cryptocurrency via CFDs or spread betting. So when you trade cryptocurrency, you have to buy and sell it as an investment on a non-leveraged basis. If you qualify, you can still trade crypto on an app if you have a professional trading account, but you do not get the same protection from the FCA are retail traders do.
Saxo Markets provides access to all the futures markets you can trade on its online platform via DMA connectivity. The futures trading app is robust and has good order execution options.
This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. However, if you would rather visit the trading apps via a non-affiliate link, you can view them directly here: