Google Finance Mobile Web Update Is Broken On Many Platforms

Google  Finance - Markets Tab Google Finance - Broken in Opera Mini

A new iOS and Android optimized mobile web version of Google Finance (  was launched a couple of weeks ago.  It looks (image above, left) and works great on the target devices and also on my Samsung Wave Bada phone,which I used to create the screen shots. However, the update has made mobile web version of Finance unusable for anyone using anything else.Visiting the site with Opera Mini, Opera Mobile or Symbian Webkit still brings up the legacy version of the mobile Finance site.  However the financial news headlines that used to appear on the page have been replaced by the cryptic message "No results found for null" (image above, right).  There is a search box and entering some , but not all, stock symbols or a company names brings up a quote and chart.  NOK, GOOG and Sprint work but BP, S, T, C and Citibank return "No results found for" followed by your query.

Based on comments on the Google Mobile Help Forum the "No results..." issue affects BlackBerry and Windows Mobile users as well.  Help appears to be on the way. Last Friday a Google employee named Laudy posted "Hi All-- Thanks for reporting. This was caused by the new mobile interface. The Google Finance team is aware of the Blackberry issue and a fix will be available shortly."  Ah, the joys of cross-platform mobile web development.

For those who can't wait for the fix there are still several other ways to access your portfolios and Google Finance news on your phone.  Clicking the "Classic" link at the bottom of the broken mobile site takes you to the desktop version of Google Finance. That works pretty well in the better mobile browsers including Opera Mini and Nokia Webkit.  The desktop page is  too large to load in most embedded feature phone browsers, though.  Another approach that should work in almost all mobile browsers  is add your portfolio or individual stock quotes to mobile iGoogle.

Google Finance - Portfolio Tab Google Finance News Tab

On Android and I presume iOS devices the new Finance webapp is actually quite nice. It features a tabbed user interface with three tabs. The default "Markets" tab (image top, left) displays a daily chart showing the DOW, NASDAQ and S&P 500's price movement. Below the chart are market news headlines, sector summaries and the day's top losers and gainers. A second tab displays your personal Google Finance portfolio, if you have one and invites you to create one if you don't. Clicking a quote in your portfolio brings up a chart and company news.  The third "News" tab (image above, right) has more financial headlines. All three tabs have an "Quote" search box at the top for quick lookups.

The site uses AJAX extensively. If you look at the page's source code, it's almost entirely JavaScript and CSS. There's hardly any HTML at all! The design flies on the Bada phone and works well even on a somewhat pokey HTC Magic running Android 1.6. The site is very responsive and has the look an feel of a native app with near instantaneous tab switching and quotes popping into view without a full page load.

All in all a nice update on the supported devices.  Hopefully we will soon see a working version of Google Finance for all phones.

Related: WapReview Directory - Quotes & Trading

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