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In September 2022, many traders were unpleasantly surprised by Apple’s decision to ban from its AppStore the mobile apps of the industry’s most popular and widely-used trading platforms, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).
iOS devices with MetaTrader apps already installed can continue to use them, but they will not receive software updates, creating potential security risks. The problem does not affect Android mobile devices because MetaTrader platforms continue to be freely downloaded and installed from Google PlayStore. But this is not a solution for the millions of users who have no intention of replacing their iPhones and iPads with other devices. Initially, Apple’s decision even created a marketplace of used iPhones with the MetaTrader app already installed.
The tech giant did not give an explanation for the move. Industry observers point to the most likely reason as the fact that in addition to traders and forex brokers, MetaTrader is very popular among scammers. The failure of MetaTrader’s software developer, MetaQuotes, to curb the use of the platforms by fake brokers has helped the latter defraud possibly millions of people.
There was also speculation that the decision had something to do with the Russian origin of the software, but they do not seem credible given that the steps against MetaQuotes were taken solely by Apple. The tech corporation is notorious for protracted disputes with other software developers.
At the start of the new year, it looks like the hopes of MetaQuotes and Apple reaching an agreement quickly are fading. There is a distinct possibility that the ban will prove to be permanent. Given the dominant position that MetaTrader platforms have held among trading software for over a decade now, this development is sure to have noticeable implications in the long term.
The most obvious consequence is that forex traders using iOS devices will have to gradually find alternatives to MetaTrader applications. However, MetaQuotes has no intention of abandoning this market to its competitors without a fight.
In response to the ban, the Cyprus-based company started to update and upgrade the web-based version of MetaTrader more actively. In addition to improving functionality, last fall’s software updates also improved UI scaling on mobile devices.
Although the web version of the software lags behind the full-fledged desktop application, it is on par with the mobile app in terms of functionality. This means that traders accustomed to MetaTrader can continue to use their preferred platform via the web browser on their mobile devices.
However, if that’s not a convenient solution for you, you can find a host of suitable competing alternatives in Apple’s App Store.
For a large number of traders, only the basic functions are needed to carry out transactions in the financial markets. One of the most established and popular solutions for them is the TradingView app.
TradingView is best known as one of the world’s most popular charting platforms. Therefore, their trading application is not inferior to MT4 and MT5 in the possibilities of using advanced and customized charts and charting tools to monitor market trends.
TradingView also has the advantage of having an established community of users who actively share experiences and ideas, including customized scripts for analyzing market opportunities. This is also one of the biggest advantages of MetaTrader.
TradingView also offers the option to use it in demo mode, as well as an included tutorial for novice traders. The platform also features other useful tools such as a built-in economic calendar. Successful trading is highly dependent on compliance with events and developments that affect financial market movements.
In the same category can be mentioned some popular white-label solutions providing basic trading functionality offered by Match-Trade, X Open Hub or Leverate.
But TradingView and similar limited applications won’t suffice for investors who take advantage of MetaTrader’s more advanced features, most notably Expert Advisor Bots for automated trading. For them, it would be advisable to consider MetaTrader’s largest and most established competitor, the cTrader platform.
cTrader is developed by UK-based financial technology company Spotware Systems. Like MetaTrader, cTrader is a complete trading platform solution for Forex and CFD brokers to offer their traders. The platform is available in desktop, mobile and web-based versions.
It features comprehensive charting tools, a wide range of order types, technical analysis, custom indicators, level II pricing and a quick-trade option. It has chart templates and detachable charts, which can be used as stand-alone applications. cTrader actually offers more timeframes, chart types and graphical tools than MetaTrader by default.
cTrader is giving traders the opportunity to develop algorithmic trading robots to automate their trading strategies. cTrader also enables anyone to become a Strategy Provider, and to broadcast their trading strategy for a commission or fee. The platform therefore offers equivalent functionality to MetaTrader. However, the smaller user base of cTrader means that not as many community scripts are available as with MetaTrader.
The advantages of cTrader have been recognized by some leading brokers such as FxPro and Pepperstone, which offer it to their clients alongside MT4 and MT5.
And speaking of leading brands, we cannot ignore that many of them offer their own mobile apps. While only the biggest players in the industry have the resources to develop their own web or desktop-based trading software, proprietary mobile apps are relatively common. If you are a client of a more established forex broker, chances are that you already have access to an alternative mobile trading app solution.
As things stand now, these proprietary mobile apps have some advantages and some disadvantages.
The most obvious advantage is that they allow you to directly manage deposits and withdrawals through the application. Brokers also sometimes offer some bonuses and benefits to incentivize their clients to use their mobile apps.
If the broker offers a social trading service, or copy-trading, this could also be managed through the app. But on the other hand, you can’t expect access to more advanced automated trading functionality. These mobile apps also rarely offer a plethora of charting and analytics tools.
But if the disappearance of MetaTrader from Apple’s App Store proves long-term, it could spur brokers to invest in expanding the functionality and capabilities of their own apps.
As you might expect, the biggest players in the industry already have some pretty impressive mobile solutions.
3. Oanda’s app
Clients of the broker OANDA, for example, have access to a mobile app that offers highly customisable interface, customisable alerts and price signal notifications, access more than 50 technical tools, including 32 overlay indicators, 11 drawing tools, and 9 charts, trader performance analytics, economic calendar and market news.
4. FXTM Trader
FXTM is not lagging behind with its FXTM Trader. The app allows full control over your trading accounts, including the ability to deposit, withdraw and monitor your funds, to monitor your preferred instruments and access live currency rates, and quickly open and close positions.
5. FBS app
FBS is also an established broker whose own mobile app makes it easy to manage your funds and trade all available financial instruments. The broker has included a cashback promotion in the app that allows you to earn up to 20% of the spread on each trade. But the ability to benefit from this bonus depends on whether it complies with the financial regulations that are applicable in your jurisdiction.