Forex in Your Pocket: How Does Mobile Trading Develop Through the Years


  1. The evolution of mobile trading
  2. How does Forex work on Android?
  3. Quotes – viewing pricing information
  4. Charts – chart management
  5. Trade
  6. History
  7. News
  8. Messages
  9. Pros and cons of mobile trading

After the release of the MetaTrader trading platform, the developers decided to put it on the PDA screens. Mobile terminals for distant trading appeared. To learn how the mobile apps have being developed, read this article.

The evolution of mobile trading

The history of mobile applications by MetaQuotes Software Corp. has begun in 2003. Mobile terminals have evolved along with portable gadgets:


Today MT4 mobile apps are powered by the most popular operating systems – iOS and Android. They have everything you need for successful trading.

Applications are actively developed, new builds are regularly released. Trading becomes more comfortable, functionality – more powerful, design – more modern. Step by step mobile apps have received many features: technical indicators, push-notifications, the Crosshair mode etc.

Updates of the MetaTrader 4 Android OS

30 May 2012 – 30 technical indicators –

13 June 2012 – Push notifications –

12 November 2012 – the Crosshair mode –

28 February 2015 – redesign of the interface according to Google Style Guide recommendations –

17 September 2015 – 24 Analytical Objects and OTP Authentication –

18 May 2016 – detailed information on deals, Ask-line on the chart –

16 October 2016 – chats and editing indicator levels –

How does Forex work on Android

MetaTrader 4 for Android is a smalled edition of the desktop platform. Applications are installed on smartphones and tablets with Android 4.0 or higher.

Where to download and how to install the trading terminal, read in the article “MetaTrader 4 Android Tutorial – How to Install the Trading Platform with a Few Clicks”.

The software works on all smartphones and tablets and supports all screen resolutions. The application is suitable for both tablets and smartphones, so you download the same application in the Google Play Market. Platform interfaces differ from each other and are optimized for working on these devices.

Now let’s look inside MetaTrader 4 Android OS for smartphones. The app has user-friendly interface. There are six tabs in the bottom toolbar: quotes, charts, trade, history, news, messages. These elements are duplicated in the side menu.

Side and bottom menu
Side and bottom menu

Let’s consider each tab.


In this window, real-time quotes on financial instruments are translated. The information on the quotes can be represented either in brief or detailed form. If you choose the detailed price information, you will see the following: Spread, High/Low prices, Ask and Bid prices, the time of the last quote.

The brief/detailed representation of price information
The brief/detailed representation of price information

To switch between the detailed and brief modes, open the context menu by clicking on any currency pair.

You can add new or hide unnecessary symbols in the “Quotes” tab:

add new symbol add new symbol, a window with the symbol groups (Forex/Major, Forex/Crosses, Metals etc) will be opened.

hide unused symbol hide unused symbol, it is recommended for saving traffic.

Charts – chart management

Chart occupies the main part of the desktop. Control elements are distributed between the top toolbar and radial menu.

The Charts tab
The “Charts” tab

The top toolbar consists of 5 elements:

Crosshair – view the date, price, indicator values at any point on the chart. Tap the crosshair icon and move the crosshair on the point of the chart. Date and price will be displayed on the horizontal and vertical axis.

The Crosshair mode
The “Crosshair mode”

Indicators – work with the indicators. There are 30 technical indicators in the mobile application, which are grouped into classes: trend, oscillators, volume indicators and Bill Williams` indicators.

To go to a page with indicators, tap on the “Indicators” icon, a window with the already added indicators will be opened:

The "Indicators" window
The “Indicators” window

How to add an indicator? For example, you want to add the MACD indicator. To do this, click on the icon next to the desired chart window. In this case, it is the indicator window, the indicator will be built in a separate window. A list with all indicators will be opened. Choose the MACD, set the parameters or leave the default settings and click “Done”. The indicator will appear in the window below the chart.

The MACD histogram in the indicator window
The MACD histogram in the indicator window

To delete the indicator, go to the tab with indicators and then click on the delete icon in the upper part of the window. Tick the indicator you want to delete and tap the delete icon.

Deleting indicators
Deleting indicators

Symbol – look through the chart of another currency pair.

Selecting a chart of another symbol
Selecting a chart of another symbol

Timeframes – select a time interval. To change the timeframe, click on the “Timeframes” icon and select the desired one from the dropdown list.

Selecting the timeframe

Order management – go to the trading on the currency pair of the current chart. To place trading positions on a financial instrument, tap the icon on the top toolbar. A window will be opened where you must select the execution method, specify the amount of the order, place Stop Loss and Take Profit, and select the order type.

Position opening
Position opening

We’ve considered the top toolbar, now go to the radial menu. Many elements are duplicated here. To open the radial menu, tap the chart. You’ll see the following elements:

  • timeframes;
  • indicators;
  • the “Crosshair” mode;
  • analytical objects: lines, channels, patterns etc.

Charts on the mobile terminals are customized as flexibly as on the desktop.
To set up a chart on your own way, open the context menu and select “Settings”. Here you can change chart representation on candlesticks, bars or lines; show OHLC (Open, High, Low and Close prices), data window, volumes, trade levels; choose a color scheme of the chart and its elements etc.

Charts settings
Charts settings

Mobile versions support portrait and landscape chart orientations. To view the chart in full-screen mode, rotate your smartphone.

The chart in full-screen mode
The chart in full-screen mode

Charts support zooming and scrolling using the multi-touch. When increasing the distance between the fingers, the chart is zoomed in, when dragging the fingers towards each other – zoomed out. To scroll the graph, drag your finger across the display left and right.


The “Trade” tab shows the current status of the account (balance, equity, margin level), as well as positions and pending orders. You can also manage trade orders and learn the detailed information about each transaction.


The history of trading operations is displayed in the “History” tab. The history can be filtered by time period. To do this, click on the calendar icon at the top of the display and select the desired time period from the drop down list.

Selecting the period of history appearance
Selecting the period of history appearance


The “News” tab shows a list of the news, release time, subject and category. The list is automatically updated with the news release. To read the news, click on it.

The news list in MetaTrader 4 Android
The news list in MetaTrader 4 Android

News in MetaTrader 4 are divided into categories. Tap the folder icon to select the desired category or add news to your favorites.

If you do not want to receive the news, turn off this feature in the settings. It saves traffic.


MetaTrader 4 Android supports push-notifications. How do the push-notifications work? You get messages about a variety of events and updates on your smartphone from the MetaTrader 4 desktop or For example, if new trading signal appears, your trading robot from MetaTrader 4 will notify you.

To subscribe to the notifications, you must specify the MetaQuotes ID. MetaQuotes ID is user`s ID that is assigned when you install a mobile application. It can be found in the “Messages” section.

In 2016, MetaQuotes Software Corp. developers have released a new build for MetaTrader 4 Android. They have launched a chat, where users can communicate with other traders of To start the discussion, you should sign in. Click “Sign in”, enter your username and password from If you do not have an account on the, click “Register”, create a login and enter the email address, an email with the password will be sent to the address you specify.

MT4 mobile applications have reached the mark of one million users long since. The number of downloads in the Google Play Market and the App Store is constantly growing, as well as the number of brokerage companies, providing its customers with MetaTrader 4. In 2015, MetaTrader applications for iOS and Android have been named the “Best Mobile Product” at the Finance Magnates London Summit Awards.

Futuristic smartphone – it is interesting, how will the MetaTrader 4 work on such a smartphone?
Futuristic smartphone – it is interesting, how will the MetaTrader 4 work on such a smartphone?

Pros and cons of mobile trading

smartphone you can trade from everywhere, the main requirement is Internet access (WiFi or mobile internet GPRS/EDGE/3G)droid trading robots and advisers are not available at the moment
devices the terminal is synchronized with the desktop platform. Operations performed on your smartphone are correctly displayed on the computer and they can be managedwallet depending on the tariff plan the mobile internet can cost a significant amount. You can reduce Internet traffic consumption by hiding the unnecessary symbols of financial instruments or turn off the news flow
battery modern smartphones work 24 hours without additional charge and are always at hand wifi the low quality of mobile communication on the subway, supermarkets or out of town can affect the speed of order execution