TD Ameritrade, E*Trade Tout Stock Scanning Apps

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you see a product and like it enough to invest in the company you can now easily do so with your smartphone in hand.

TD Ameritrade ( AMTD) calls their version "Snapstock"- a contraction, of sorts, of the words snapshot and stocks. And, it's part of their newly upgraded TD Ameritrade Mobile app. Their press release says it "allows investors to approach shopping through a whole new lens."

Snapstock uses a number of features usually found in modern-day smartphones to let you scan a product's bar code - tell you all about the company which makes that product - and then let you purchase that company's stock if you're so inclined.

The company says that using the new app is simple. All customers have to do is:
  • Use their phone's camera to invoke the Snapstock scanning software and with one tap, scan a product UPC Barcode. Snapstock will then return the quote detail for the ticker symbol if the company is publicly traded.
  • Either place a trade on the stock or add it to a watch list. Clients can also choose to view news, Level II, Charts or Option Chains for the security.

    TD Ameritrade Mobile with Snapstock is available for download for Android and iPhones.

    But, fans of other online brokerage firms should fear not. TD Ameritrade is not the only investment firm with smartphone investment apps.

    You also need to know about the Barcode Scanning feature for the E*Trade ( ETFC) Mobile app, which comes in flavors for Androids and iPhones.

    But, E*TRADE goes one step further. They also offer mobile voice recognition for iPhones (with Android app support coming soon).

    The "Voice Recognition for iPhone" feature (released two months ago) is described as being "similar to 'Siri' for investors - they can access stock quotes, news, launch a stock order ticket, etc. with the sound of their voice."

    The E*TRADE mobile apps also feature CNBC videos, mobile check deposits and mutual funds trading abilities.

    --Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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