Coinbase Launches Dedicated Mobile App for Coinbase Pro Users, but Was It Needed?

Siamak Masnavi

On Thursday (October 10), Coinbase announced a dedicated mobile app (iOS only for now) for users of Coinbase Pro, its platform for experienced/professional traders. But since there was already a great mobile website, is this mobile app really necessary?

In a blog post published on Thursday (October 10), Linda Xie, the Product Manager for Coinbase Pro, explained that crypto trades 24/7, it is important for crypto trades to be able to trade from anywhere at any time, and that was why Coinbase was launching a dedicated mobile app for Coinbase Pro mobile app, a "mobile-first trading platform that was built with a focus on speed, ease of use, and a clean, streamlined trading experience." 

The iOS version of the app, which was launched yesterday, has four main tabs:

  • the first tab shows the trading pairs available in your region of the world; tapping on a trading pair will let you a live candlestick chart, the order book, your active orders, and the trading history for this pair; also, it is possible to buy/sell crypto from this screen;
  • the second tab shows your crypto portfolio; you can also deposit/withdraw crypto from here;
  • the third tab shows your past and active/open orders, as well as let you check fees/limits; and
  • the fourth tab lets you view/edit your profile page.

Xie goes on to say that since the web version of Coinbase Pro was launched, users have been asking for "a mobile trading experience." That makes sense.

What is confusing, though, is what she says next:

That’s because, until now, our customers have had to make a choice: usability or mobility.

This statement assumes that there was nothing available until October 10 that offered both usability and mobility.

However, as the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the Coinbase website points out, the Coinbase Pro website has been "mobile-friendly" (or mobile-optimized) for quite a while, and it provides an excellent interface to the full feature set of the Coinbase Pro platform, something which this new mobile app cannot claim (e.g. if you wish to withdraw/deposit fiat currency, the app asks you to visit the Coinbase Pro website). Furthermore, the existing mobile-optimized website is available right now to the many users of Coinbase Pro that have Android-powered phones/tablets, whereas currently there is no Android version of the mobile app that was announced yesterday.

Here are a few screenshots of the Coinbase Pro interface taken from the Chrome mobile browser on an Android phone:

Screenshot_20191011_130655_com.android.chrome.jpg      Screenshot_20191011_130629_com.android.chrome.jpg      Screenshot_20191011_130621_com.android.chrome.jpg

It is very likely that Coinbase felt that it had to make a dedicated mobile app for Coinbase Pro for the following reasons:

  • competing crypto exchanges that do not have separate platforms for novice and advanced users, such as Binance, already offered a mobile app, and so many Coinbase Pro users must have been asking Coinbase when they would be able to trade on Coinbase Pro via a mobile app;
  • you can easily see reviews for a mobile app (via the app stores it is available on), but there is no central repository for reviews of a website;
  • seeing a mobile app's icon on your mobile device's "desktop" kind of provides free advertising for your company's brand; and
  • a dedicated native mobile app can potentially offer features that are not either not so easy to provide via a website (one example that comes to mind is notifications).

Featured Image Courtesy of Coinbase