Cloudy iPhone app lets you poll your friends with texts

Feb 22, 2011
Tech

Coordinating plans can be a pain when you have an opinionated or indecisive group of friends, but Cloudy might be able to make your life easier through its instant polls. Available on iPhone, iPod Touch and non-universal iPad, Cloudy relies on your Facebook account and phone number to quickly gather opinions from your friends. With […]

Coordinating plans can be a pain when you have an opinionated or indecisive group of friends, but Cloudy might be able to make your life easier through its instant polls. Available on iPhone, iPod Touch and non-universal iPad, Cloudy relies on your Facebook account and phone number to quickly gather opinions from your friends.

With Cloudy, you can send 120-character questions to anyone in your address book. As you create the question, you can select whether you want a yes/no response or up to five multiple-choice answers. After choosing if they want to allow anonymous responses, askers can send questions to select people from their address book or a pre-organized group of friends.

If your friends use Cloudy, they should receive the question through a push notification (you’ll be notified this way as friends respond), but non-Cloudy users will receive a text message from a random number with your first name and last initial for identification. And I hope your friends have unlimited texting plans. First, Cloudy sends a message to your contacts that you’ve asked a question. To see it, they must reply “yes.” Then they’ll see your question. After answering, Cloudy sends a “thank you” message. I tried a multiple-choice question for my second test, and while my friend didn’t receive a repeat intro message, they were required to send a text to see my provided answer choices. After answering, Cloudy’s service informed them that they could reply in order to add a comment to the discussion board.  The answers to your poll are displayed as percentages, and I found the replies — both answers and comments — to sync with the app instantly.

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I don’t love that Cloudy requires a Facebook account. I appreciate that Cloudy doesn’t want to force the creation of another account for the service, but as the app also grabs your phone number during signup, I was left wondering why my contact info wasn’t enough to create an account. Cloudy promises to never post to your Facebook wall, and made good on this statement during my tests.

I see Cloudy’s service being useful to the cruise director in your group of friends, but make sure your poll-ees are cool with the extraneous texts that accompany Cloudy’s questions.

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