Polar is a simple app designed to allow users to solicit opinions from friends and community members on whatever subject they please. The questions Polar users ask are all binary choices — hence the app’s title — but the ability to supplement one’s votes with comments allows for more detailed discussion to take place surrounding a question.
Polar may be browsed without signing up, but registering for the service is a simple process. Users must provide a username, their real name (so their friends can find them more easily — though there is no obligation to be truthful here), their email address and a password. There is no facility to sign up using Facebook or Twitter, though other parts of the app do support connectivity with these services.
Once signed up, the user may begin either creating their own polls or voting on existing ones. Voting is a simple matter of browsing the network’s content in one of three modes — viewing the “popular” feed, viewing polls from followed users, or using the “explore” option to see recent, featured and themed polls, plus explore trending hashtags. When a poll is visible, voting on it is a simple matter of tapping on the desired option, at which point the number of answers on each side of the question appear. Users may change their answer if they desire, and all polls they have voted on are collected in the “results” section of the app, so they can check back on others’ responses at a later date. It’s also possible to leave a comment on a poll, report an issue with it, skip it (a seemingly pointless option that simply marks the poll as “skipped”) or share it via Twitter, Facebook, SMS/iMessage or email. A link to the poll may also be copied to the clipboard for pasting into another app. Polls are shared as web links and may be voted on anonymously by Web users and those who do not have the app installed. This makes Polar a potentially useful tool for quickly and easily collecting feedback on “either/or” questions.
Creating a poll is very simple. Tapping the Create button on the lower toolbar brings up the creation interface, at which point the question and its two options may be customized. Up to two images may be added to the post — if both images are used, they are laid out to correspond to the two options. Images may either be imported from the devices camera/photo library or searched for online. Once a poll has been created, it can then be treated just like any other one — voted on, commented on, shared or reported.
Polar is a simple app with a clear purpose, and this clarity of approach is further supported by its excellent, clean-looking interface. The app’s layout maintains iOS interface conventions while adopting its own distinctive aesthetic through use of color and fonts, and it’s a very slick, polished-looking product. The fact that polls can be shared with Web users outside of the app is also a very useful function — while Polar doesn’t offer enough depth to perform complex surveys or detailed research, it does provide a quick and easy means of soliciting feedback on binary issues. On the whole, it’s a solid, well-designed app that performs its functions well, and for those who are interested in collecting and sharing opinions it’s a worthwhile download.
You can follow Polar’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.