Late last year, Straw was launched as a new service for Windows Phone that lets you post a question to your entire social network and get the responses delivered directly to your email inbox, your phone via SMS, or within the app in a visual manner. Best of all, the Straw app for Windows Phone is free. Now, Straw has received a major update to version 2.0 and this app not only lets you poll your family and friends, but now the whole world via StrawCast.
First, let’s dive into the new features of Straw 2.0. The app now features a new sign-in and sign-up process, allowing you to log in via your favorite social network service like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft Account, and LinkedIn. You can even create a personal and personalized Straw account. The app has also received a visual overhaul and is now much more modern than before — looking great on Windows Phone, as well as Android and iOS. Co-author Ben Rudolph takes us through the new features in this video:
You can set your poll results private so you can receive results but those that vote wont see the results immediately. You can now easily copy the poll link by swiping left on any polls that are in-progress or completed. Best of all, when you create a new poll, you now have the option to generate custom embed code. You can also edit polls in real-time without having to close your poll, make your changes, and re-post your poll. Then there is StrawCast — probably the biggest feature of Straw 2.0.
What is StrawCast?
Not only can you create a poll for your friends and family members, but you can also broadcast your pull to everyone who has the Straw app installed. You can also broadcast your poll to everyone who follows the @strawcast Twitter handle. This allows your poll to be seen by thousands of people and gives you feedback from those outside your social circle.
“Here’s how it works: Create a poll, and when you’re ready to post, tap the “StrawCast” button on the poll creation screen. Now, in addition to going straight to your social networks, or your friends via SMS, your poll will be broadcast to everyone who has the Straw app installed on their phone. It’ll show up in the StrawCast pane on the main poll screen. Your poll will be broadcast to the world on the @strawcast twitter handle, dramatically increasing its reach.”
Straw is an awesome social polling app and is very easy to use. Just launch the app, create a poll by making your choices, add any pictures, and select which social networks to publish to. You can share your polls and instantly get results. Voting is also anonymous.
One thing to note about Straw is that it is co-developed by Microsoft’s own Windows Phone guru Ben Rudolph. In fact, the app is also maintained by three other seasoned Microsoft employees — Nate Gunderson (senior design manager for Skype), Craig Kitterman, and Jason Wilmot. However, this is not an official Microsoft service. You can snag the app via the download link below and check out the website at www.pollwithstraw.com.
Microsoft, Straw, Windows Phone