iPad App of the Week: Show of Hands

Got a thing for political polls? How about pop-culture? Sports polls? The Show of Hands iPad app has all these and more. Don’t ask me why, but I can’t stay away.

Forget the Science

The polls on Show of Hands (free at the App Store) are totally non-scientific. It’s essentially, well, a show of hands, so view the poll results for what they are. Poll-takers aren’t chosen based on their political leanings, economic background, societal status, gender, race or any demographic. Users are simply like you and me, people who are interested in seeing how our own views jive with those of other people. If there is a demographic, it is whatever groups people who use iPads and iPhones fall into.

Use of the app is anonymous, but you’re asked, not required, to provide some information, like gender, birth year, income, political party, likely voter, and zip code. According to Show of Hands statistics, the breakdown of users is 61% male, 40% Republican, 35% Democrat, and 25% Independent.  Those numbers will change every day and with growing use of the app.

Interesting Questions

As I was downloading the app, I thought the questions would be mostly political and, if you consider current events as being “political” that may be true.  But, there are lots of other types. For instance, “Do you use twitter?” “Did you have a birthday cake on your last birthday?” “Have you ever intentionally run a red light?” and “Have you ever lived alone for a period of a year or more?”

Show of Hands polling

These questions don’t seem terribly interesting on the surface. When you’re given immediate feedback on how your answers compare to the people in your state, income level, age group, and political party, they become infectious.  After downloading the app, I must’ve answered a couple of dozen questions.

Each day, new questions are added. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself answering most of the ones shown, and there are many, and checking the archives for others.


Although not integral to the success of the app, Show of Hands has a section about politicians. If you provided your zip code, your local congressman and senators are displayed, along with their web sites and their Washington telephone numbers.

Show of Hands politicians page

For those not informed about their representatives, the politicians page is a good way to have them introduced.

As I mentioned above, Show of Hands is free. Also, to date, there are no ads to be found. As the developer, Tony Bacos, put it in his App Store comments, he’s “not a faceless mega-corp…just a dude who runs this little home-grown polling service out of my own pocket as a public service.”  Who know a little poll app would be so much fun, and educational?