Whether you’re conducting a raffle drawing, assigning tasks, or doing something else that requires randomly picking names, it’s a good idea to use a truly random picking method in order to do so. Out of the Hat is a great app for iPhone that lets you do just that; create groups and pick names from a hat.
I’ve always believed that there’s beauty in simplicity when it comes to iPhone apps. This is especially true when the app is trying to help you complete a task that’s, well… simple. Out of the Hat is s great way to randomly pick names from a hat without needing an actual hat or pieces of paper with names on them.
To use Out of the Hat, you need to create a group and add names to it. Groups can have a title and a description, making it easy to keep track of them if you have to make multiples Completing both of these tasks is pretty easy and self-explanatory thanks to hints. However, the hints can be a bit annoying. I’ll cover more on that in a bit.
Once your group is created and you’ve added names to it, you can make your way back to the main menu of Out of the Hat, select the group, and tap the OK button. Tap the big black hat in the middle of the screen or shake your iPhone to pick a name. You can keep doing this until you’ve reached the number of people you need, or the hat has run out of names to draw.
I mentioned something about hints just a bit ago, and they’re definitely not helpful. It looks like hints are timed, so even after you’ve acknowledged that you’re aware of what the hint is showing you, it’ll pop up again when you navigate back to where the hint appeared.
However, this is not enough to ruin Out of the Hat for me because you can easily disable hints from the settings menu. Once they’re turned off, the app functions just fine.
The only feature I wish it had is the ability to save the order in which names are pulled somewhere in a log for each group. This is merely a suggestion, though.
Overall, Out of the Hat is one of the better iPhone randomization apps I’ve seen. I can think of a ton of uses for it, from the classroom to family gatherings. It’s definitely simple enough to use, and I like the fact that you can make multiple groups for easy name picking later.
When it comes to being a paid app, you’ll definitely get your money’s worth if you need to pick random names on a regular basis.
Out of the Hat requires iOS 4.3 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
A small fee was paid by the developer for publication of this review