In 2016 there are no longer any reasons to keep your dating confined to the “real world”. While once there was a stigma attached to online dating; that’s long gone and healthy love lives around the world are given their impetus thanks to a string of mobile dating apps. But which apps are the best for meeting somebody? Here’s our guide to the 12 best dating apps currently available to you:
Coffee Meets Bagel
Speed dating, of sorts, comes to the smartphone app with Coffee Meets Bagel. Once the system has told you that you have a match – you have a week to get talking or they delete the match and they never come up on your list again. While their website brags that hundreds of couples a week meet their match through the app – we don’t see much advantage to the rushed approach compared to other apps of its type.
Down dispenses with all the pretense of other dating apps and lets you get straight to the point – do you want a relationship or just a quick bang? If all you need is a hook up then all you have to do is tell the app and it will direct you to others seeking a fun fling and hopefully leave a few less broken hearts along the way. Messaging is limited to people who’ve both hit the “like” button on each other and there’s a rating system which compares you to everyone else using the app (which can be an ego boost or quite hurtful). With 4 million users globally, Down seems like a pretty safe bet to find a match.
The oldest dating app of them all is for the gay and bisexual and bi-curious gentlemen among us. It’s also one of the most fully-featured apps in the dating sphere thanks to its huge headstart to market compared to many other services. It’s a social network as much as it is a dating app and that means it might be easier to meet a partner (be it temporary or permanent) through general interaction on the app.
As you might expect, HER caters exclusively to a lesbian audience so gentleman please don’t waste your time. Actually, it’s not fair to say it’s exclusively lesbian – bi-ladies and bi-curious ladies are also welcome. The HER app is much more of an experience than just a dating app and comes with a bunch of feature rich social media and social networking functionality. It’s a classy app for the classy lady looking for love or just some hot sex.
We’re not sure how popular Hinge will be in the long run. It’s a unique take on the dating app which takes your social media data to see how it can create connections between you and “friends of friends”. That’s great if you’re looking for a serious relationship but might be a serious concern if all you want to do is love ‘em and leave ‘em. It also provides a much shallower dating pool than the other apps because of the limits to the number of friends you are likely to have.
Hitch rather like Hinge requires you get your friends involved and in this case, it expects your friends to personally introduce you to a potential mate. That might be a big turn off for many people as it might cause a strain on friendships when you ask someone to introduce you to the 20th person that month. In the long run – we think this is an unnecessary burden to place on online dating and Hitch may have a short shelf life.
HowAboutWe aims to take some of the leg work out of dating. Not only does it help you find a match but it also gets you to fill in a bunch of “date ideas” that it will then suggest to a potential match. The idea being that it gives you a greater chance of creating a good first impression rather than one based on looks alone. We don’t know whether that actually works in practice but it sounds like a great idea to us.
Another of the Internet’s dating site giants, Match.com, also offers a mobile application to get you hooked up with others. The downside? It’s a subscription based service which means you’re going to have to pay if you want to play. However, it does bring a certain algorithmic genius to finding matches which some of the other apps do not and you can still use a “Discover” function if you can’t be bothered to fill in the forms.
OKCupid is a mobile app extension of one of the world’s most used dating websites. They estimate that a million people a week download and install the app on their smartphone; so there should be plenty of dating opportunities. You’ll need to hand over rather more data to OKCupid than you do to Tinder to get the most from it. It’s also pretty good for those people who aren’t heterosexual as it caters for gays, lesbians and bisexuals too. It’s worth noting that the best features of OKCupid cost money to activate.
There are some online rumbles about the PlentyOfFish dating community being a little peculiar but nothing so bad that we can’t recommend the free trial of their app either. However, as with some other apps – if you want the best features, you’ll have to pay to subscribe, so you might want to dip your toes in the water carefully. Be warned that if you receive a message, the app tells the other person if you read or delete it.
Available, for the moment, on iOS only; Tastebuds tries to do something a little bit different in the dating app game. Instead of introducing people based on pictures or friends’ recommendations – it tries to connect people based on their musical preferences. Then you can start your date at a gig or a venue. Other than that it functions in a very similar manner to Tinder, so shallow looks based dating will still have the edge.
Tinder is quite simply the world’s most popular dating app. Famed for its ability to bring you an instant hookup, often without so much as a single string attached, anywhere on earth – if you don’t have this on your iPhone or Android cellphone; you’re missing out. They claim that since 2012 they’ve arranged 12 billion matches. The only thing you might not like about Tinder is that it’s exceedingly shallow – if you’re hot in photographs; you’ll be inundated with dating options but if you’re not, you won’t.