No one ever said that finding the perfect mate was easy, but the mobile Internet has put almost every single person in your vicinity at your fingertips. Even a few years ago, Internet dating meant tethering yourself to your computer. Thanks to mobile devices and location-sensing apps, however, the whole world has become your playground for dates, hookups and long-term relationships. Valentine’s Day may have come and gone, but you can still check out our top dating, hook-up and meet-up apps that will help you find the Right One… or the Right Now.
Badoo puts a premium on making sure that its users are actual verified people, instead of “catfish”-style scams, with verification methods based on uploaded photos, connected social media accounts and phone verification. While the app is free to use, you can also buy premium credits to increase visibility or subscribe to gain “Super Powers,” which provide expanded features. Badoo is a dating-focused social network, founded in 2006, with offices in London, Malta, Moscow and the US. It operates in 190 countries and is available in 47 different languages, making it the world’s most widely used dating network to date.
The risque parlor game gets an app makeover with FMK, an Android app that’s part joke, social experiment, and dating app. You log in with your Facebook account, and when you want to play, the app presents three profiles to you; you get to choose who you’d want to have fun with, who you might be interested in long term, and who you’d definitely want to avoid. If you and another person give the same answer, then you get matched and can chat each other up in the same app. Cute or gimmicky? Your mileage will vary.
Tinder (Android, iOS)
Tinder (Android, iOS) blazed the trail, set by Grindr, toward a world of swipe and scroll dating apps. On its face Tinder encourages you to make shallow, snap judgments about potential partners. You create a simple profile with a handful of photos and a few sentences about yourself, then throw yourself at the Internet’s mercy. The app displays singles in your area. If you like one, swipe the photo to the right; otherwise, swipe to the left. If you both swipe right, you can send messages and set something up. New features include GIF messaging, uploading profile photos from your phone and the ability to ‘like’ chat messages.
Bumble is one of those dating apps that tries to shake things up. It’ll match you like normal. However, women get to initiate chats first. She’ll have 24 hours to do so and then the man will have 24 hours to reciprocate. In homosexual matches, either one can go first. Many have touted this as a way to weed out creepy people. However, considering that lying exists, we don’t know how true that really is. In any case, the app works well enough. It has plenty of bugs and issues that it still needs to work out, but the underlying system mostly works.
Match.com is one of the more traditional dating apps and sites. In fact, you’ll do most of your stuff on Match with its official website. The app certainly has its fair share of problems, but it should be usable for most things. It lets you rate your daily matches, exchange messages with people, and search for people. It’s worth picking up the app if you already use (or intend to use) the website. It works best as a companion to the real thing as opposed to the main way you engage with Match.com. At least the app is free to download.
OkCupid is one of the few dating apps that doesn’t require Facebook to sign up. You create a username and fill out a very long profile, which you can link to your Instagram account if you choose (which is, admittedly, almost Facebook). You can answer questions, giving both your answer and what you’d like your potential match’s answer to be. This creates a percentile score for users that reflects your compatibility. You can also choose to make your answers public and note how important they are to you.