If you thought that the Internet is swarmed with popular dating sites, just look at the app store on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll stumble upon a ton of mobile applications, all aiming to bring you closer to other people to make new friends or to find a relationship. There are the dating apps that belong to the more traditional dating websites and matchmaking services from the earlier days of the internet. These include big name dating websites, like OkCupid or eHarmony that developed an app that mirrors the features of their site. And then there are the new kids on the block: fresh new matchmaking apps that are up and coming, each with a unique approach. You know Tinder right? That one is just the tip of the iceberg, because its competitors have arrived!
The Phone, The App, and The Tinder
One could cast stone at these apps, saying that all they do is copy Tinder to steal its users. In reality, not every dating site is a cheap means to get into bed with strangers. This is especially true with the apps belonging to dating websites, which showcase the same qualities and service the original site has. The traditional dating sites lack the location-based matchmaking, as they rather use a system that matches people by their preferences and inner qualities. The same could be said for the standalone apps, as their creators realized people are fed up with the shallow experiences and disappointing conversations on Tinder, and that’s why they’ve come up with something new.
Dating Apps Like Tinder
When Tinder first appeared, it took the dating world by storm. Everyone was blown away by it, and its user base skyrocketed. But as time passed, people started to realize its flaws. It’s overly simplified, a shallow excuse for serious matchmaking, and people only use it to flirt or hookup. This lead to a new generation of independent dating apps, which often utilize the same location based matchmaking and sweeping approach, but with innovative new ingredients added to the boring old mix. The listed applications are all free, and available for iOS and Android systems. Take a chance with these latest Tinder challengers, if you are bored with Tinder.
Lovoo is a dating app created in 2011, which steadily gained a huge base of followers all around the world, particularly in Germany. This free app weighs just 13MB, and uses your phone’s GPS to find nearby matches for you. After you set sight on someone attractive, you can try to win the person over by sending messages or virtual gifts. Unlike Tinder, Lovoo heavily emphasizes high quality profiles. After logging in, the system repeatedly asks you to verify yourself. This earns you a more trusted status, as people can set to be only contacted by verified users. Lovoo also dares to challenge Tinder with a richer set of functions. It has a more complex interface, and adds some variables to the matchmaking. Other than the automatic picks, you can also initiate a search with custom filters you set, or activate the Live Radar. Lastly, Lovoo is very tolerant towards people who wish to stick with a freemium account. There is a large set of complimentary features, and people can earn credits by watching videos or checking out Tapjoy offers.
Happn is a relatively new player on the field of Tinder competitors. Starting with Happn is very easy: just download the app, and use your Facebook account to register. It won’t post anything under your name, but it spares you from the hassle of providing basic details. Happn operates in a 250m radius, and displays people who match your age gap and gender preference. The interesting thing in Happn is that it presents you an actual map, showing you where you and your potential matches crossed paths, and how many times you were close to each other. The people you see aren’t complete strangers, as the app lets you know the profession of your dates next to their profile pictures. This is a big step up compared to Tinder, but the differences don’t stop here. While most dating apps in this category only let people chat after the match is mutual, Happn gives you a head start by allowing you to send a “charm” . It’s a simple notification sign, but it ensures you’ll get the attention you deserve.
Badoo is a social slash dating app that wants to shake off the bias people have about these networks. The concept is simple: while Facebook is the place for your long-time friends, and Tinder is for casual hookups, Badoo wants to be the platform where you can meet new friends. The creators intended it to be different from the shallow dating sites, thus entrusting the choice to you. The GPS functionality shows you people around you, and you can decide whether you want to make friends with someone, or move on for something more serious. The people you see appear can be secretly rated, and if the feelings are mutual, you can start chatting, and the rest is up to you. Sadly, Badoo falls into the same category as Tinder and the rest of the bunch, as people use it mainly for dating and hookups. After signing in for the first time, it very eagerly indicates a large number of people who all seem to be interested in you. Also, it shares the same business model with some dating sites, allowing you to register for free with one hand, while restricting you with the other.
Bumble is a location-based dating app that matches people based on their physical attraction. It’s available on both iOS and Android, and weighs only 8MB. Bumble is compatible with your Facebook account, and uses it as a means to verify your age, as only people above 17 can register. The basic premise is identical to Tinder’s; you have the option to like and dislike profiles with simple sweeping gestures, and you can chat in case the interest is mutual. But there is a catch with Bumble: only the women can start a conversation. Guys are powerless in this situation, since they are the wallflowers here. The connection also expires after a day, but you can prolong it for another 24 hours with one girl per day. So choose wisely! The downside of Bumble is you can’t narrow down your searches. The only filters you can set are related to the age gap and the preferred gender.
Hinge is considered to be the “safer Tinder” ; a dating app that tries to avoid the sexist marks, while promoting the idea of friendship and loving relationship between young adults. The site is targeted towards younger women and men, as well as intellectuals who just started their new independent life, but struggle to meet new people. Although it lacks the iconic “swipe left or right” feature, Hinge introduces you to a couple of matches from your close vicinity every day, as well as showing interesting people you cross paths with. The registration requires a Facebook account, as the app displays some of your Facebook profile information, including your relationship status. It should be noted that the system only matches people who have mutual Facebook friends. This seems to be a restriction at first, but it gives people a sense of security, and it makes for a great icebreaker. Hinge also removed the annoying match expiration, which drove many people crazy as they waited for a reply. The only problem with the app is that it’s only available in a limited number of American cities, plus some international capitals like London.
Traditional Dating Sites Apps
Unlike their website counterparts, these “traditional” apps can be considered as the miniature version of the service available on the internet. But this doesn’t do justice for them, as the developers often went out of their way to add an even better visual design, rearrange the layout to fit the touch-based screen, or changed the layout of the profiles. Not to mention you receive instant notifications when someone contacts you, a definite advantage over the websites.
A highly popular online dating site, eHarmony earned its prestige by adding an innovative personality evaluation test to its features. As a service that keeps up with the trends, it’s no wonder that eHarmony also is also present on smartphones. The app is only 20MB big, and doesn’t require using a Facebook or Google+ account. The ability to take your dates everywhere with you is definitely handy, but they went so far that they redesigned the menu system to fit the smaller screens better. This isn’t quite apparent during the registration, as the same modest design and overly simplified questions are present, just fitted for touch-control. As the answers you give during the signup are pretty important, be prepared to spend more than an hour finalizing the registration. This step might be done on the computer though, to avoid draining your phone’s batteries. eHarmony has a practical layout that emphasizes the profile pictures when browsing. Most of the time you need to swipe vertical, mostly during searches and on the profiles. The menus are located at the bottom of the screen, and all functions can be easily accessed.
Date.com is one of the flagships of the Avalanche group, a group consisting numerous dating sites all targeting different audiences. Date.com is considered to be a standard, “everything goes” service that is open for everyone around the world. You can get all the matchmaking features Date.com has to offer with their slim application, which rocks only 320 kb, ensuring you don’t need to dedicate too much space on your phone to stay in touch with your romances. Just like with the original site, the registration can be done in a few steps, but you can skip it altogether if you sync sync your Facebook account. This app makes some parts of the date searching easier. For example, typing messages is far more convenient this way, not to mention you can upload photos and selfies right away. And you’ll be notified instantly when something noteworthy happens on your account. When you use the browse feature, your results will be displayed by their pictures and you’ll get more info on them after you checked them out. To make space for the pictures, the menu items are hidden in a tab at the top-right corner.
OkCupid is a famous player in the online dating world, thanks to its international nature and your ability to live chat with others even if you have a freemium account. OkCupid borrows elements from popular social media sites, and uses them to enhance the dating experience. These features make using its smartphone app a pleasant experience. The app takes up just 3MB, and you can manage registering without linking your Facebook or Google+ account. The registration is easily manageable even on the phone, and doesn’t take much time either. OkCupid makes good use of the touchscreen when it comes to interacting with others, with the on-screen buttons clearly indicating your options. This is also the case when answering to quiz questions, where the answers are associated to middle-sized pictures instead of words. The search list is divided into smaller fragments, so you can see multiple profiles at once, which prompts you to cover more people with fewer sweeps. When you pick someone, it enlarges the person’s photo and shows the whole profile. You even get the option to go through a large number of possible partners in a rapid-swipe manner, just like in Tinder.
Plenty of Fish
Free email messages is a feature not every dating service offers people who didn’t subscribe. Luckily, Plenty of Fish is one of the refreshing exceptions. And the popular site made sure that you can enjoy the service even on your smartphone. The app is the preferable choice for those who are on the go, and who have no time to sit before a computer. After downloading the 17MB worth of data onto your phone, you can sign up with your old account, or create a new one. The registration is a bit blunt, so it’s recommended finishing this step on a PC. The app shares the same visual design as the website, with a few tweaks added here and there. For example, the search results are listed in a top-down catalog like manner, showing you the profile pictures. The message menu resembles Facebook a lot, and you can run through the recommended profiles à la Tinder. The app is compatible with other popular social media platforms as well, as they recently added the option to upload images from your Instagram account, too.
Match.com is the UK’s best-known dating site and is vastly popular in the U.S., with a mission to help people find love, no matter how you aim to achieve it. This open stance is also displayed when it comes to their full smartphone support. You can either access the site from your phone’s browser, or download the Match.com app. It’s highly advised to check out this possibility, as the application is a huge step up to the website in both visual and browsing experience. The Match.com mobile app has a nice blue design, and the menu icons are placed in a convenient way. Checking out someone’s profile is far easier, and it has an intuitive layout that makes the constant browsing a pleasant feeling. Profile pictures are in the focus, but they don’t hog the space from other info – you just need to sweep down. It should be mentioned that just like with the original site, you don’t have access to much features unless you subscribe. This is a shame, as the live chat is far easier on the smartphones. Still, the creators deserve a tip of the hat, as their app is available even for smartwatch users.