Dating is hard. First you have to actually get dressed and leave the house. Then you have to go to public places and actually talk to people, bracing for rejection 90 percent of the time. For a lonely single, that sounds like a whole lot of work. Why even take a shower or brush your teeth when finding love is only a few swipes away on your Android device? Here are the top dating apps you should be using to find love (or a quick hook up) and the type of people you will meet on each.
Swipe to the right if you like them. Swipe to the left if you don’t. Tinder might just be the hottest dating app around these days, and it earns that status thanks to a simplified interface that provides minimal details on potential matches, instead asking you to make a decision based largely on appearance. If you both swipe right, it’s a match and you can begin communicating. Tinder has been dubbed little more than a “hook up” app by concerned parents and conservative fearmongers, but if you think it’s that easy to find a little fun in the sheets you will be sorely mistaken.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: Are these girls looking to hook up? The fact that they are on Tinder suggests so, but they would never admit it. You’ll have to do most of the talking, and expect some hesitancy when trying to arrange a date as your match attempts to decipher whether you are merely a creeper looking to get in her pants or not.
For girls: Prepare yourself for countless and sundry unsolicited proposals of the sexual variety. Sure, there might be some nice guys lurking somewhere on Tinder, but most conversations start with an icebreaker along the lines of “OMGZ SO YOU WANT TO SEE A DICK PIC OR WHAT!?”
This internet dating stalwart tends to attract individuals often described as “alternative” and is a haven for lonely hipster singles. While OkCupid has always focused on pairing up couples via a match percentage determined by completing a series of questions covering life views, relationship etiquette, and personal opinions, their mobile app has been updated to include Tinder-like picture swiping. While not as immediately satisfying as Tinder in that regard, it does add a bit of life to the search for Mr. or Ms. Right. Expect plenty of messaging before setting up an inevitably awkward first date at a local coffee shop or bar.
Who you’ll meet:
For guys: You know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? In the case of OkCupid, a picture is worth just about nothing. Don’t expect your date to look even remotely like the carefully curated set of photos posted to her profile, but do expect a women who will likely bring up the idea of a long-term, committed relationship on the first date.
For girls: With OkCupid you pretty much have two options: Fedora Guy or sexual predator. In the case of the latter, see the above section pertaining to Tinder. If you’re lucky, you might stumble across a sensitive hipster who will likely bring up the idea of a long-term, committed relationship on the first date.
Hinge aims to take some of the creeper factor out of the dating app genre by setting you up with potential matches that already know your IRL friends. Hinge also adds an air of exclusivity by only presenting you with five matches to evaluate per day. The goal is to make meeting up less awkward and provide potential couples with a starting point for getting to know each other. If you manage to find a friend-of-a-friend who didn’t already reject you at that one party where you got a little too drunk, expect the majority of your conversation to center around boring stories of how you met your mutual acquaintances.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: Remember that party we just mentioned where you got too drunk? Expect to see plenty of girls you crushed on from across the room along with other blasts from the past including college and high school classmates. The bad news? Chances are she didn’t take an interest way back when and she still won’t.
For girls: Remember that guy that wouldn’t stop staring at you from across the room at your friend’s party? He’s on Hinge, and he is probably messaging you right now.
OK, so this one isn’t technically an Android app (yet — you can still access it via the mobile web, however), but the concept is such a refreshing take on internet matchmaking that we had to include it. That Grouper sets up two groups of friends (three guys, three girls) on a pre-arranged date at a local bar or restaurant — complete with a concierge for introductions and a round of drinks — is novel. Not so novel? The fact that these group encounters tend to dissolve quickly and you’re no more likely to hit it off with your match than with any other app on this list — with or without wingmen.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: With three options you can’t lose, right? Wrong. One girl probably has a boyfriend. The other was dragged along by her friend and is only there for moral support. This leaves one eligible bachelorette who will no doubt take an interest in any other member of the group that isn’t you. Wait, who is the wingman on this date again?
For girls: You thought one dude from the internet lusting after you was creepy enough? Try three. While Grouper presents its group scenario as an innocent way for guys and gals to meet in a comfortable, friendly setting, don’t think for a second that one or all of the guys isn’t hoping the situation might devolve into an orgy that would make even Caligula jealous.
What happens when you combine the swipe-if-you-like-them approach of Tinder with the friends-of-friends approach of Hinge? You get Down Dating, the since-refined brand of an app that launched initially as Bang with Friends. Subtle, amirite? As far as we can tell, the goal of the app is still to locate hook-up partners from within your circle of connections, but at least it now masquerades as a service that aims to bring together mutual acquaintances that might not have met otherwise. Expect most proposed dates to revolve around “watching Netflix” and several bottles of wine.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: You didn’t come here looking for love, and she didn’t either. We can’t promise that “friends with benefits” won’t evolve into “it’s complicated,” however.
For girls: You didn’t come here looking for love, and he didn’t either. Be OK with the idea that this guy will likely bombard you with drunken booty calls at 1AM for the foreseeable future.
eHarmony might as well be OurTime.com when compared to the other apps on this list. With a userbase that skews a bit on the older side, eHarmony is best reserved for those with dreams of wedding bells in their future. The app itself doesn’t offer many compelling features beyond what you will find on eHarmony’s web portal. It’s one of the few dating services that runs its own “relationship research facility” to help its users locate the perfect match. While those matches might be great for you, expect your life plans to be a focal point of any first date.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: Mature doesn’t necessarily mean old, but don’t be surprised if your date is a single mom (in most cases she won’t bring the kiddo along) or makes more money than you.
For girls: These career-oriented gents just don’t have time for dating or the singles scene. Refreshing is the fact that they are less interested in hook-ups and more interested in finding a longterm partner.
While match.com might not carry the stigma of catering to as old a crowd as eHarmony (but still a slightly more mature audience than other dating apps we have covered), expect a fairly similar experience here. Match.com users are looking for the one, and they are willing to pay cold hard cash to find a life partner. With the focus on longterm commitment, most dates will evolve into an intense, weeks to months-long trial relationship that may or may not fizzle out as quickly as it started.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: Match.com is the stomping ground of the serial monogamist. She jumps from serious boyfriend to serious boyfriend with little recovery time between. You could be next.
For girls: He’s the sweet sensitive guy just looking for love, but it comes at a price. Things could get awkward pretty quickly. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Grindr is the go-to hook up app for gay men and arguably the inspiration for Tinder and other dating apps without such a specific audience. Grindr was the first of the genre to successfully leverage location data to connect singles with potential matches in their area. While we are sure a few longterm relationships have grown from the seeds planted by a Grindr meet-up, users of the app can expect the majority of their “dates” to consist of brief, passionate trysts.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: Men looking for love, but not necessarily relationships. Be prepared for solicitations from older gentleman and young guys alike, as Grindr users run the gamut.
For girls: Perhaps some eye candy, but this is not the app for you.
Plenty of Fish
Touted as the “world’s largest dating site,” Plenty of Fish gives you plenty of opportunities. Whether you’re looking for a fun date or simply more, chances are you should be able to find someone to accompany you on the journey of love. The app itself combines elements of OkCupid (more robust profiles and browsing) and Tinder (swipe-able matches) to help you track down the perfect partner.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: The women here are pretty akin to those that also spend time browsing OkCupid, though Plenty of Fish tends to attract a slightly more mainstream audience. Be wary of the serial monogamists lurking here, as well.
For girls: Finding a straightforward man on Plenty of Fish isn’t the easiest task. The dudes here seem to deal in deception, offering an idealistic version of themselves in hopes of luring in a date.
HowAboutWe is different from many of the apps on this list in the fact that it attempts to match up singles based on proposed date ideas rather than profile pics and match percentages (don’t worry, you can still ogle your match before the date). The app aims to skip the small talk by providing the parameters of the date up front (if you’re lacking in ideas it will make suggestions based on location). Expect an early morning trip to the farmer’s market or coffee and a bike ride over drinks at a bar or dinner and a movie.
Who you’ll meet
For guys: You know that girl who can’t stop talking about her Pinterest board? She’s waiting for you at that new independently-owned cafe in that newly gentrified neighborhood with a tall iced mocha latte in hand.
For girls: His date idea says “go on a long walk through a city park,” but that’s all pretense for what will likely evolve into the typical “let’s go grab a drink” in hopes that inhibitions will be lowered enough to get what he really came for.
Which is a match for you?
We’ve covered quite a few dating apps, and while all are a fun way to meet new people and perhaps go on a few dates (and score a few free drinks in the process), which is the best match for what you are looking for? Let’s break it down.
You’re looking for…
- A quick hookup: Down Dating, Grindr
- A good time, maybe more: Tinder, HowAboutWe
- A serious relationship: OkCupid, eHarmony, match.com, Plenty of Fish
- The least awkward date possible: Grouper, Hinge
Editor’s Pick: Tinder
For its mix of addictive match swiping, easy conversation starters, and casual dating experience, Tinder is the perfect app for those looking to get their feet wet in the digital dating scene without committing a lot of time and effort into filling out profiles, completing match quizzes, and browsing through thousands of singles without aim. The app’s focus on location means new users could be set up with a date in a mere matter of hours. What comes next is all up to you.
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TAGS: Best Android Apps, Down Dating, eHarmony, Grindr, Grouper, Hinge, HowAboutWe, match.com, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, Tinder