Thursday, September 05, 2013

Browsing the free dating apps for Android

Dating sites are no longer the preserve for the weird and dateless. Now everyone is giving them a try and getting their hands dirty in the world of online dating. There’s a lot of choice too now and of course dating sites and app producers have decided to get involved with the mobile market.

Unsurprisingly there’s a huge range of free to download apps you can find on the Google Play Store where you can find Mr or Miss right. Remember however in some cases a lot of the functionality can only be accessed with a premium subscription or a micro purchase, so it’s questionable just how “free” they actually are but here goes nothing!

Here is one man’s view of the Android dating app landscape and some of the choicest apps on offer.

Tinder
Tinder is one of the hottest apps on the market right now allowing you to simply choose a partner based on a profile image. If you both like each other’s photo then you can chat. However, it doesn’t work for my Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini despite several app updates and tinkering so…
0/10 (until they fix it and I can actually test it)

Swipe 
Almost a complete clone of Tinder, but with the features of Snapchat added into the mix. It is however buggy as sin with a fiddly interface with Facebook, which is the sole means for logging in and changing your photo. The preference filters are a bit limited however. You can only search by age and gender and they should perhaps filter things down so that you can choose whether or not you want to date someone with kids, as the amount of babies you come across when searching for a lady can be a bit off-putting if you want your relationships to remain childless for the time being. That being said it was one of the best dating apps I tried (not bad considering many of them didn’t work to begin with).
7/10

OkCupid
One of the biggest dating sites on the market and for good reason. There are a huge amount of people using it and it has some really targeted matching algorithms. The app isn’t without its bugs but is pretty solid overall. However, the downside is that there are many prompts to upgrade to the paid service, but this is common on the main website as well. It is however a good way to keep up with your dating profile on the go and its Locals feature is a nice touch, incorporating the features of Tinder or Swipe.
8/10

Blendr
I have to admit I probably dedicated less time to Blendr than the others I tried as it is more of a friend making app than a dating app. That being said it was the one that didn’t leave me alone as I kept getting visitors, likes etc. Unfortunately they were all from other men, which was somewhat disheartening as a single straight male looking for straight single ladies or even just new female friends. I guess it’s a little frustrating when you’re on there to make lady friends exclusively but if they can fix the filtering then they have a pretty good app on their hands. For now it’s a somewhat laborious task to use Blendr as you have to trawl through the mess of both male and female profiles to find people you may be interested in dating. Then again as Eric Carman once quoted: “this is the way the world works! If you wanna find some quality friends, you've gotta wade through all the dicks first”.
3/10

Skout
This is what Blendr could be given the right tweaks. The app actually lets you customize who you want to meet rather than give you a ridiculous blend of all and sundry in the area. Skout is fun to use, makes great use of GPS functions to and seems to have a pretty sizable database to boot. It does however lose a few points for its point based user interface, which steers you quite forcibly towards its premium content.
5/10

Hot or Not
Pretty basic with a Tinder-style “I like or don’t like the look of this user” like or reject function. Like many on this list it has a real problem when it comes to filtering so don’t be surprised if you find yourself rating people of the same sex frequently, whether you’re interested in them or not. This is a bit strange as it almost comes across as more vapid then the other free apps of this nature (which are by no means ) as you are literally voting on “beautiful people” throughout. What’s more, it only goes to highlight the oversaturation of men on this service as I think a girl came up less than one in six times and also lacks the cool swipe function of Swipe or Tinder, which can make it seem a bit more cumbersome.
5/10

PlentyOfFish (POF)
Another of the big hitters of the dating market with many anecdotal success stories and a very large database of users. The app as you might expect is one of the better ones out there. Unlike the others that rely on your Facebook details for access it is very customisable and has lots of great ways to advertise yourself. That being said it does feel a bit over detailed for an app. This is also just an old fashioned straightforward dating website port and doesn’t seem to have many special features for the mobile app. Then again it is good for keeping your profile up to date on the go and it makes good use of the phone’s location functionality to browse profiles in the vicinity.
8/10

Swoon
I would love to tell you that Swoon is great but the App seemed to be under the impression that I had no Facebook profile picture (I do) and wouldn’t let me log in. So I have no choice but to give it no points.
0/10

Do you have any interesting dating app stories or recommendations? If so post them below. No Spambots please.

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