These are our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can play the field on the go using Android or iOS devices. Dating apps never judge, only people do. Some of the apps are specifically tailored for finding lasting relationships, while others will help you find a night or two of sultry passion.
Coffee Meets Bagel (iOS) — Free
While most dating apps bombard users with hundreds of profiles detailing nearby people, Coffee Meets Bagel takes a different approach. The app works in conjunction with Facebook to set users up with friends of friends, sending them a new potential match every day at noon — one that’s hopefully less awkward because both users have some sort of connection with one another. It also only sends one prospective match a day, rendering it the perfect mobile companion for someone who doesn’t want to constantly manage their profile or invest too much time finding the right person to connect with.
HowAboutWe nixes the awkward conversation and tedious bickering about where to go and what to do on a first date. Instead of displaying potential matches you may be interested in, each person proposes a date idea and go from there. The app streamlines the process of planning, offering localized suggestions of five-star restaurants and other entertainment establishments while providing a map to ensure no users ends up at the wrong coffee shop, bar, or other meetup location. Although you can post, browse, and view profiles at any time using a freemium account, the service requires you to opt for a premium package ($8 and up) if you wish to message a particular individual or otherwise use the app’s basic functionality.
Plenty of Fish is a combination of the formidable OKCupid and like-minded Tinder. While browsing, the app shows a potential profile picture and asks whether you’re interested in said individual. After choosing one of three available answers — either no, maybe, or yes — the software will then sort your choices into lists you can later revisit on your own time. On top of the lists, the site sends suggestions of people it deems you most compatible with, based on your profile and previous selection. Premium features include extended profile viewing and first priority on the local Meet Me page, but the freemium offerings will suffice for most users. With more than 55 million members and counting, it’s tough to argue Plenty of Fish doesn’t offer universal appeal for the casual dater.
OkCupid is geared toward younger, hipper singles. The app is one of the most widely-used, featuring Facebook connectivity, powerful matching algorithms, and a host of other tools. Instead of filling out questions about how you feel about yourself, OkCupid uses polls to gauge your personality, preventing you from becoming pigeonholed into a specific type of personality as other dating services might do. The service puts greater focus on the data rather than your perception of yourself, with the mobile app offering everything the website does. You can also rate profiles and choose to show when they’re available, so you can drop everything and meet someone at the bar down the street precisely when the mood strikes.