New dating app won’t let you text your matches unless you call them first

hotline dating app
If you found sending your Tinder match a noncommittal “hello” anxiety-inducing, you might want to stop reading now.

Here to invade the nightmares of introverts, commitment-phobes, and most communicators of the 21st century is a new dating app called Hotline. It requires you to share a phone call with a match before sharing anything else. Look, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Founded by 27-year-old Sam Ballantyne, the app attempts to solve the problem of conversationless matching by sprinting headfirst in the other direction (some might say, a bit too quickly and perhaps too far). For $9 a month, you can subject yourself to a dating service in which your first conversation must be one that utilizes your voice. In order to even exchange a text message, you have to first have a five-minute phone conversation with your match (but don’t worry — your phone number won’t show up on their caller ID or anything).

Hotline attempts to help its users quickly discern whether a prospective partner is actually interesting enough or interested enough in you to really pursue. In fact, Ballantyne told CNNTech, he came up with the idea for Hotline after he matched with someone on Tinder last year. “She wouldn’t message me [again] until I called her,” Ballantyne said. “The call itself ended up being a good way to break the ice.”

So now, the classical musician turned app developer has taken that concept and turned it into a whole new business. And apparently, it’s one that’s working. Calls happen within the app so that Hotline can keep your number safe and track how long these calls actually last. And thus far, most calls are taking a lot longer than five minutes. In fact, the average call spans 25 minutes, with some users speaking for more than 40 minutes.

Sure, it might not be for everyone, but if you’re tired of messages that seem to go into a black hole, or of endless swiping without any really meeting, then just maybe Hotline is for you. The app is currently available only for iOS and in New York.

Download for iOS

Emerging Tech

Why wait? Here are some CES 2019 gadgets you can buy right now

Companies come to CES to wow us with their cutting edge technology, but only a few products are slated to hit the market right away. Here is our list of the best CES 2019 tech you can buy right now.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Gaming

PS4 vs. Switch: After weighing the pros and cons, which one comes out on top?

Nintendo Switch versus PlayStation 4: Which one has better overall value? We break down the pros and cons of each platform to tell you which of these consoles is truly worth the money.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Mobile

The Sony Xperia XZ4 shines in case renders from accessory maker Olixar

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.
Mobile

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Apple

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Computing

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 
Mobile

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Mobile

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.