Smartphones and the Internet have revolutionized many things, including dating. Finding someone special who shares the same interests as you can be a hard job, but the power of smart devices has made the task of filtering through potential matches much easier. These days, there are quite a lot of dating apps to choose from; however, only a handful of them stand out. This article unites them in one comprehensive list.
Price: Free / basic subscription starting at $4.99 (for those under 30)
Signing up with Tinder requires users to log in either with an account (Facebook/Google) or their phone number. Once you’re in, Tinder lets you create a profile featuring a short bio (no longer than 500 characters) and six photos. You can also add your passions and link your Instagram or Spotify account if you’re comfortable with that.
Setting up your profile doesn’t take longer than a few minutes; then you’re free to start swiping potential matches. Tinder will show you profile cards with the person’s face, name and age. Tap on the photo to view additional pics and on the tiny “i” button to check out their bio. If you like them, swipe right, and when the other person swipes right on you too, Tinder will pop up a new screen showing that you’re a match and invite you to chat.
Tinder has a reputation for being a hookup app, a perspective which gained further ground after the app decided to charge older users, who are usually more inclined to seek long-term commitments, more for its premium services. Hence, Tinder may be best suited for the younger crowd, not only for financial reasons, but also due to the fact that this demographic is more prone to actively seek out casual encounters.
Tinder has three paid tiers:
- Plus – $4.99 / month (under 30) and $9.99 / month (over 30). Adds the ability to “rewind” to see people you’ve accidentally swiped left on, gets rid of ads, gives you access to the “Passport” feature so you can see profiles from all over the world.
- Gold – $14.99 / month (under 30) and $29.99 / month (over 30). Includes all the features of Plus and a few others, including five free Super Likes to let potential matches know you really like them, one free Boost every month so that you can be more visible, and the ability to see who swiped right on you.
- Platinum – $19.99 / month (under 30) and $39.99 / month (over 30). Includes all the features of Gold and Plus but also allows you to message people before you’ve even matched with them and makes your profile visible to people who you swiped right on faster.
Price: Free / $29.99 per month
Hinge (Android | iOS) is the Tinder for those seeking long-term relationships. The app boasts a polished look and focuses on helping you build a comprehensive profile so that you can find your match and delete the app. For this reason, setting up your profile on Hinge will take a bit longer than on Tinder. Incomplete profiles are a no-go on Hinge, so you’ll have to put a little bit of effort into it.
The app will ask you to answer a series of curated questions and recently started pushing its users to record voice messages so that potential matches can get a better idea of who you truly are. It’s a prerequisite for being able to send likes and start chatting with others on the app.
Hinge allows you to browse profiles for free and send a number of free likes per day, but to use the app’s unlimited options, you’ll have to upgrade to a Premium subscription. This will unlock various abilities such as:
- Sending as many likes as you want
- Getting access to a free Rose per week so that you can attract a person’s attention faster
- In-app phone and video calls
- List of people who liked you
Price: Free / starts at $11.99 per month
OKCupid (Android | iOS | Web) is a dating service that has been around for some time and received a makeover a few years back. On mobile, users are allowed to create an account using their email and phone number.
OKCupid is famous for showing users compatibility scores when they are viewing the profile of a potential match. These scores are based on a preliminary questionnaire everyone is supposed to answer when setting up their profiles for the first time. If you’re into answering questions, you can continue this and answer up to 100 questions. There’s also a “My ideal person” form you should fill out so that more of your preferences can be seen by potential matches.
When browsing profiles, the app will show you recommendations based on your answers and location (which, by the way, you can set manually if you wish). These are small profile cards featuring the person’s profile image, age, location and a short self-summary. Just like on Tinder, you can swipe right if you are interested in the person or left if you don’t. You can tap on the main image to see more photos and on “See full profile” to get additional information. Two people liking each other means there’s a match and will unlock the chat option.
Just as expected, OKCupid hides some of its features behind a paywall. There are two types of memberships to choose from:
- Basic – $11.99 / month. Includes an ad-free experience and the options to send unlimited likes and add deal breakers to your profile.
- Premium – $39.99 / month. Offers all the options of Basic plus the ability to see Likes and the answers of potential matches before you respond to them.
Price: Free / $12.99 per week
Think of Bumble (Android | iOS | Web) as the Tinder for women… but on a timer. The app doesn’t adopt an unusual approach to matchmaking and will display potential matches simply based on your profile and preferences. However, it does require women to initiate the chat. If the guy doesn’t respond back within 24 hours, he loses the potential match. In the case of same-sex matches, either one can go first.
Bumble has zero tolerance for fake profiles, so make sure you’re setting up a genuine one if you don’t want to get banned. The app also has a version that allows women to connect with new female friends.
The Premium tier for Bumble includes a number of paid features. The subscription costs $12.99 on a weekly basis or $22.99 monthly and unlocks options such as:
- Unlimited advanced filters
- Access to Beeline so that you can see your admirers
- Travel mode
- Backtrack so that you can get back matches you accidentally swiped left on
- Ability to extend time on your current matches
- Five Superswipes per week
- Incognito mode
In addition, Bumble offers Boost ($5.99 per week) which is a watered down version of the Premium tier that offers backtrack, extending time on matches, unlimited swipes, one Spotlight and 5 SuperSwipes. Spotlight and SuperSwipes can also be purchased independently.
Price: Free / $24.99 per month
If you’re looking into dating your immediate neighbors or only people in your area, Happn (Android | iOS) is the best dating app for you. It uses GPS to find people close to you. However, if you’re in a less populated area and there aren’t many users to show, the app will instead revert to displaying people from the closest location it can find.
The idea behind Happn is to connect you with people who have crossed paths in real life. Setting up your profile is quite easy, as the app doesn’t have as many requirements and questions that need to be answered before allowing you to start browsing potential matches.
Profiles are scrollable, and the bio is kept to a minimum, so the focus is on the images. Once you’ve found someone you’d like to chat with, all you have to do is tap the little heart icon in the lower-right part of the display. If they like you back, you’ll be able to start chatting immediately.
As expected, Happn has its own share of premium features that cost $24.99 per month to unlock. These include:
- Ability to see who liked you on the app
- Sending up to 10 FlashNotes per day (messages to people you haven’t matched with yet)
- Invisibility mode
- Unlimited likes
- Ad-free experience
- Second chance
- 5 calls per month
6. Coffee Meets Bagel
Price: Free / $34.99 per month
Coffee Meets Bagel (Android | iOS) takes a different approach than other dating apps and bets on quality not quantity. With this in mind, every day at noon the app will send a curated list of “bagels” for review: profiles of potential matches based on your profile and list of preferences. Interestingly, you can even opt for a certain height or ethnicity to really narrow your matches.
You have 24 hours to decide whether to “like” or “pass” on each bagel. If you like a bagel and they like you back, you’ll connect and be able to message each other via the app’s private chat. The app will then try to facilitate engagement between you and your matches by suggesting cool ice breakers. Coffee Meets Bagel is ideal for busy people, as it eliminates the need to scour through profiles each day. Just like most apps, it has its share of downsides. For instance, it’s not as well-known as Tinder of OKCupid, so it won’t be as varied when it comes to matches.
Coffee Meets Bagel has a Premium tier that will cost you $34.99 per month and includes features such as:
- Ability to see all your likes
- Monthly profile Boost
- Activity Reports
- Read Receipts
If you’re on iOS, you can also get eight Discover Likes per month and unlimited flowers – an option which allows you to attract a bagel’s attention. Android users, on the other hand, will get 6,000 beans per month that they can then use on special features, such as Discover Likes and Boost.
Tastebuds (iOS | Web) is a pretty unique presence in the sea of dating apps today. It aims to match people based on musical tastes, although you’ll be able to create a full profile complete with pictures, additional interests and more.
However, its focus is on music, so it allows you to create a list of bands you love to listen to and shows you people with similar tastes. Once you find a person who looks interesting, you can click on their picture to see their full profile. Tap on the “Like” button and hope they like you back. Alternatively, you can be a bit more proactive and send a message directly or write to them in the Shoutbox.
Tastebuds boasts a host of unique features, including “Get Lucky,” which shows you a profile that is a great match to yours. In addition, there’s “Message Bomb,” which allows you to send the same messages to eight of your matches to promote interaction.
Tastebuds is a pretty niche dating app, which can also be used for finding new friends or concert buddies, so it may not appeal to everyone, but music lovers should definitely give it a try.
Price: Free (for regular users)
Meetup (Android | iOS | Web) is one of the more unusual entries in this list. While it’s not technically a dating app, per-se, it’s a useful app if you prefer to meet people organically though events and other social meetings. The app allows you to find local groups and events based on your interests.
Once you find a group, you can start interacting with its members. If anyone catches your eye, you can drop them a quick message. Who knows? Maybe you two will hit it off and meet in real life at the event.
Meetup is free to use as a regular user, but if you wish to create your own group, you’ll need to unlock an organizer subscription, which costs $35 per group per month.
Price: Free / Starts at $9.99 per month
Once inside the app, the home screen will show you a grid of people near your location. Find someone you like, tap on their profile and hit the message button to start chatting with them. You can also share photos and voice memos. There’s a twist, though: scroll a little too far, and you’ll need to pay “XTRA” to view more profiles. Once you unlock a premium subscription you’ll also get access to:
- Read recipients
- Ad-free browsing experience
- Global chat
- 5 expiring photos per day
- Premium filters to enable you to find a match faster
Grindr also has a Unlimited higher-tier that costs a whopping $49.99 a month. This brings all the features of Grindr XTRA and more:
- Viewed me
- Visible typing statuses
- Chat translation
- Unsend messages
Price: Free / $14.99 per month
HER (Android | iOS) is a dating app designed to give gay women the chance of finding love. It boasts a really cute interface, and setting up a profile is pretty straightforward: you’ll need to add your preferences and a few details about yourself. You can set your location manually or allow the app to use your current location.
Unlike most of the other dating apps on this list, HER allows its users to join communities where they can interact more easily. There’s also a feed to read the latest queer news.
Not surprisingly, HER locks some options behind a paywall. You can Like people and start messaging them if they like you back, but if you want this process to be easier. you’ll have to upgrade to Premium, which is $14.99 per month. Among these features, you’ll find:
- Ad-free experience
- Premium filters
- View likes
- Change location
- Incognito mode
- Rewind profiles
- Read precipitates
- See who is online
On iOS, HER Premium has two tiers: Gold and Platinum, with the latter encompassing all the options mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why can’t I use certain apps?
Some apps are available only in specific regions, so if you’re not seeing the app in your Google Play Store app or Apple App Store, it may mean the service has not been launched in your specific part of the world. For instance, Hinge is officially available only in limited territories for the time being, including the U.S., Canada, Ireland, UK, India, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Israel and Singapore.
2. What can I do if my app crashes?
The simplest solution is to close the app, clear it from the Recents tab, then start the app again. If you’re getting “Unfortunately, the app has stopped” messages, read on to learn how to eliminate this issue.
3. What can I do to stay safe while dating online?
Staying safe should be at the top of your list of priorities while dating online, and each app has a page dedicated to the topic on its official website, detailing safety tips. Our recommendation would be to install a location-sharing app so that you can alert a trusted person if you’re in danger. Before heading out on your next date, make sure you install one of these apps.
While dating apps may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they can make the process of finding your soulmate easier. While you’re working on that, Are you interested in getting fit before your first date? Check out the best mobile step-counter apps. Alternatively, you might be looking to impress your date with a nice dinner. We have your back with this list of the best apps to learn cooking.
Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox