It’s safe to say this past year that went down in digital history as the year of swiping right and left for love with popular mobile dating apps.
Once singles got used to spending time on Tinder, the curiosity of newer released mobile dating apps got the best of them. If you thought you could find your soul mate on one of 5 mobile apps, would you download them to your smartphones now? I think so.
Here are 6 mobile dating apps recommended by Cyber Dating Expert that you should be using, right here, right now. It’s time to speed up your search and fill your date cards.
Ready, Set, Swipe!
1. Bumble – Android and iOs
Bumble is the mobile dating app which gives the ladies all of the control. I call it the “Sadie Hawkins” of digital dating. Created by Whitney Wolfe, a former co-founder of Tinder, Bumble is free to join. Users sign up from Facebook and then select their photos, distance they’re willing to search up to, and age requirements in the app.
How it works: Women view profiles of potential dates and they make the first move to select who to “like” by swiping right or who to “dislike” by swiping left. If there’s a mutual like, you’ll get a pop up with the two of you that says BOOM! Connected. You both liked each other.
You then have the choice to click on “More Bumble” to see more matches, or “Start a Chat” so you can get the conversation going. Then, it’s up to the women, who have 24 hours to strike up a convo in the chat bubble on the top right of the app. Otherwise the match will disappear. Your current chats will appear in the “Conversations” section of the app until you decide to delete them.
The app also let’s you know when a potential match is about to expire. Did you swipe left by mistake? No problem. Their “Backtrack” feature allows you to shake the phone to get that last cute guy back in the game, but shake wisely. You only get three backtracks a day.
Why we like it: The ladies are enjoying being the one in control and let’s face it, the guys are competitive. They want to get selected and know they won’t be rejected if she starts the conversation.
2. Tinder – Android and iOs
We featured Tinder back in 2013, before swiping right became a household term. Tinder is the fastest growing location-based mobile dating app and Tinder-like apps are being launched every day. No longer the new kid on the block and not just for hookups. I know what you’re saying, you can’t say you met on Tinder, right? Singles are swiping left and right to the tune of 16 million swipes a day.
Related: Matt and Allee – They Met on Tinder
This year, Tinder announced Verified profiles since so many celebrities had joined the Tinder bandwagon. From Hilary Duff to your next door neighbor, everyone seems to be swiping. While Tinder is free, they launched a premium service, Tinder Plus, which costs between $9.99 and $19.99/month. Singles can now “Super Like” a potential match, giving them a digital heads up that they’re more than just a swipe away. Other premium features include “Passport,” which allows you to search in another city to help you fill your date card, before you hop on a plane or travel elsewhere.
Swipe regret? Premium members can also get back that last left swipe, just in case you swiped in error. New in 2016, Tinder will allow you to take photos on your camera roll and won’t limit you to using only photos that were posted on Facebook. Another new feature announced this year is the ability to send GIFS through GIPHY. It ramps up your flirt, big time.
How it works. Users download the mobile app on their iPhone or Android phones and connect through Facebook to create a profile. You can set your distance and age range (from 18-55+)in the “Discovery Settings.” Users anonymously swipe through potential matches nearby. If you’re interested, you swipe right. If you’re note, you swipe left. If it’s a mutual match, you can start chatting in text message style directly through their app. Once you swipe left, that profile will never appear again. You can also decide to unmatch yourself from someone if the conversation has a lull or if you had a date that wasn’t worth repeating.
Related: Tinder Update Ignites GIFS and New Flirting Features
Why we like it: It’s simple to use, free, let’s you see your Facebook friends in common, and is the fastest growing mobile dating app. It’s also a fun way to make new friends, as not everyone is single. You can view a variety of potential dates in a digital moment and anonymously decide whether you’re interested in them or not. Tinder boasts 9 billion matches to date with over 10 million active users.
3. Hinge – Android and iOs
Hinge is a mobile dating app that will only match you with friends-of-friends on Facebook and you can see where they work, as it pulls your data from Facebook. This is appealing to daters. Singles believe this app has less of a hookup tendency than others.
Coming on the scene as the more serious version of Tinder (or anti-Tinder), Hinge gives you a limit of 5 -15 matches a day and this limit creates value and appreciation for each potential match. Once you’re matched, you’ll have 14 days to start a conversation. Their new handy countdown clock will let you know how much time you have left to message your mutual match. Basically, you’ll need to exchange digits within their time limitations or the match will disappear.
Related: Hinge Says Goodbye to 24 Hour Timed Feature
How it works: Singles download the app and log in using Facebook. Once you confirm your location, you’ll start receiving matches. You can see who you are connected through on Facebook and can even ask your mutual friend what he or she thinks about your potential date. You can set your age preferences and check off some of your passions from their curated list.
Once you start receiving matches, click on the heart or swipe right if you’d like to make it a mutual match or click the X or swipe left if you want to decline. When you become a mutual match, you can start communicating through the app. Once you hit your match limit, you’ll be notified to check back and are encouraged to invite a friend to join Hinge. If you recommend a friend, they’ll send you more matches.
Why we like it: Their profiles include the first and last name of the potential date. It gives you a feeling of confidence knowing the person is genuine and authentic. Women love the app because it makes them feel safer while dating. Plus: There’s a 50/50 ratio of men to women.
4. Coffee Meets Bagel – iOs and Android
CMB has won the hearts of many singles looking for love online, especially the women. Featured on Shark Tank, the creators, the Kang sisters turned down a $30 million offer from Mark Cuban to buy the company.
How it Works: Users sign up through Facebook to create their free profile. Every day at noon, you’ll receive one match (a bagel) from a friend-of-a friend. You then have 24 hours to “Like” or “Pass” on the daily bagel, or even give the match to a friend. If you miss one of your bagel dates, you can request to be rematched.
Users can visit the CMB bean shop to buy coffee beans to pay for upgraded services at the cost of $1.99 to $24.99, but can also easily win free beans by recommending a bagel to a friend and liking their social media pages. Once matched, you can then start texting with your match in a private chat, but remember to act quickly, as the chat is only active for 8 days.
Why we like it: For those of you who feel overwhelmed with too many choices, or are too busy to log on regularly, this is a more manageable dating app. Users look forward to receiving their daily “bagel” at lunch time. CMB believes your dating life, including your name, birthday and email should be private. They also claim that your friends are the best conduits for your dates, and that meeting quality people doesn’t have to be so awkward or complicated. It also feels like you’re playing a fun game, as you receive coffee beans when you respond to a match.
5. Happn – Android, iOs, Windows Phone
Remember Craig’s List Missed Connections? Happn is a more modern day approach to matching with someone you’ve already crossed paths with, but never really connected. Every time you pass by a spot with another member IRL, you’ll get an instant push notification that another member is nearby and boom, you can meet instantly. Some may find it very efficient. Others may think it’s creepy, and might not want to meet after a sweaty yoga class. But then again, they wouldn’t be on this app if that were the case, so go ahead and be spontaneous.
If you think you might miss out on a digital crush who hangs in the same h0od as you, but are on the shy side, this app is for you. Note: The app was created in France and is available in 25 cities around the world. They are starting to expand in the U.S. and may not have rolled out in your city yet. New in 2016, Happn has added a voice feature, so you can hear the sound of your future date’s sweet nothings.
Related: Happn Adds New Voice Feature
How it works: Download the app and log in to Facebook, where yo can edit which information in your Facebook profile that you want to appear in your bio. You must enable your location services for the app to work. Every time you cross paths with another member, it will appear on your timeline feed. You can like someone’s profile by tapping on the heart button. If the feeling is mutual, you’ll be notified and you’ll be considered in the crush stage. You can also view how many times your paths have crossed.
If you want to take it a step further, men can pay to to send a charm. There is no cost to women at this point. Charms are similar to Tinder’s “Super Like” feature, except you buy them in a package. Each charm is equal to using one credit.
Why we like it: You won’t have to wonder about the one who got away. You can also now sync with Instagram to see your potential date’s feeds and interests.
Honorable Mention – Tastebuds – iOs
There was a great Shakespeare quote, “If music be the food of love, play on.” Now you can celebrate #MusicMonday every day of the week with a potential date who has the same musical interests as you do. Concert dates can be a lot of fun and sharing music is passion that many have on their list as a must-have. With this in mind, although Tastebuds is a social networking app, we feel it belongs in the dating category as you can share playlists and more with your potential date.
How it works: Users can sign up easily through Facebook or via email. You can send a message bomb for free to eight of your matches. Your music library can be added or you can add your favorite artists and bands manually. Searches can be fun as you can search by the name of the band that you’re a fan of and within a certain age criteria. Within seconds you can be matched with someone who also loves Pink Floyd and the Beatles.
Why we like it? Perhaps I’m biased as a former music radio DJ, but music is a shared experience. Who would want to go to a concert with someone who didn’t know who David Bowie was?
Do you have a favorite mobile dating app that you’d like to share?
Julie Spira is an online dating coach and mobile dating expert. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. Julie is the creator and host of Mobile Dating BootCamp and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert. For dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Instagram. Sign up for the Free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Find out how Swiping Right can help you find your dream date.
Read more mobile dating advice.
Check out our book trailer for the new edition of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Newly revised in 2016, the book includes bonus dating advice and a magical epilogue with a fairy tale ending.
Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert. She's an award-winning dating coach who's been helping singles find love online for 25+ years. Follow @JulieSpira on IG.