Dating can be a long, hard struggle. Online dating revolutionized the way we interact with potential matches, and that revolution has been taken a step further in the smartphone age. Dating is still complex, but there are a bevy of apps that address the issue in a variety of ways, whether you’re looking for something fun or something serious. The advent of the smartphone has made dating more accessible, and it’s easier than ever to see the amount of choices in the dating world.
These are the 10 best options for Android.
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1. Happn (Free) - Happn is built on the premise of missed connections. Everyday we run into swarms of people without ever sharing a word and go on without knowing if our second half was someone we simply passed by. With Happn, all those missed connections can become real meetings. Every time you cross paths with someone in real life, their profile is added to your timeline, and you can see how often you've crossed paths as well as the last time and place you did so. If you want to make a move, you can "Like" a person but they will only find out you did and you can only start a conversation if they "Like" you back. For shy folks, those afraid of rejection or even people with little time, Happn is a great way to get out in the dating world.
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2. OKCupid (Free) - Take the popular dating site on the go with OKCupid's official app. Like the main site, the app lets you connect with nearby matches by sending messages, but you can also use a Tinder-esque swiping feature to let another user know you're interested. A subscription upgrade unlocks various features, including the ability to browse privately. If you're a traditional online dater, or already established in OKCupid's ecosystem, you can't go wrong here.
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3. Hitch (Free) - Hitch tries to eliminate any fear or anxiety you may have about online dating by letting your friends play matchmaker. Here's how it works: if you're browsing the app and find someone you're interested in, you can send a "Meet" suggestion to a friend asking them to introduce you or, if you're friend thinks they've found someone right for you, they can send you a "Hitch" suggestion. Once you've been introduced, you can then chat with your match. The idea is to cut out creeps by making all your connections through real people you actually know.
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4. Down Dating (Free) - Down Dating takes away any confusion by letting users be upfront and honest about their intentions. Want a hookup? Click "Get Down." Want something more? Click "Get Date." The app will send you 10 new people from your area every day, so you'll never run out of possible matches. Like Happn, you can like a person but they'll only find out if they are also interested in you.
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5. Hinge (Free) - In similar vein to Hitch, Hinge will only let you connect with people that already know your friends. The goal is to make the online dating scene safer and more comfortable for everyone involved. It also only lets users see five potential matches everyday, which could be both good and bad depending on how you view it.
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6. Grindr (Free) - Still the leading dating app for gay and bisexual men, Grindr lets users find matches near them in real time. You can customize your search, choose a "tribe" (Bear, Twink, Jock, etc.), save favorite guys and block others. The premium version, Grindr Xtra removes ads, offers advanced filters, lets you view up to 300 guys and more.
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7. Plenty of Fish (Free) - POF claims to have the most free features of any dating app, including the ability to use its matching algorithm and send unlimited messages. On top of that, POF also claims to have the largest user base, meaning more potential matches. You can meet users nearby, see your most compatible matches and more.
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8. Match (Free) - Another spinoff from a popular dating website, Match.com's app uses its algorithm to connect you potential partners in your area. You'll get handpicked matches every day, but you can also browse and message new people as you wish. The app even has Android Wear support.
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9. Coffee Meets Bagel (Free) - Unlike some popular dating apps, Coffee Meets Bagel is all about relationships over casual flings. Every day at noon you'll get just one match that's been handpicked based on numerous factors (geography, common interests, attraction) and you have 24 hours to pass or like. If the match likes you back, you'll be set up in a private chat room to get conversation flowing. The app is also big on pushing for real world meetups, and will even follow up after a few days to see if you've met your potential match in real life.
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10. Tinder (Free) - The phenomenon is still one of the world's most popular dating apps, and by now just about everyone knows how it works. Tinder offers up people around you and you can swipe right if you're interested, left if you're not. If you swipe right on a person, and they swipe right on you, the app declares it a match and you're then allowed to message one another. The app recently added the ability to swipe up, which lets a user know you are super interested. Though a stigma has long been associated with Tinder, it's not just for hooking up. Research has shown people use the app to find long-term relationships, too. Either way, it's the simplest dating app on all of Android.