The smartphone has now gained a prominent and stable role in our daily life, especially thanks to the continuous creation of applications for all purposes and needs. The constant internet connection allows you to take advantage of an infinite number of services directly from your mobile phone, at any time and wherever you are. To make it easier for you, we have gathered some of the best dating apps for smartphones.
In the wake of this new way of relating and creating interpersonal connections, dating apps have also witnessed a real boom in recent years. While many criticize this approach for its lack of romanticism and its impersonality, on the other hand, there is no denying the enormous potential of these apps, which offer the opportunity to meet people with whom otherwise we could never come in contact.
The use of dating apps is very often a source of great disappointment and frustration, but more and more users are finding love or simply interesting people to interact with on these platforms. If you are single it is definitely worth trying them at least, as most of them are free to download. In the worst case, in fact, it can be a simple opportunity to satisfy one’s curiosity, increase self-confidence, or relax for a couple of hours.
Compared to dating sites, which have been around for many more years, apps offer more advantages. First of all, they are very easy to download and just as quick to delete, so if you regret your choice you can always trash it in seconds. Furthermore, since it does not need a laptop, the app can be used in every short break during the day, for example waiting for the bus. The interface, is designed for a smartphone screen, will be very intuitive and consequently, it will be quite immediate to understand how the application works. Finally, having also the connection to the GPS available, a whole series of additional functions related to the user’s position will be available.
Besides being numerous, dating apps differ greatly from each other for user reference, the matching methods, the functionalities, and the types of subscription they offer. There are therefore for all ages, for those looking for just the fun of an evening or for those looking for a stable relationship.
In the following paragraphs we will explain in detail the features and functionalities of the dating apps in general, and then compare and present the best dating apps that we have selected for you. Once you have discovered all the secrets and tricks to move with confidence and safety on these platforms, all you have to do is jump in and get involved!
Features of dating applications
The main purpose of all dating apps is to connect users with each other so that they can initiate a virtual interaction and, at best, arrange a meeting in real life. To achieve this they use a wide range of functions, filters, and features. Below we will analyze the main features that are used at the moment, always bearing in mind that the apps are constantly updated and consequently are continuously integrated with new features. Also, some of these additional options are only available if you upgrade to a monthly subscription.
Here, then, are the most important features you can find in dating apps:
- Profile setting: all apps allow you to create a personal profile with a photo gallery, a more or less comprehensive description of yourself, information about your profession or training, and age. Some apps also allow you to connect your profile to other apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Spotify, in order to show mutual friends, photos, and playlists;
- Filter system: before starting to browse profiles randomly, you can set search filters in order to make the selection as targeted as possible. The age, the sex, and the geographical area are the most common filters;
- Questionnaire: Apps that rely on an affinity system give you the opportunity to answer a series of questions, whether personal or general. In this way, affinity percentages will be generated between users, so as to highlight profiles with greater understanding and more interests in common;
- ‘Like’ mode: all apps have this function through which you can express your interest in a particular profile. In many apps, the like is secret and will be “revealed” to the person in question only if they too put alike in their turn. In some cases, it is possible to know in advance who has put the like on your profile, but it is usually a paid function;
- Instant Messaging: All dating apps have a chat where you can chat and get to know each other before you meet. The great advantage of these chats is that they are private, so you don’t need to reveal your phone number or email address. Furthermore, many apps allow you to start a conversation only in the case of mutual likes;
- Blocking option: in case you have an unpleasant conversation or a user has inappropriate behavior towards you, this function allows you to block that person so that they can no longer write to you. This is a key feature to ensure the security of apps, especially for women.
List of 6 best dating applications in 2021
We have tested five dating apps for you, choosing them from the most popular or innovative currently existing ones. At the top of this page, you will find a table that compares them based on some specific technical data, to give you a more immediate and intuitive overview. Below we will explore the characteristics of each in more detail, so as to be able to guide you in the best possible way in choosing the perfect dating app for you.
1. Tinder- For those who want to have fun
With around 50 million users per month, Tinder is currently the most popular dating app in the world. In recent years it has exploded to the point of becoming a role model and a source of inspiration for many other dating apps. Its strength lies in its extremely intuitive, simple, and fast operation.
First of all the user will have to insert a photo gallery, after which he can choose whether to add a small text, profession, and training. The profile can also be linked to other apps, such as Spotify and Instagram, and Facebook. The latter, in particular, will allow you to view friendships and interests that you have in common with a specific profile. Also, you can use apps to add text to your photos and upload them.
Once you have set up your personal profile, you will move on to the application of filters, i.e. the age range, gender, and preferred geographical area, so that only profiles that meet certain criteria are shown.
Let’s now pass to the most innovative aspect of the app, as well as the most imitated: the matching system. The photos of other profiles are shown one after the other, so the user can choose to discard, scrolling with the so-called “swipe” to the left or selecting the X icon, or expressing interest by scrolling to the right or selecting the heart icon.
The like remains secret if the interest is not reciprocal, that is if the other person has not put alike. Once two users have compatibility or a match, they can access the chat and start a conversation. If you select the Super Like, however, the other person will be able to see it regardless of mutual interest.
However, it must be considered that the average age is estimated at 25 years and many of its referral users use the platform for pure fun, building relationships without commitment, or finding a casual partner to flirt with one night. On the other hand, the selection criterion is based simply on a couple of photos, so it can be rather superficial for many people. Not all users, however, have the same goal: there are so many subscribers that you will find people motivated by goals of all kinds.
Tinder also offers the option to pay a monthly subscription to take advantage of more advanced features. The Tinder Plus version(currently at 10 € per month for 6 months) allows, among the many additional features, to show your profile only to the people you have shown interest in and go back if you have discarded a profile by mistake.
The Tinder Gold version (currently at € 15 per month for 6 months), on the other hand, reveals to the user the people who have put alike on his profile and offers the Passport function, which allows you to change your membership area while you are still traveling.
Finally, there is the possibility of buying individual Boosts(for € 3.29 each), a feature that highlights your profile in a certain area for 30 minutes. For those who use Tinder regularly, these memberships are ideal for multiplying the chances of getting compatibility.
- Who is it for: people between 20 and 30 years old, mainly looking for impromptu contacts, reading opportunities, or going out for an evening;
- We like it because: very intuitive and quick to use platform;
- We don’t like it because: there’s no going back if you accidentally discard a profile.
2. OkCupid- For romantics
Designed for an audience looking for stable, deep, and lasting relationships, OkCupid is a dating app with a completely different approach to the others. The innovation lies in its matching mode, based on a sophisticated affinity system.
Upon registration, the user will have to answer 15 questions and select which answer they would like a potential partner to give. Based on the results, OkCupid’s algorithm will develop affinity percentages with other users. The questionnaire is very broad and you can continue to answer questions in various fields at any time you want: the more questions you answer, the more accurate the affinity levels will be.
Scrolling through the profiles, therefore, you can choose to view only the users with the highest percentage of affinity, but also those with the lowest percentage if you believe in the assumption that “opposites attract”. You can also take advantage of other search filters, such as geographical proximity, common interests, and the date of the last activity registered on the platform.
The most interesting aspect of OkCupid, however, lies precisely in the type of questions that are submitted to the user, which concern politics, religion, sex, love, daily habits, hobbies, and all those topics that are most often a source of discussions and disagreements.
Even the ‘profile settings’ more elaborate than the other dating apps out there. In addition to the usual photo gallery, you can add your profession, religion, languages are spoken, and a very detailed description of yourself. The app provides a guide structure and suggestions to be able to write a text that is interesting and as personalized as possible.
Other users will be able to express their interest in a profile by placing alike, but this will not be visible unless you switch to the paid version A-list (about $ 5 per month for 6 months). The Premium A-list version (at about $ 20 a month for 6 months), among the many additional features it also allows you to view in advance the answers of other users to the questionnaire. There is also the option to buy individual Boosts (for about $ 2 each), so as to highlight your profile in a certain area for 15 minutes.
If the likes are secret, OkCupid is one of the few dating apps that still allows you to send messages to anyone who finds it interesting, so women will do well to prepare to receive dozens of messages every day. Fortunately, in case of inappropriate or harassing messages, you can always report a user or block them permanently.
It is therefore clear that the use of the platform is rather complex andit takes a long time. If you want to try OkCupid, make sure you have enough time to answer the questions and set up your profile in the most complete and detailed way possible, all the more so because the app has not yet been translated into Italian.
- Who is it for: people between 30 and 35, mainly looking for lasting and deep relationships;
- We like it because: an accurate and refined affinity system, not based only on superficial aspects;
- We don’t like it because: a complex platform not translated into Italian, messaging not filtered by matches.
3. Happn- For those who believe in destiny
How many times do you happen to catch the eye of an intriguing person on the street or on the bus, but you lack the courage to strike up a button?
Happn takes inspiration from this situation and, thanks to the location provided by the GPS of your smartphone, will show you the people you met during the day (as long as they have a profile on the app). The precise location will never be publicly revealed for privacy reasons but will allow you to locate all users who are less than 1 km away of distance.
However, all the people you cross will not be shown indiscriminately, as this app also uses age and gender filters to narrow the choice. Unlike Tinder, moreover, it will be possible to consult the profiles several times, without the risk of missing an opportunity.
Like most of the existing dating apps, Happn also allows you to set your profile by selecting a series of photos and entering personal and professional information. Here too it will be possible to connect the profile to Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify, to show playlists and photos.
In addition to the very innovative and creative basic idea, Happn presents further very interesting features. First, if the like remains secret when it is not reciprocal, you can still ask another user to start chatting by sending a Hello. This last feature is not unlimited, but it can become by switching to the paid Happn Essential version (now at € 9 per month for 6 months).
This will increase the chances of compatibility with other profiles, which are called crush on Happn. Once a conversation has started, it will also be possible to send a voice message or even a song, using the Spotify account.
Happn’s downside is that being still growing, it currently has around 10 million users per month. We are therefore far from the range of choice of apps such as Tinder, but perhaps it is a slightly more selected user. The reference users of Happn, in fact, use the app to find a flirtation for an evening, but also more long-term relationships.
- Who is it for: people between 25 and 35, mainly looking for impromptu contacts and deeper relationships;
- We like it because: innovative and fun matching mode;
- We don’t like it because: the number of users still not very high, you can only register if you have an account on Facebook.
4. Once- For the selective
Once is the dating app that wants to make online dating more human and help users find a truly like-minded partner. Instead of the ‘supermarket’ matching mode based on scrolling through thousands of profile photos, Once will only offer you one per day and you will have 24 hours to contact him. Your profile is therefore not public, but will only be shown to users selected by the app’s so-called “matchmakers”.
How are profiles chosen and matched? Surely, the more complete and detailed the profile, the easier it will be for Once to find compatible users. Match quality functionality
It also allows you to give a score from 1 to 5 to a series of profiles, based on their photo gallery. In this way, the app will be able to better understand what the person should look like to focus on.
app’s internal currency. Among the many more possibilities, it will be possible to choose a user first without his or her knowledge and contact a contact who has disappeared after 24 hours.
The app is still quite new and therefore only counts around 1 million users per month. However, it must be considered that the idea behind the platform is to help users find a soul mate by taking the time to evaluate each profile. Ideally, you will only be shown interesting profiles and you won’t need to scroll through photos for hours to find them.
- Who is it for: people between 30 and 35, looking for long-lasting and deep relationships;
- We like it because: the human touch that characterizes research;
- We don’t like it because: the limited number of users.
5. Bumble- For enterprising women
Respect and education are the keywords of the Bumble dating app. How it works is very similar to Tinder, but with one big difference: only women can initiate an interaction.
If there is compatibility or a match, the woman will have 24 hours to make the first move before the contact disappears. This way you will avoid a whole series of unpleasant situations and unwanted messages.
Bumble is not only designed for those who want serious relationships or one-night stands, but also for those interested in new friendships and professional contacts. It is therefore a rather secure platform with more varied search functions, not necessarily confined to the sentimental sphere.
This app also offers the possibility to switch to paid versions with additional features. The subscription to Bumble Boost (at € 12.66 per month for 6 months), for example, allows you to find out who has liked your profile and find an expired contact.
It would therefore seem that Bumble has found the right compromise between fun and mutual respect, especially going to protect women. The small disadvantage lies in the limit of its catchment area, which has about 20 million users.
- Who is it for: people between 25 and 35, looking for more or less deep romantic relationships, professional contacts, and friendships;
- We like it because: women decide;
- We don’t like it because: the number of users still not very high, you can only register if you have an account on Facebook.
6. Shagle – A free random video chat app
Most random chat sites have a couple of features that differentiate them from the rest, but Shagle goes above and beyond to keep their 3.5 million members happy. If you use Shagle, even without registering, your anonymity is secure whether you choose video or text chats.
It may be hard to get excited about anonymity on a random chat site, but what about a translation feature that helps you chat with people from almost anywhere in the world? With users coming from more than 70 countries, this one feature opens up a lot more options to every person on the site.
If you felt like it, you could narrow your results a bit with filters that let you chat with only women, men, or couples. Make new friends, flirt with someone you think is cute, or learn about other cultures – whatever you decide to do, it’s easy and fun with Shagle!