Even if it’s Valentine’s Day, the best dating apps can help you meet someone new so you can take a vacation with someone next year. Even if you don’t care about romance, dating apps have gone from scheduling dates to letting you connect with like-minded people.
While you might think that two years and the coronavirus pandemic may have put the best dating apps on hold, the opposite is true. Dating apps have become more popular as they add new features designed to help you build relationships even when you’re close to home. Video chat, remote dating and similar tools are now the backbone of these apps.
Whether friendship or not, the best dating apps can help you expand your circle of acquaintances. Our selection of apps goes beyond a simple swipe to add features like video dating and safety checks to make the world of online dating better than ever.
What are the best dating apps?
When it comes to finding love in the mobile age, it’s hard to put away Tinder, one of the biggest and best dating apps that also has a wide reach. Tinder is known for helping you find connections quickly, though it also aims to find more permanent partners, and the app’s latest additions have improved user safety when adding video capabilities.
Other dating apps also have their perks. Bumble empowers its female members to make new friends, while OKCupid offers a number of different tools for finding romance. Eharmony has its famous pairing algorithm, and Hinge’s ultimate goal is to get people to delete your app from their phone (probably because you’ve found a lasting connection, not out of frustration). Even Facebook has joined the ranks, with its dating service linked to its vast social network.
Looking for a same-sex partner? Grindr pioneered the field, while Her offers a dating app for lesbian and bisexual users.
1. Tinder (Android; iOS)
Tinder paved the way for the world of swipe and scroll dating apps defined by Grindr. At first glance, Tinder encourages you to make superficial and quick judgments about potential partners. You create a simple profile with a few photos and a few phrases about yourself, then put yourself at the mercy of the internet.
The app shows singles in your area. If you like it, swipe right on the photo; otherwise, swipe left. If they both swipe right, they can send a message and configure something. (Interested in improving your Tinder game? We have tips on how to use Tinder like a pro.) Upgrading to a paid Plus or Gold membership on Tinder gives you premium features like unlimited likes or rewinds as potential partners give you a second chance .
Tinder continues to improve on its formula, releasing a video feature that lets you make in-app video calls for matches without exchanging personal details. The Safety Center feature is linked to the Noonlight app and provides a panic button in case you end up feeling unsafe and background checks based on public records data. Tinder can even add a “swipe party” feature, allowing your friends to join in the fun to help you pick potential partners for you.
2. Bumblebee (Android; iOS)
Apple named Bumble one of the most popular iOS apps of 2021 – Android fans don’t worry, Bumble works on your phone – and it’s easy to see why. The app can help you book dates or make new friends and connect in the hands of its users.
Women can take their first steps after two people connect and become part of each other’s hive. From there, you only have 24 hours to make some kind of connection or the connection will be lost forever. For same-sex connections or friendships, anyone must make changes within 24 hours before the connection ends, although you can get a 24-hour extension.
Just looking to expand your circle of friends, not a relationship? Bumble has a BFF feature for people not looking for a date and a separate section for building business connections. Bumble Boost upgrades range from $2.99 to $8.99 and make it easier and faster to meet or date new people.