Tinder (iPhone, Android)
How it works It accesses your Facebook profile and suggests matches.
What we think Swiping through a smorgasbord of faces and clicking ‘like’ or ‘pass’ pretty much distills this type of online dating down to one thing: looks. But, if you’re a FB tragic looking for a bit of fun, this app could be the ticket.
Downsides It’s probably not going to land you a soulmate; Tinder’s rep is all about the random hook-up.
Let’s Date (iPhone, Android coming)
How it works It hooks in with your FB profile (you need 50 friends), asks you questions to create your ‘dater card’, then sets you loose.
What we think Great deck-of-cards design and fun profile Q&A, where you delete dislikes (weed? Cigarettes?) and pigeonhole yourself (blogger? Stoner? Crossfitter?). You can even strike through stuff you don’t like in other profiles so the app learns to tailor better matches, which is super satisfying.
Downsides It’s fairly new so there aren’t heaps of matches on there.
Fancied (iPhone, Android coming)
How it works It offers two match options – ‘fancying’ someone’s profile, or checking in at a nearby hot spot to fancy others anonymously.
What we think Like Tinder and Let’s Date, Fancied trawls your FB profile for matches. If you ‘fancy’ someone’s pic and they do the same to you, it’s on like Donkey Kong. Or, you may prefer to search nearby ‘hot spots’ – pubs, bars, etc – and see how many Fancied members are currently hanging out.
Downsides The odds of stumbling on an ex or three.
Blendr (iPhone, Android)
How it works It’s the straight version of gay hook-up app Grindr.
What we think If you have the attention span of a goldfish, a one-track mind and can’t be bothered leaving your suburb to meet people, Blendr’s perfect. The profiles take seconds to scan and within minutes you could be chatting to a potential bed-pal at your local just minutes from home.
Downsides Blendr will become useless fast if you never leave your local.
Carrot Dating (iPhone, Android)
How it works It enables men to bribe potential dates by giving them gifts.
What we think We’d expect as much from Brandon Wade, who started dating auction site WhatsYourPrice.com. Carrot’s selling point – ‘Women like gifts like dog like treats’ – is barf-worthy, but there’s clearly a market for Sugar-Daddy style hook-ups: ass-clown Wade is thought to be worth millions.
Downsides Er, everything?
Grouper (coming to Australia soon)
How it works You sign up, choose two buddies, pick a time and the ‘concierge’ arranges a meet-up with three random people of the opposite sex.
What we think Group dates takes the pressure off, and this sounds like a great way to meet new peeps and possibly try out a new nightspot.
Downsides Love (or even genuine lust) is a long shot – but if it happens, what are the odds you and your pal get the hots for the same guy? Awkward.
Bad Date Rescue (iPhone, Android)
Shocker first dates are a rite of passage when you’re single, but this app saves the day and any hurt feelings. Simply set up a rescue call from ‘Mum’ and hightail it outta there with your dodgy date none the wiser.
The A-Hole Tester (iPhone, 99c)
Sick of overthinking your date’s bad behavior? This app’s 18 multiple-choice questions calculate if he’s a keeper or a creeper. Or, you could just ask your most honest friend to give it to you straight and save yourself a buck.
Passion (iPhone, 99c)
How would past lovers rate you in the sack? Wonder no more. Place your iphone on the bed, activate this app and get busy with your date while it scores you on duration, activity and orgasm. Super romantic, no?
The Dating Wingman (iPhone, Android coming)
According to RSVP, only a measley 9 percent of Aussie daters have recently asked someone out at a bar, club or café. If that’s you and it’s because you don’t know what to say, this app can help with a heap of targeted ice-breakers.
Sydney journalist Rachel Smith moonlights as an advice columnist and runs Letter To My Ex. She’s also happily married and currently freaking out about all the fake dating app profiles she created as research and is now unable to delete.