How many movies can be summarized by the old cliche: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back? Well that may have worked in the past, but now the script needs to be updated: boy and girl swipe right, boy and girl take selfie, boy and girl order an Uber. Of course, that’s only one simple version of the modern tech-influenced world of dating.
The revolution ushered by modern smartphones and the explosive growth of app stores is changing the way we find the most important people in our lives. While some apps consume a large portion of the spotlight, there is much more to the new world of dating apps than simply swiping right on attractive faces.
Here are six apps approaching dating and romance in a new way:
1. Once – Handpicked matches, once a day
One of the things that made meeting people in the real world so much fun was the spontaneity. Now, we are all pressed for time and many have turned to digital solutions to help meet their next romantic partner. The app Once combines the best parts of both real world and online dating.
The app uses your location and preferences to match you up with a potential new partner. It also taps into an intelligent resource to make its matches — real people. The app sends you a match once a day at noon. Both you and the match have 24 hours to chat, get to know each other, and decide if you want to take things to the next level.
Since the match only lasts for 24 hours, it pushes you to strike while the iron is hot in the same way that other ephemeral apps capture users’ attention. However, the 24-hour period still leaves enough time to get to know your match and see if there is chemistry.
Additionally, if you missed an opportunity to get to know someone, you can anonymously request to be rematched with them. This gives users a powerful second chance to make a first impression, which is something all of us could use in real life, too.
2. Couple.me – A private corner for your digital relationship
While you may use one messenger with work, you might use others with your friends and family. But no matter what platforms you use, there will always be one person who you communicate with on almost every platform — your significant other.
Couple is an app that pulls all of your interactions with your partner into one app. The app brings chat, voice, video messages, and other features together in one place, which is designed to maximize the experience of a conversation with just one special person.
The app also creates a shared timeline for you and your partner. You can keep track of not only your conversations, but also important memories and events via a shared calendar. With so many apps focused on helping you talk to groups or the masses, it’s great to see an app that helps you focus on talking to the person who matters most in your life.
3. Whiplr – A place to meet people with kinks
Everyone is looking for the perfect fit to their own unique preferences. One trend that has emerged lately, especially since the release of the film version of 50 Shades of Grey, is an interest in BDSM. Fortunately, an app was released just in time to ride all the buzz created by the movie.
Whiplr describes itself as a “messenger with kinks.” Engadget reports that the app is a place for people who prefer more than just a special cuddle.Users provide information from height and age to sexual preference on a sliding scale (“I’m 75% into women,” for example.) Interests are grouped into categories including “Behavior,” “Fashion,” and “Objects,” according to Engadget.
In the digital age, with the emergence of highly specific niche communities, it’s no surprise that this would apply to the world of romance as well.
4. Grouper – Finding romance is easier with friends
Apps make it possible to meet people in a completely new way that was either too complicated or not feasible before.
Grouper is a new app that enables group dating. The idea is that it’s easier and more comfortable to meet new people with friends. It can help break down barriers and gives users confidence to be themselves. Of course, it’s also hard to keep track of everyone’s schedule and find the time to meet.
That’s where Grouper’s powerful scheduling tool comes in — it takes care of the planning. It finds a time when everyone is available automatically. All you need to do is show up.
5. WatchMe88 – Dating in the age of wearables
The Apple Watch has changed things in the world of wearables. While the final verdict isn’t in yet, it’s clear Apple has put wearables and smartwatches on the map like never before.
Now, everyone is looking to capitalize on this emerging market — and some have innovative solutions for dating.
One app that has built some buzz in this space is WatchMe88. The app, built for the Apple Watch but also available on the iPhone, is a status indicator for the real world.
All of our modern technology has made many of us shy when it comes to striking up a conversation in-person. We have all seen this in bars or restaurants where everyone is staring at their phones rather than talking to each other. WatchMe88 lets you tell the world that you’re available and ready to chat.
The idea is simple: You can set your watch to glow, providing a visible clue that people you may be interested in can approach you to start a conversation. This is an interesting twist since it brings a tech concept from online chat over into the real world. Additionally, the app provides simple tools, like sending a wink, to spark conversation.
You can also set the watch to only glow when another user is in proximity to you — a new way of bumping into someone at a bar. The interesting approach forecasts how wearables are going to merge technology and our real-world interactions.
6. SparkStarter – Matches courtesy of your social graph
There is a lot of information about you on Facebook. Everything from who you know, to what you like, and where you’ve been. The amount of data that Facebook has is truly mind boggling. Some people worry about what companies and Facebook itself will do with all that information, but at least one app wants to use your social connections to set you up with a potential romantic match.
SparkStarter makes all of its users sign in via Facebook, and then taps into that information, including looking at your friends and their friends to generate matches. Beyond that, the app lets you play matchmaker so you can hook up your friends with other singles.
Though the concept of friends setting one another up on dates isn’t new, SparkStarter leverages the powerful technology in modern mobile devices to make the process far easier.
That’s just a sample of the apps that are out there. Several developers are probably brainstorming new ways to use technology to help us meet our matches as we speak. Fortunately, many who develop these apps haven’t forgotten to include the elements of what makes dating exciting. They’ve just created solutions that make the whole process easier.