Best Hookup Apps for iPhone Bumble vs Coffee Meets Bagel vs Happn ... and 2 more
Edited by Jasmin, Eng
As the stigma around online dating and hooking-up decreases, the number of services to facilitate these activities increases. And, as all things seem to eventually do, these services then become available in app form. With good reason, too; there are a number of reasons why people find it beneficial to have access to these services on the go. For one, we as a society are busier than ever. If we don't have time to meet that special someone at a bar or coffee shop, we probably don't have time to sit at a desktop and wait for connections. Time is precious and apps can help us use it wisely, even for dating.
Whether you're looking for something casual or serious, need more time to chat online or want to dive right in, there's a dating app for you. Dating services still have a long way to go in terms of inclusivity and transparency, but the following 5 apps highlight the best of the bunch.
Method 1: Bumble
- 1How it Works. Bumble is a dating service that aims to set unprecedented standards for respectful behavior in online dating. It said goodbye to traditional gender roles in heteronormative dating, by allowing women to be in charge of making the first move for heterosexual matches. In same sex matches, either person can feel free to take the first step. For each potential match you have 24 hours to decide if you'd like to move forward.Advertisement
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free, with many in-app purchase options. Subscriptions, also known as Bumble Boost, come in 7, 30, 90, and 180-day options. Bumble Boost will unlock users who have swiped right on your profile and you can choose to match with them immediately. It also allows you to re-match with expired connections, and provides unlimited chances to extend matches.Advertisement
- Easy to use interface: simply swipe right for yes, left for no.
- If you swipe the wrong way (or regret your choice) simply shake your phone to undo.
- Reduces incidence of scams and spam by requiring a Facebook account to login.
- Extend one potential connection per day for a total of 24 hours.
- Once the 24-hour window for potential chatting has expired the match is cleared away, leaving your timeline free of clutter.
- Use the friend-finder option to make new platonic social connections, too.
- Block and report any user for inappropriate or just plain creepy behavior.
- Profiles are short with an emphasis on photos, so you can't showcase your personality too much beyond pictures.
- 5Verdict. Bumble is a great app for straight women who want more control over their online dating experience. Download here.
Method 2: Coffee Meets Bagel
- 1How it Works. Coffee Meets Bagel wants to make the online dating experience more efficient. Instead of having to swipe through endless profiles, the app will send you daily Bagels (potential matches) that have been pre-selected just for you. If both parties "like" the other Bagel they'll move to the next stage of private messaging. Like Bumble, ladies in heterosexual matches are given the edge; the profiles they see are from men who have already 'liked' them.Advertisement
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free, with in-app purchase options for beans, which you can use to unlock certain app features. Recently, CMB introduced a subscription service for $35 per month. With it you'll get access to stats on other Bagels (how often they engage in chats, how active their profile is, etc.,) message read receipts, and 6000 beans per month.
- Provides icebreaker questions to get the conversation going in private chats.
- Private chats expire after 8 days, keeping your timeline clutter-free and motivating you to go on real-life dates quicker.
- After the private messaging stage the app sends follow-ups to encourage real dates.
- Use the Discover section to search for matches outside the pre-selected options. You'll need to use beans in order to take any further steps.
- Profiles are extensive and can have up to 9 photos.
- Very user-friendly interface with interactive tutorials and guides.
- Reduces incidence of scams and spam by requiring a Facebook account to login.
- Potential matches can be friends of friends, which could make things awkward if a hookup doesn't work out.
- Doesn't provide a lot of control; unless you want to spend money on beans you have to wait for the daily pre-selected matches.
- 5Verdict. Coffee Meets Bagel is particularly great for busy people as the selection process is done for you, or anyone who likes a slower approach to dating and enjoys just seeing a few matches or less per day. Download here.
Method 3: Happn
- 1How it Works. Happn saves you from missed connections by finding the people you've crossed paths with. Anytime you pass another app user their profiles show up on your timeline. If both parties show interest a Crush is formed and you can start a conversation.
- View the number of times you've crossed paths with someone, as well as the time and place of your most recent encounter.
- Keep your 'likes' anonymous unless the feeling is mutual.
- Choose to make you interest known using coins.
- Only receive messages from people you've 'liked.'
- Your actual location always remains invisible.
- Simply select the Cross option to never see another user's profile again.
- Get free coins just for signing up.
- Profiles are quick and easy to set up. They allow you to specific the type of activity you'd enjoy doing on a first date.
- Integrated with Spotify so you can see how well your musical tastes align with potential Crushes.
- The person you often cross paths with, and perhaps really like, may not be using the app.
- Just because you have a close proximity to a person several times a week doesn't mean your personalities will match up.
Method 4: HER
- 1How it Works. HER is the dating app built by LGBTQ women for LGBTQ women. Beyond making matches it provides community, too; read the latest news, see events in your area, and make new friends.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free, with subscription options to the Premium service for 1, 6, or 12 months. Premium features include viewing profiles of people currently online, unlimited swipes, seeing who has liked your profile, and more.
- Profiles on the Meet tab display a collection of photos for each user, making it easier to get an idea of what each woman looks like.
- Every account is verified to ensure a safe space.
- Send likes to initiate chat; no user ever gets unwelcome messages.
- Also acts as a kind of social media, where post and comment on links.
- Meet other women in your neighborhood or in entirely different cities.
- Profile setup takes less than 5 minutes.
- Reduces incidence of scams (mostly by men) and spam by requiring a Facebook account to login.
- Doesn't offer any prompts for profile creation.
- 5Verdict. Though many dating apps designed for all sexual identities try their best to be inclusive, it doesn't always work out. For single ladies who identify as LGBTQ this app may be the superior option. Download here.
Method 5: Tastebuds
- 1How it Works. Tastebuds is a music-based dating app that connects you with people who share your taste in tunes. Simply scan your iPhone music library or add artists to your profile, and you'll be notified of other app users nearby who you have music preferences in common with.
- 2Pricing/Upgrades. Free.
- Offers a very unique approach to online dating; break the ice with someone by sending them a song.
- 'Like' profiles anonymously, but when the feeling is mutual you can start a conversation.
- Offers a variety of profile prompts to help you get started.
- Filter searches by narrowing down age, gender, type of relationship, and distance from your location.
- Use Incognito mode when you don't want to be noticed, to hide your profile and online status.
- Integrated with Spotify, so you can save new tracks you find and add them to your profile.
- Not just for dating; find friends and concert buddies too.
- Taste in music doesn't guarantee you'll be compatible in other areas of life.
- User base is smaller than many dating apps because of its niche appeal.
- 5Verdict. There's a low pressure, low commitment vibe to Tastebuds that offers fans of taking it a slow a great way to dip their toes into digital dating. If music is a priority in your life this app may provide just the approach you're looking for. Download here.
Tips for Digital Dating
- 1To make your profile stand out in the crowd:
- Don't be afraid to be honest about yourself. Your lies or embellishments will eventually be revealed and it could lead to heartbreak or just wasted time.
- Forget the "rules" and "games" we hear so much about in romantic comedies (and from misinformed friends.) Part of the point in using a dating app is to make the experience more efficient and straightforward. Why complicate things when you don't have to?
- 2When making IRL plans with a match:
- Always let at least one friend or relative know where you're going and schedule a time for them to check-in with you via phone call not text.
- For the first few dates meet in a familiar, public place.