Whether you're married, dating or single, mobile offers an increasing array of ways to say 'I love you'. Or at the very least, 'I'm nearby'. Here's a round-up of the apps that will make your toes curl this Valentine's Day.
Bang with Friends
The name pretty much says it all. But if you didn't quite get it, the logo is a little more explicit. One of the biggest problems for dating apps – apart from the lack of women's input during the ideation session – is the need to build up a critical mass of users. Matching you with your Facebook friends requires quite a lot of people to take part in order to find a suitor. Also, they probably wouldn't be your friend if you wanted to... bang them. Fundamentally flawed.
Singles Around Me
Proximity dating is nothing new but SinglesAroundMe handily puts potential partners on a map so you can see just how far 'uglybutfunny97' is away from you. And run in the opposite direction. The potential to find 'singles' is a bit misleading as the app asks you to select your relationship status from a list that includes 'living together' and even 'married'. The company has said that in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, SinglesAroundMe has seen a 300 per cent surge in downloads every day, with daily messaging between users tops 100,000 exchanges. Good luck!
Not quite new, but the British app developer has just gone through a re-brand after being bought by US-owned Pair. Couple is actually really nicely designed and works cross-platform. All you need is your victim's... sorry, partner's email address and those with the time and inclination can send each other videos and masterpieces drawn with the finger all day long. Like Whatsapp – perhaps even a better UI/UX - but just for the two of you. Prepare for technicolour arguments about cleaning.
Taylor Swift Greeting Cards
This iOS and Android app has been created by American Greetings and is therefore only currently available in the US. Which is a real shame. The digital greetings from everyone's favourite heart breaker are available for you to send at any time of year. They would be much appreciated over here too, unless you're Harry Styles. Get on Twitter and #wewanttaylor and we may get a UK version. Who's with me?
Song for My Valentine
From Puresolo, the company that encourages people to try and profit from limited talent, or provides music recording for everyone, as they call it. Sing along to Barry's White's The First, The Last, My Everything with this iOS app and email it to an unsuspecting loved one. It's a good use of their existing platform, repurposed for Valentine's. And, as a paid-for app, every 65p is 65p they didn't have before. You can mix it, make it sound like you're on stage, but not make yourself sound good. Record again and again and send to as many people as you like.
A nicely designed app for an idea that we can all only hope is tongue-in-cheek. Ever wish you could get your boyfriend to go shoe shopping, hold hands in public or visit your in-laws? Are you both iPhone users with 65p burning a hole in your iTunes account? This game lets you reward him for being good, with prizes including a burping pass, a household chore amnesty or a massage while watching the game. The user journey is a bit bumpy, including having to send an SMS to prompt him to pay and download. If we went back to the 1950s (not yet doable on mobile) and asked them what they wanted from the technology of the future, I bet they would have said this.
While gay dating app grindr is often held up as one of the most successful apps ever both in terms of understanding behaviour and making the best of what makes mobile good, Kaliido's mission is to break that mould by helping gay guys connect meaningfully. The matching process focuses on interests rather than 'discreet encounters'. The new social network is still in beta and we aren't sure whether it will be mobile-first. But it should be.
“What do girls do when they're not with men? Bitch about them!” The ultimate app made by blokes for girls. If you want to anonymously rate your male Facebook friends ladies... You're one of those women we hear about. Or maybe you want to treat men like meat for a change ladies. But you probably don't have time. Tag him with attributes #gonebymorning #greatfirebuilder and smugly wait for... No one to care. 100 per cent anonymous but 100 per cent waste of time.
Don't download Badoo if you ever want to see sunlight again. It's like having every guy run up to you in the street just to say hello. While that might sound appealing, if you think you don't have time to date, you don't have time to chat to a world of potential humans and possible spambots all day long. Keep it old-fashioned. Keep looking at the floor.