Apps for dating and beyond

Looking for a date this weekend?

Blendr / Grindr

For: iOS, Android, BlackBerry
Price: Free, in-app purchases for some features
Website: blendr.com , grindr.com

Grindr rose to infamy as the location-based sex hookup app of choice for the gay community.

You simply enter a name, upload a photo and wait for the requests to come flooding in. As it's location-based, finding a nearby hookup has never been so easy.

The creators of Grindr saw potential here for the straight community, too, so they created Blendr in response.

Blendr app screenshot

Maybe it's because of its partnership with Badoo, or maybe it's because of the different interactions between males and females, but Blendr is a bit of a fail, with tons of fake profiles and little in the way of genuine connectivity.

For straighties, try an actual dating app.

Snapchat

Snapchat app screenshot

For: iOS, Android
Price: Free
Website: www.snapchat.com

Billed by the press as the 'sexting app', the developers maintain that their intentions are pure.

Still, the ability to take a photo (but not video) and send it to a friend (*wink*) and then have it self-destruct after a few seconds, really does lend itself rather well to sending your goolies over the interwebs.

Just remember that the other person can take a screenshot, which you'll be notified about, or use another camera to take a photo of the screen.

Facebook has launched its own clone app, Poke, if you feel some loyalty towards ol' Zuck.

OkCupid

OkCupid app screenshot

For: iOS, Android
Price: Free
Website: www.okcupid.com

OkCupid is my preferred dating site because it's free, not overrun with spam accounts and the plethora of questions (and there really is a whole lot of them) help match you up with someone you're more likely to get along with.

The companion mobile app includes the ability to broadcast a status out to users or see which users are nearby, allowing you to make contact with someone for a spontaneous… drink.

It also includes the functionality that you'd expect: profile management including photo uploads, messaging and chat.

Try OkCupid's Crazy Blind Date app for a more Grindr-like experience.

Urbanspoon

Urbanspoon app screenshot

For: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Kindle
Price: Free
Website: www.urbanspoon.com

So you've hit it off with someone online and you're ready to go meet them for that all-important first date. You can't afford to stuff this one up, buddy — you need to find a good restaurant.

Urbanspoon allows you to pick a price range (pro tip: '$INSERT:CONTENT:ENDrsquo; is impressive enough), type of cuisine (avoid garlic and chilli — emergency toilet breaks) and an area, then check the results for user ratings from critics, bloggers and other users, as well as photos.

Contact details are accessible from within the app, as is the web site, menu and Facebook page. Because let's face it, there's nothing romantic about food poisoning.

How to Flirt – wikiHow

WikiHow to flirt website

For: iOS
Price: Free
Website: www.wikihow.com/Flirt

During your date, you'll need to be charming, witty, generous and perhaps above all, flirtatious. No idea how to be these things?

Well, perhaps give this app a spin (preferably before you're on the date), so you have a rough idea of how to show you're interested, without coming off as a total creeper.

Of course, take some of the advice with a grain of salt, including the bizarre admission: "If the person seems unresponsive, there's the possibility that they are on the autism spectrum".

Still, there are some helpful tips for the chronically shy or inexperienced dater.

Avocado

Avocado app screenshot

For: iOS, Android
Price: USD$19.99 annual subscription
Website: avocado.io

Avocado provides you with a secure, private connection with your (new?) partner, allowing you to send texts, photos (including galleries) and on a more practical note, shared lists (for, say, grocery shopping), along with the fairly cheesy addition of mobile hugs and kisses.

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