Tag Archives | dating apps

Special Monday app roundup: really bad chess and dating imaginary Japanese anime characters

Well, it’s Monday and due to unforeseen circumstances we missed last week’s Friday app roundup, so instead we’re here to liven up your dreary, rainy, grey Monday with some fresh new apps. That’s right, we’re offering all the tools you need to avoid doing work for the remainder of the afternoon on a Monday. So yeah, put away that task list and prepare for some quality time goofing off.

This special Monday app roundup includes: a trippy photo-bending app; an app that makes chess fun again with the power of randomly assigned pieces; an app that lets you message the Japanime fake boyfriend of your dreams; and the perfect anti-Tinder shaking up the world of dating apps.

App: SprayscapeSprayscape photography Android app

OS: Android

What is it? This is an experimental photo app from Google Labs, that uses the gyroscope inside your Android to give your photos a mind-bending effect designed to make it look as if the pics were taken inside a 360-degree sphere. It’s nice to see Google, thinking outside the box and offering us just a cool app that will help you up your Snapchat game and enhance your the quality of your ‘grams. So give this trippy photo-bending app a whirl!

Best review quote: Sprayscape is a quick hack using the phone’s gyroscope to take pictures on the inside of a 360-degree sphere. Just point your phone and tap the screen to spray faces, places, or anything else onto your canvas. – Android and Me

Get it now: for your Android.

App: Really Bad ChessReally bad chess iOS game app

OS: iOS

What is it? It’s true chess is a board game that can be perceived as too complicated, not fun, kinda boring and hard to learn. What if it could be a lot more fun? That’s where Really Bad Chess comes in. With Really Bad Chess you and your opponent are given chess pieces at random, for instance you might have all knights whereas your opponent has mostly pawns, a queen and a bishop and yet you’re playing chess as if it were a normal fair game. So whether you win or lose, is now much more about luck and making the best of what you’re given. All in all, this game almost makes me wish I had an iPhone, only to be able to play this awesome game.

Best review quote:Really Bad Chess changes this by completely randomizing what pieces both sides get. You could have a second row that has three knights and a queen in addition to some pawns. Or maybe you have a couple extra rooks. Your opponent will have something completely different.

This setup not only makes the game different each time you play, but it’s also a clever way of dealing with difficulty. When you play Really Bad Chess, you always play against the same artificial intelligence. It doesn’t get smarter or faster the further you progress. Instead, as you move up in rank, the quality of the pieces you get changes. In the beginning you will have much better pieces than the AI, improving your chances at winning. But as you get better and win matches, the balance starts to shift in the other direction. – The Verge

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: Mystic MessengerMystic Messenger universal game app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? If there’s one thing Japanese girls and some of their Japanime-loving Western counterparts like, it’s games that give you a pretend boyfriend to woo/be wooed by. Mystic Messenger is one of those faux relationship building romance games. You are given the choice of pursuing one of these Japanese animated high school dream boats. Each potential suitor has his own unique personality traits, for instance he might be an aloof businessman who loves cats or an up-and-coming JPop star expressly forbidden via contract from having romantic relationships. The app is designed to look like a fake messaging app which allows you to text, call, chat or email your paramour of choice. It’s the perfect game to play while listening to One Direction on a lazy Sunday afternoon on a pink chenille bedspread in a room plaster with Katy Perry and Chris Evans posters.

 Best review quote: The “otome” genre is one that’s not particularly well-known among mainstream game. The word “otome” is Japanese for “maiden,” and that’s precisely who these games target: women. Typically, otome games are text-driven visual novel adventures with a strong romantic component: the men you interact with are young and attractive, and through your choices, you can (hopefully) woo one of them into a virtual relationship. Branching paths and multiple decision points mean that you can replay the story multiple times and see different endings, good and bad, while pursuing different relationships. There’s an element of role-playing as well as reading (virtual) emotions: what would the guy I’m looking to smooch want to hear from me in the current situation? – Motherboard

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: SirenSiren dating universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This dating app is the anti-Tinder. It hates shallow swiping on looks. Instead you interact with other users by answering daily open-ended questions, thus simultaneously devaluing your looks and promoting interpersonal interactions that are more organic, more akin to meeting someone in daily life. It’s a refreshing concept in a tired genre of terrible copycats that seem to emphasize the exchanging of unasked for pictures of what’s in a man’s shorts. It’s nice to see an app that understands that I don’t do well when pitted against prettier girls in a photo lineup. So yeah, definitely going to give this one a try, you should spread the word about it though, because a dating or messaging app is only useful if the people you want to interact with are using it.

Best review quote: Unlike other popular apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, Siren doesn’t encourage you to swipe through people’s photos. Instead, there’s a daily open-ended question that users answer, and their responses are displayed on a feed.

The idea for Siren was inspired by their frustration with other dating apps, the majority of which were created by men. Lee and Hess, who are both women of color, believe that Siren offers a different perspective on how people can meet — or, at the very least, doesn’t objectify people as much. – Business Insider

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

Sources: Android and MeThe VergeMotherboardBusiness Insider

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Friday app roundup: cupids, severed arms and music trivia

It’s the end of July, there’s a holiday Monday and it’s Vancouver Pride Parade this weekend. Needless to say many of us are being less than attentive at work this afternoon. So we’re here to help you ignore all that and offer our recommendations for apps to try this week. I can’t guarantee that these apps will keep you busy all weekend or that your boss won’t discover you’re slacking off today, but they might provide a welcome distraction from the heat outside.

This week’s app roundup includes: the app version of one of the Internet’s oldest and best dating apps to help you find love; a wild, weird and colourful iOS app for horror fans; an app that lets you flaunt your music knowledge; and an app that just wants to help you manage your online subscriptions.

App: OkCupid DatingOkCupid Dating universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? It’s a dating app, more than that this is kind of the oldest and best established of all the online dating options. It was first established in its website form in 2004, even with Tinder it’s still viewed as one of the better options for online dating. In fact, unlike Tinder, OkCupid cares about its LGBTQ user base which is important with the Vancouver Pride Parade coming up this Sunday. With OkCupid you can rest assured you’re only getting matched with users of your preferred orientation.

Tinder on the other hand doesn’t ask your potential matches which gender they’re interested in. What I mean is if you are a lesbian looking for love on Tinder and you set it up to show you women, you have no guarantee that those women are even interested in dating women. That’s not how dating apps should work.

Also while Tinder has the reputation for being a glorified version of Hot or Not, and being more hookup based, OkCupid is more about dating and establishing relationships, it’s not perfect of course. No dating app is, but the price for its paid users is pretty high which means they’re invested in actually using the service. That and its long established history and hardworking algorithims to provide matches means you may be better able to find just what it is you’re looking for.

Best review quote: When you create a profile in the app you’re asked to answer 21 questions, which OkCupid’s algorithms will then crunch to show you your best matches. Tap on a match to view their full profile.

OkCupid doesn’t offer the hip factor of Tinder or the focused location feature of Happn, but it does offer a true social network feel, which lends itself to people spending more time looking at profiles than simply swiping or scrolling through them in microseconds.The app also allows you to really specify the type of person you are looking for, so you are more likely to get accurate matches. – Know Your Mobile

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: SeveredSevered iOS game app

OS: iOS

What is it? This is a port of a PS Vita game from indie developer Drinkbox Studios, it’s creepy, it’s unsettling, its colourful and it has really eerie atmospheric music. At $8.49 it’s kind of price-y for an iPhone or iPad game, but at the same time it offers something well-made and unique and that’s definitely cheaper than playing it on an actual PS Vita. You play as Sasha, a one-armed warrior who roams wielding a living sword in a nightmarish world in search of her long lost family. It offers a variety of different game play such as battles with crazy monsters, puzzle solving and uncovering secrets. All in all, it’s bright and gloomy way to spend an afternoon or a whole long weekend.

Best review quote: Everything about the Vita version of the game is intact here, including Drinkbox’s signature bright and eerie art style and some wonderfully creepy atmospheric music. It may cost more than the average game, butSevered is a pretty extensive experience as far as iOS games go. It also has a number of new iOS features, including cloud save across multiple devices, game center achievements, graphics optimizations using Apple’s Metal technology and an easier “casual” difficulty mode. – Engadget

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: SongPop 2- Music QuizSongPop 2 - Music Trivia universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Some trivia games try to cover everything, as you may have guessed based on its name, this trivia game is all about music trivia. Also, despite the “pop” in its name it offers questions based on a wide array of genres, spanning several decades. New music and playlists are added every day and it includes Apple Watch support, if you’re into that. How it works is you choose a playlist and listen to the clips, you need to guess the correct answer to the trivia question as fast as possible. Correct answers to trivia questions give you virtual coins that you can spend on awesome playlists in its store. All in all, this is an excellent app for music nerds, here’s a perfect platform for you to show off your aural knowledge as you compete against millions of other users. Believe me, sooner or later this game will deal you that one question even you don’t know the answer to.

Best review quote: From the 60s to today, SongPop 2 tests your knowledge of all things music. There are more than 100,000 real music clips to listen to from popular artists like Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, and many more artists from pretty much any genre imaginable. – AppAdvice

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: TruebillTruebill Android app

OS: Android

What is it? Finance isn’t the most exciting thing to discuss coming up on a long weekend in the middle of summer, but sometimes it’s necessary. Truebill is an app that tries to help you figure out where all your money is going as well as helping you manage your online subscriptions, which can be easy to forget about. It helps you set monitors and alerts for specific subscriptions as well as helping you unsubscribe from services you forgot you subscribed to in the first place. It can be easy to forget which apps and online subscriptions you’re paying for on a monthly basis, but Truebill makes it easier. You can also use it to help you keep track of your recurring bills. Honestly, if you try just one app on this app list, make it this one.

Best review quote:Truebill is the easiest way to find, track and manage your paid subscriptions and recurring bills. See where all your money is going, cancel unwanted charges, view how much you have paid for subscriptions over time, and see all your statements in one place. Truebill is your one stop for all your finances. – Phandroid

Get it now: for your Android.

Sources: Know Your MobileEngadgetAppAdvicePhandroid

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Special Thursday app roundup: dinner dates and s’working it

Happy Easter to those of you that will be celebrating it this weekend. If you can, I hope you are enjoying your extra days off, if you have to work, I hope your customers are reasonable people. So given that today is an honourary Friday, we’re bringing you the app roundup a day early. This week’s app roundup includes: an app that will whip you into shape for summer; an app that will keep you entertained on your flight to wherever; an app that solves the problem with dating apps (yes, another one); and a powerhouse music video app (that I should have mentioned before.)

App: SworkitSworkit universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Nothing is a longer struggle than staying in shape, it’s a constant battle. What’s worse is that your app stores are absolutely awash in potentially helpful fitness apps. This app is hands down, one of the most versatile ones around. You choose the length of your workout, 5 to 60 minutes, the type of workout (strength, cardio, yoga or stretching) and then the app will give you a video of a trainer detailing your workout. It’s simple to use and it can be customized to suit your needs. It has everything you want in a fitness app.

Best review quote: Sworkit has the added benefit of having some research to back it up. In a survey of 30 popular fitness apps, researchers at the University of Florida ranked it the best when looking at its aerobic, resistance, and flexibility components. – Business Insider

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: Flyover CountryFlyover Country iOS app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? This app is amazing and it’s brought to you by the National Science Foundation. It works for more than just flights, but hikes, road trips and any other travel needs. It uses GPS to show you interactive geological maps of where you’re traveling as well as nearby fossil sites, Wikipedia articles about the area and offline base maps. If you are flying or driving it also tells you where you are, your speed and altitude. Best of all, you don’t need in-flight WiFi to use it!

Best review quote: The aim of Flyover Country is to educate people, not just scientists, about the world around them, so it’s a fascinating tool to have on your phone and to be able to dip in and out of. – The Next Web

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: DineDine iOS app

OS: iOS

What is it? It seems like every couple months, some startup says they have a solution for all our terrible dating app experiences. This is another one from Tokyo this time, but it sounds like an excellent idea. This app is designed to help you skip the endless chatting and instead get you right to the first date. This is exactly what needs to happen, you don’t want to feel disappointed because you wasted a couple weeks chatting with someone before figuring out that you’re not a match after all. It also autosorts your profile pictures based on which ones are proving to be most popular.

Best review quote: After filling out a profile, you pick three restaurants or bars (there’s Yelp integration) where you’d want to go on a date. Dine then shows you two to five people a day, and which places they chose, and you can request to go on a date there.

Once you send someone a date request, and they accept, a chat box opens so you can get some sense of whether you have any chemistry. But the act of having the restaurant or bar right there at the start makes it feel much less nebulous than chatting on Tinder. – Business Insider

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

App: VevoVevo universal app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? You know who Vevo is even if you don’t have the app. They sponsor, I’d estimate roughly 30% of the music videos on YouTube. When you see their logo, you’ll realize you’ve seen them many times before. Why get their app, instead of sticking with YouTube? Well, it now uses Twitter, Spotify, machine learning and YouTube itself to deal you recommendations just for you. When recommended videos are done wrong (looking at you Spotify) it can really sour your opinion of that app. Also, when you can’t afford concert tickets (you do get access to live performances of your favourite artists) or you just prefer a multimedia music experience, this is definitely the app you need.

Best review quote: Vevo first asks you to select your favorite music genres. That allows it to then present artists from within that genre (or genres), instead of just presenting some of music’s more popular names. Plus, as you move through your artist selections, Vevo will take into account each choice you make then adjust the next set of recommendations in real-time, the company also says. – Tech Crunch

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

Sources: Business InsiderThe Next WebBusiness InsiderTech Crunch

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Pride Week Friday app roundup time with robot unicorns and selfie style

You better, work dahling. It’s Pride long weekend, hunty and we’re going to turn it out, girl. We’ve got more pizzaz, more rainbow, more unicorns, more glitter, more gay right-supportingneess than you can shake a feather boa at!

So let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s get right down to it now. Without further preamble here’s what this fabulous Friday app roundup entails: the ultimate gay dating/hook up app (go on guess which one I’m going to talk about – I dare ya); a new and odd messaging app with a twist from Yahoo of all people; a sequel to a majestic unicorn classic game and an amazing photo editing suite to glam up yo selfies.

App: GrindrGrindr smartphone app

OS: Android, iOS, PC, Mac, Tablet

What is it? There are a million, bajillion dating/hookup apps and sites. Since the very dawn of the internet, it has been over run with such services and porn too. The thing you might not know is that gay/lesbian/bi/trans/queer/pan peoples can’t use Tinder. Why? Because when you state your preferred gender on Tinder – yes, it takes that into account when finding you appropriate matches – but, it does not ask your matches their preferred gender at all. So if I’m a lesbian on Tinder looking for love, the service will match me with every female near me, BUT those females are mostly all straight. Not super helpful. It’s true OKCupid has an excellent, pro-active-, pro-equal gay rights track record. (It even lets bi girls appear straight to men so they don’t get harrassed by every single dude who thinks she’s a magical threesome machine.) But for gay dudes (mostly dudes and trans or queer men folk) one app stands out from the pack. That’s Grindr. Look Grindr is largely about hookups, it came before Tinder and was a bit of a pioneer in the overcrowded dating service world because it’s really only for a gay audience. It also shows up in the news quite, often almost every time a self-hating, anti-gay bigot gets outed for being a homosexual it’s because either they found his Grindr profile, his Grindr hookup told the press or he gets caught red-somethinged with a dude from Grindr. So as you can see, it’s a service based on finding local men that’s successful even if you’re a traumatized, self-hating, rabid, anti-gay bigot you can find at least a short term (as in one night only) male lover to “lift your luggage” as the podcast listening Seattle-lites say. (Thanks, Dan Savage.)

Best review quote: Really though you can typically tell this information from the profile picture, which tends to fall into one of three types: 1) picture of a guy topless = wants to hook-up, 2) picture of a guy fully clothed, particularly if it only shows his face = interested in dating or friends, 3) topless picture where you only see the torso and not the guy’s face = closet case that wants to hook-up. – 30 Dates – Dating Blog

Get it now: for your Android, for your iPhone/iPad or for your PC/Mac/non-Android, non-iPhone/iPad tablet/smartphone.

App: Yahoo Livetext – Video Messengeryahoo livetext universal app

OS: Android, iOS

What is it? I’ve said it before, I’m sure I’m going to keep saying it another 20 some odd times: messanging apps are a dime a dozen. I mean if they want to make you buy a messaging app – don’t do it. There’s like 50 more where that came from (discounting apps that only want you to pay for sticker packs, emoticon custom packs and premium extra features.) So you really need to offer something new and special to standout from the pack. Yahoo’s new app, actually kind of does that – who knew they had it in them? It’s text and video based which is pretty standard right? Well there’s a catch, because of course there is. There is NO AUDIO. Just silent videos overlaid with text. It makes it less distracting and at the same time a more intimate conversation. Why? Because without audio to distract you and with the ability to see gestures and facial expressions, simple messaging becomes a much more focused and richer experience. A friend telling me to get my ass to their slumber party is a far more compelling proposition if she can show me the other attendees, the grab bags, the makeovers and the refreshments. That’s gonna get me out the door much faster than a generic text message or phone call. I mean if I don’t leave right this minute she’ll probably run out of alien green nail polish and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate mousse cheesecake and then my night will have been totally ruined beyond repair.

Best review quote: The video texting could help users gauge each other’s moods and meanings more clearly than plain texting, according to Yahoo.

“Your friend’s goofy look or giant smile, even her eye roll or silent sigh, suddenly become a part of your conversation,” Sethi wrote. – Adweek

Get it now: for your Android or for iPhone/iPad.

App: Robot Unicorn Attack 2robot unicorn attack 2 universal mobile game app

OS: iOS, Android

What is it? Now I can’t speak to your drinking habits, but I drink. Sometimes I even drink a lot. When I do drink a lot, I can’t come home and fall asleep right away. I must drink a lot of water, make many trips to “pray to the porcelain god” as the kids say and watch some cartoons or a play a simple video-type game. This state of mind is where the Robot Unicorn Attack games come in. The games can be played in apps or on their website and are so shockingly simple not just a child could play them, but a monkey could play them, a non-gamer could play them, a drunken adult could play them. Your unicorn is running hell bent for sparkles, glitter, tutus and feather boas. As it the robot unicorn runs it must jump some gaps in the terrain and avoid obstacles. The whole time this obnoxious j-pop slash dance music on ecstasy is pulsing in the colourful background. You find your head bobbing along which makes it harder to steer your robo-corn beastie. Oh no! The majestic ungulate hits a wall, it explodes! Game over. Try again. Also this sequel to the mind-numbing original lets you FLY pegasus-style! You get three lives or “wishes”. Also, levels change slightly everyday, so every drunken evening presents all new challenges AND it offers colourful, truly amazeballs eye candy for your reddened, over-tired lil peepers. However it is my misfortune to announce that whilst you can choose to purchase different earworm-ish super-eighties, mega-addictive soundtracks it doesn’t feature the Erasure classic track, “Always.” Yes, the review notes the music is very annoying.

Best review quote: The presentation of Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is imaginative to say the least. The unicorn itself looks great and can be customized to the hilt, while the dreamlike levels and backgrounds are like something out of The Neverending Story. You’ll encounter plenty of rainbows, ice sculptures, space whales, dolphins and Levithian seahorses – all gorgeously designed. – Softonic

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad or for your Android.

App: FX Photo Studio – Pro Picture Editor with Color Filters and Beauty Camera for Perfect Selfie plus Textures, FX Photo Studios, man is my official app name for iOS way too long for wordsEffects and Camera Frames

OS: iOS

What is it? What a long winded name, am I right? You’d perish before you could even get that out. But, you know what you need if you’re hoping to find a new “friend” on Grindr? A super-flattering selfie that’s been retouched so much you look like a perfect Ken-doll-like human-shaped Android. A high end Android, like Jude Law’s robo-rent-boy from A.I. (You know…) Yes, this FX app will cost you the nominal amont of $2.99 but wouldn’t it be worth it if it serves to super power your popularity on Grindr, despite the fact that you more cl0sely ressemble the troll under the bridge from the Three Billy Goats Gruff. It actually has more than 200 possible special effects, filters, photo-editing tools and other tricks. Eat your heart out Adobe!

Best review quote: [FX Photo Studio] and a variety of creative tools like text bubbles, watermarks, the ability to add signatures, and the ability to draw with effects. The only thing that will limit you is your imagination. Your amazing creations can be shared on your favorite social networks, or you can put them on postcards and have them shipped anywhere in the world. – App Advice

Get it now: for your iPhone/iPad.

Sources: 30 Dates – Dating BlogAdweekSoftonicApp Advice

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