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The Top 10 Best Mobile Dating Apps in 2013 (Part I)

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Julie Spira has come a long way since she created her first online dating profile nearly 20 years ago. She is now a dating coach and leading online dating expert, as well as the best-selling author of two books: The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and The Rules of Netiquette: How to Mind Your Digital Manners.

Each year, Spira and her team curate a list of the latest and greatest mobile dating apps on the market. With the current explosion of mobile dating, it couldn't come at a better time.

Who made it onto this year's Cyber-Dating Expert Top 10 Mobile Dating Apps list? Let's find out.

10. HowAboutWe (iOS and Android): HowAboutWe distinguishes itself from traditional online dating services by focusing on getting its users offline. Spira gave HowAboutWe special commendation for partnering with AARP for the large number of single baby boomers who are over 50 and looking for love online.

9. OkCupid (iOS and Android): What makes OkCupid a winner is its simplicity. Both the site and the mobile apps are free and easy to navigate. Users can sign directly into the app or log in from Facebook, and can then access the Locals feature to find other users in their vicinity. The real strength of the OkCupid app is that it does a great job of maintaining the original functionality of the website.

8. Grindr (iOS, Android, and Blackberry): This is Grindr's third appearance on Spira's yearly list. They've been the leader in mobile app only service since their launch in 2009. Grinder has 7 million users in 192 countries, making it the most innovative and successful niche mobile dating application in the world. The average user spends two hours per day on the app and logs in eight times daily.

7. Skout (iOS and Android): Skout was one of the earliest mobile dating apps on the scene, and it is now a global network with a presence in over 100 countries around the world. The free app identifies singles in your immediate area and gives you the opportunity to contact and meet up with them. Skout now has two separate communities for teens and adults, making it much safer to meet new friends.

6. Meet Moi (iOS and Android): Meet Moi calls itself a social discovery service rather than an online dating service, but the basic idea is the same: the app matches users with one another based on preferences and proximity, and alerts users with a push notification when there's a match in the vicinity. The coolest thing about it? The "Wingman" feature, which encourages group dating by making introductions between groups of friends nearby.

To be continued...

Related Article(s): The Top 10 Best Mobile Dating Apps in 2013 (Part II), The Top 10 Best Mobile Dating Apps in 2013 (Part III)

The Future Of Dating: One Day, Mobile Will Mean More Than Hookups

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Everything is moving more mobile these days, but mobile dating is still plagued by one big problem: it's hookup central.

Location-based dating is clearly designed to lead to a meeting, but with that comes a swarm of users who aren't looking for anything more than a quick fling. On a Web-based dating site, users are searching for a totally different experience, one based on meeting vetted, strictly filtered dates that they get to know on the site before arranging future plans to meet in person.

The challenge that now faces the dating industry is to blend the immediacy of mobile with the success of online dating. "There's no effective app for hetero hookups," says Sam Yagan, one of OkCupid's four founders, in an article on Forbes.com. "Grindr is very popular in the gay space for males. But there isn't really a Grindr for straight people."

Still, Yagan thinks there's a future for mobile dating. He thinks the next incarnation of mobile dating will mean using a variety of dating apps: "One may be a I-just-want-to-have-a-beer-with-somebody-new-tonight app. Or I-want-to-look-for-Mr.-Right. Or I-want-to-look-for-Mr.-Right-right-now."

Another possibility for the future of mobile is the social graph. Tinder, a bright new star on the mobile dating scene, is breaking new ground for social dating. Tinder users sign in using their Facebook accounts and indicate their interest in a potential date by swiping to the left or right of their screen. With the recently introduced Matchmaker feature, users can now make introductions between any of their Facebook friends, whether or not they're already using the app.

Sean Rad, co-founder and CEO of Tinder, argues that what's important isn't the future of online dating - it's the future of dating in general. As people - especially young people - become more accustomed to interfacing with the world through their phones, dating will need to evolve into a new experience.

Rad thinks the key will be to move in the opposite direction of online dating. Once upon a time online dating was hailed for offering access to a significantly wider pool of potential dates than traditional dating. But the downside to that, Rad explains, is that online daters also end up experiencing a great deal more rejection.

Rad sees the future of dating as something very different. A smaller pool may solve some of the problems, but the rest is up to you. "Science can only go so far," he says. "You are the best arbiter." Mobile has a place in that future, and perhaps that place is righting the wrongs that online dating has created.

Rise in Syphilis Blamed on Grindr

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I am not sure if this is the right type of publicity a company wants but the Gay dating app called Grindr is being blamed for the rise of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The Christchurch Sexual Health Clinic in New Zealand has been quoted as saying that these type of apps which allow Gay men to find others nearby have been associated with a 50 percent increase in cases of Syphilis in 2012.

Globally Syphilis has been making a comeback in recent years. It is recommended that you always use protection. In fact Grindr has a policy which bans its members from looking for unprotected intimate encounters. If a member violates this regulation their profile will be removed.

For more on this story you can read The New Age.

Online Dating Trends: Mobile Dating Comes Of Age

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While Justin Bieber is trending on Twitter, what's trending in the world of online dating?

According to the Google Barometer Blog, mobile dating is the newest trend sweeping the U.K. Bickey Russell and Elizabeth Song, Senior Industry Analyst and Analyst Intern, respectively, for Google UK, studied the rising popularity of mobile dating and found that "the volume of Google searches on mobile devices related to dating grew by 215% YoY ['Year Over Year'] since 2008" in the UK alone. And, in an even more remarkable turn, "the volume of dating queries on mobile phones shot up ten fold in just three years' time."

As smartphone usage has become increasingly prevalent, the usage of mobile devices - and the constant Internet connectivity they provide - to access dating websites to search for potential matches and answer messages from interested members has become more and more popular. The market is so large, in fact, that Juniper, a market research firm, has estimated that "the overall mobile dating sector will grow to $1.4 billion worldwide by 2013." That's right - $1.4 billion in just three years. Google research has also found that searches from laptops and desktop computers for "mobile dating" and "text dating" have grown over 72% YoY in the UK.

So what can on-the-go online dating do for you? New interactive features are being invented constantly, allowing you to take advantage of countless new online dating opportunities like proximity dating, which uses GPS or Bluetooth technology to alert users when other singles are nearby. Mobile and location dating also introduce a real-life context into the online dating scene, "making the process less detached from users' everyday lives, social networks, and gathering places."

If you're interested in trying mobile dating, you don't have to venture far outside your comfort zone - many major dating sites, like Match, eHarmony, and JDate, have mobile apps available for download. If you're ready for something new, however, check out these popular apps:

1. Meet Moi: Meet Moi is a location-based mobile dating app that updates your location in real-time and alerts you when a match is nearby. Their basic service is free.

2. SpeedDate.com: Members can search through millions of profiles and start conversations via email with prospective matches. SpeedDate provides an advanced set of filters that allows users to search based on specific criteria, as well as a tagging feature that ensures that favorite profiles are saved.

3. Grindr: Grindr is the largest location-based dating app for gay, bi, and curious men. Grindr is free, and has about 600,000 users per month (about 250,000 users per day, who log on approximately eight times within a 24 hour period!).

4. Zoosk: Zoosk won the award for Best Mobile Dating Site at the Internet Dating Conference this year, and is consistently a #1 dating app in the iTunes Store. The app has all of the functionality of the website, with a GPS location tagging feature.

For more information on the service which won the award Best Mobile Dating Site, please read our Zoosk review. For other dating sites which also offer their services over a phone, check out our Mobile Phone Dating category.

Grindr iPhone App soon for Heterosexuals

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The Grindr iPhone App which allows gay men to locate one another has had phenomenal success. Grindr was launched in March of 2009 and is widely used at clubs and parties to allow like minded men to hook-up with each other. The app uses the GPS located in the phone to determine how close people are to each other. More than 700,000 men from 162 countries are using this App with the United States and the United Kingdom being the most popular countries. Everyday Grindr is downloaded over 2,000 times. A Blackberry Grindr version was also just launched in June, which is sure to increase Grindr's popularity.

A straight version of Grindr is in the works now with plans to release it by the end of this year. Soon heterosexuals will be able to figure out who in this room would appeal to them. Joel Simkhai, the creator of Grindr, says they get a lot more request from straight women than men men for this type of Grindr based app.

For more on the story read The Observer.