Will any of these dating apps rival Tinder?

Oct 15, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. ET
Image: Andrew Bret Wallis/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Tinder not for you? There's a dating app for everyone — whether you fancy your friend, need a matchmaker or just want a cuddle.

Tinder is quick, easy, addictive and firmly established as the king of dating apps. If we haven't embarked on any swiping action ourselves, we know someone who has. But Tinder is still considered — despite its creators protestations to the contrary — to be more of a hook-up site than a way to start a serious relationship. Do any of these other apps offer a better chance of finding love?

Woo

Would you trust your friend to choose a potential partner for you? That's the premise of new dating app Woo, which launched in India on iOS and Android last week.

After you've set up your Woo profile, you can choose which of your friends you'd like to have access to your Woo options. They'll get an invitation to opt in and will be able to see profiles of people who match your preferences in terms of location, age and gender. You'll be alerted to profiles your friends have deemed to be good matches and you can decide whether to take it further. If Jane Austen's Emma was matchmaking in 2014 she'd be all over it.

Beyond that, the Woo team claim to help you "meet people who are similar to you in terms of lifestyle and interests and are looking for meaningful relationships."

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How About We

Rather than trying to sell yourself to other singletons, How About We is focused on the dates themselves, with the aim of matching people who have similar interests and outlooks on life. It's still in its infancy (i.e. hardly anyone uses it outside the U.S.) but it's worth checking out if the mere thought of Tinder makes you cringe. You could say it's Tinder's sensible big sister who's looking for something more meaningful than a quick fling.

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Down

Down is basically a tamer variation of Tinder: instead of letting strangers know you fancy them, you're telling your friends you want to sleep with them (or date them, for the more cautious). We've all got someone in our past or present lives that we've had that "What if…?" thought about. Down gives you the chance to put that thought out there, in the hope that they'll feel the same. Users log in via Facebook, meaning every single guy on your Friends list is pulled in — whether they've joined Down themselves or not. Down has the potential to be extremely frustrating and/or embarrassing but, if you believe in fairy tales, give it a try.

Cuddlr

As the name suggests, Cuddlr offers a sex-free alternative to Tinder. Designed for people who just want some human contact, it matches cuddlers with cuddlees in the same area, giving them only 15 minutes to respond to a request for a hug. Creator Charlie Williams told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “On Cuddlr, you get together straight away, have a little cuddle, and then part ways. If you want to hang out again, you can exchange information then and there — but you already know what kind of cuddles they give.

"It is possible to report someone who cuddles inappropriately, and we encourage first-time pairs to do their cuddling in a public place. Users can give information about their cuddling preferences such as if they favour being the little or big spoon.”

We're not convinced this one will take off. Most of us have someone in our lives who can satisfy our cuddling needs. And surely even no cuddle is better than excruciatingly awkward cuddling?

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