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Dating is hard: launching a new relationship is a scary and uncertain proposition, and it can be hard to find people cool enough to be worth the trouble. The OkCupid app for Android aims to make the whole process go a little bit smoother.
To recap our comprehensive review of OkCupid, OkCupid is a cool dating service run by a gaggle of ex-Harvard statisticians, which offers a powerful matching algorithm based on user questions, a friendly atmosphere, and a diverse user base. Compared to competition like eHarmony, OkCupid offers a less intense, marriage-centric experience, and is much friendlier to casual daters. It’s also free, which is a big advantage for attracting a broader, less desperate user base.
OkCupid recently revamped both its main site and its app for Android, so in this article we’ll be breaking down the new app and its functionality. The app aims to bring the online dating experience to the smartphone — and, mostly, it succeeds.
The app allows you to browse your matches and sort them by various characteristics (distance, time, and how much OkCupid’s algorithms think you’ll like them). You can also see who’s been viewing your profile, edit it to be more appealing, and send and receive personal messages.
Design and UI
The redesign is attractive and resembles the main site, featuring a minimalist blue-and-white style with an open aesthetic and minimal clutter. Most of the functions can be accessed through a single menu that swipes in from the left. Some features have made the jump to mobile better than others: features like messaging and profile editing are better used on a PC as they’re text heavy and time insensitive. Suffice to say that few things feel sadder than online-dating related carpal tunnel, and autocorrect glitches on OkCupid can be downright catastrophic.
The app departs from the site in a few interesting ways. Alongside the usual ‘quickmatch’ browsing feature of the site, the app introduces a rapid-fire “local matches” mode which is reminiscent of the Tinder hookup app. This feature is cool – but, in the small town we tested it in, it also ran out of potential matches in about four seconds. For those of you familiar with the site, the app lacks the silly quizzes and personality analysis metrics, and a few of the more arcane features like ‘My Best Face,’ an attractiveness-rating game that uses statistics to judge your photographs against one another and those of the world at large.
The app suffers a little from not prioritizing its most mobile-friend elements. The two best features on mobile are the ones that can be used with one hand while waiting in line or on a bus, notably the ‘local matches’ and the Q&A mode. The Q&A mode retains its addictive appeal in the app, and transitions well to an idle phone time-waster. Sadly, as with the website, the Q&A mode is buried in an awkward location under the ‘profile view’ button in the control menu. Given how much of the mobile experience it comprises, it really should have been promoted to its own menu item.
Bugs and Issues
A few aspects of the UI were distinctly finicky: some of the screen elements were a little small, even on the relatively generous screen of our LG G2, and the behavior of the back button seemed annoyingly inconsistent, often trying to exit the app instead of taking us back to our last viewed page. These niggles aside, the OkCupid app is reasonably well designed, and plenty useable.
On the backend, the app is a svelte 2.03 megabytes and very responsive, a refreshing change from other social networks like Facebook. Pages load quickly, though it struggled a little with some of the photos on small-town 4G. The app seemed stable, and we didn’t experience any crashes or obvious glitches while testing it.
Taken as a whole, the OkCupid app is a worthy stab at bringing the site’s core value to your phone. We don’t have enough nice things to say about OkCupid as a service — it’s by far the coolest and least shady dating site on the market today, particularly for LGBT folks and casual daters. If you’re a regular user of the site, particularly one addicted to the Q&A dynamic of the site, the app is definitely worthwhile.
Image Credits: Scott Akerman Via Flickr