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Tinder has some new competition

OPINION

  • Tinder has a new challenger in the mobile dating app realm--Hinge.
Tinder has a new challenger in the mobile dating app realm--Hinge. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago…)
February 06, 2014|By Molly Fedick, @mylifeasmolly | For RedEye

Tired of swiping right to no avail? New dating app Hinge could be the answer to your problems—or the start of more. I put both to the test to see if tried-and-true Tinder held court against the new kid in schoo—I mean, within your geographical radius.

Tinder

How it works: If you've been living under a rock or have just emerged from a long-term relationship (so, pretty much the same as living under a rock), Tinder is Generation Y's answer to dating: rapid-fire physical judgment followed by bitter disappointment at the person's weird way of holding a fork. Once in a while, Tinder Cupid's arrow strikes and—bam!—you're the app's latest success story.

Best feature: Tinder's best attribute is how uncomplicated it is—swipe, swipe, swipe, MATCH! Talk. Meet. Yay! Plus, everyone—and I mean everyone—seems to be on Tinder. Somehow there is zero stigma attached. It's not online dating—it's just swiping!

Worst feature: Tinder's best feature also is its downfall. Its simplicity means every selfie-taking, roid-rage-having, brutal-pick-up-line-saying loser has added this app to his arsenal of creepiness. I would not be surprised to see a male gorilla on Tinder. After all, I do live fewer than five miles from the zoo.

Suggested improvements: If Tinder could figure out a way to filter out all selfies, "wacky skydivers" and guys in jewel-toned button-downs with silver ties, this might actually be the perfect app. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening.

Hinge

How it works: Instead of presenting a seemingly endless pool of singles, you are given 10 "friends of friends" possible matches each day at "high noon" (yes, that's actually the term). The swiping is the same, but unlike Tinder, you can see more information—religion, interests, height and schools attended.

Best feature: We've all been there—the accidental left swipe. You spot your soulmate and then—[bleep]!!! In a fit of swiping guys posing with tigers to the reject pile, you've just dumped a Zac Efron lookalike in the Tinder trash. Hinge eliminates this horrifying possibility with a feature I've termed the "Oh [Bleep] Shake." A simple shake of the phone and Mr. or Ms. Wonderful is back. Not to mention, the suggested matches are all high-quality, realistic possibilities.

Worst feature: Only 10 matches per day ... which might be a good thing. It forces you to contemplate your reasons for rejection—does James B's weird beard really matter that much?

Suggested improvements: Give me more filtering options (why show things like religion and height if you can't filter them?) and I'll be one happy Hinge-er.

The winner

It's a tie! Hinge and Tinder are both fun tools for finding love—Hinge because the people are "vetted" through your social network, Tinder because who doesn't like walking blindfolded into a relationship? Now, who's up for a swipe-fest?

Molly Fedick is a RedEye special contributor.

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