Sex Issue: Dating app reviews

We gave our writers the task of reviewing three of the top-rated mobile dating apps on the market today. Here's what they had to say.


Mateo Ospina (4/5)

Tinder taught me humility. It's easily accessible and by far the most popular app among university students. Bios range from inspirational quotes to Snapchat and Instagram usernames. The process entails a simple method of swiping right for interest and left for pass. The occasion of a mutual match is celebrated by granting both users access to communicate through messages with each other.

It’s this same simplicity that leads to it’s biggest flaw: Tinder is really easy to get lost in. After an arbitrary number of swipes, the people you are evaluating become less like people that you would talk to and more like objects that can be quickly and efficiently categorized with the flick of a finger. But I guess that’s the point, selling yourself in six photos and a single line bio to find the right match.

Mikayla Uber (4.5/5)

Tinder takes the complex world of online dating and reduces it to two simple words: swipe right. There is no need to spend hours thinking of witty profile blurbs or answering compatibility questions. The app automatically imports your pictures from Facebook, so all you have to do to create a profile is compose a witty sentence or two for your bio. Obviously this is great for lazy personalities such as myself. Within mere minutes you are ready to be matched with suitors near you. The app understands our need for immediate gratification, as all you have to do to be matched with someone is swipe right. It also eliminates that awkward rejection factor common on other dating apps. The only way you can actually talk to someone is if a mutual interest is first expressed by both of you swiping right. No longer will you receive messages from unsolicited creeps. (Only solicited ones.) Tinder turns online dating into a low-pressure game, and less of a serious science. It answers the hard questions (do you think I’m hot? do you want to sleep with me?) with a simple swipe.

Tammy Hseih (0/5)

When I was trying to verify my phone number on Tinder, it pops up a sign said “There was a problem getting your code. Please try again.” And even though I restarted my phone or re-downloaded for several times, it still didn’t work.

Plenty of Fish

Tammy Hseih (4/5)

The setting of POF is not fancy but practical, allowing users to upload multiple photos with straightforward layout. The profile includes description of appearance, interest, personal background, ideal first date and the kind of relationship they are looking for. The app version is much more user-friendly than the web version. POF users (at least males) are very active and reach out to people frequently. I received 16 messages in the first two hours after I signed up. Most of the messages are polite and only few of them are vulgar. One advantage (or disadvantage) of POF is a user can search other people by their user names. (You can do that in the app but not the website.) There is also a calling function which I never dare to use. In general, POF is a good place to go if you are eager to meet new people.

Mateo Ospina (1/5)

I have never heard of a university-age student using Plenty of Fish. I give it a point for being PC accessible and removing the hassle of having to use the phone, but with so few people to chat to, I didn’t get much use out of that feature.The web layout is ugly and after five days I still have not figured out the functions of all the tabs and multi-coloured badges.

I was bothered by the amount of effort that it required just in the setup. It takes too much inspiration for me to create a minimum 200-character biography. I have no clue what kind of tagline can really describes me.

The profile arrangement really follows no logical order. I was frustrated with racial categorization that only included ‘Hispanic’ rather than the more common ‘Hispanic/Latino’ tag that econmpasses a wider range of identities.

Mikayla Uber (2/5)

I have never known anyone to have a profile on Plenty of Fish, and after using their services, I can understand why. It is structured similarly to OkCupid, in that you have to labour to create an extensive profile after joining. You must describe your perfect date, list your eye color and even think of a catchy headline. Mine was “Let’s play Settlers of Catan.” All of this hard work turned out to be in vain, however. The people on this app tend to be older folk, with some odd hobbies. The most appealing candidate I came across was a literal knight in shining armor that had recently gotten fired from Walmart. Overall the app was relatively slow and outdated, and this was reflected in its clientele. I would definitely stick with OkCupid if you are looking for a more traditional online dating experience.


Mikayla Uber (3.5/5)

The beautiful science of the popular OkCupid dating app is that you can make an informed hypothesis about someone’s personality even before a single message is exchanged. From their profile, you can see the six things they can’t live without, how they typically spend Friday nights and most importantly, whether they prefer cats or dogs. From their answers to a series of match questions, not only can you tell how compatible the two of you are, but also discover their opinion on open relationships and scary movies. The features on this app can be a bit overwhelming in the beginning, as not only do you get a notification every time someone views your profile, but there’s also a Tinder-like tool called Quickmatch, which allows you to swipe right for users you like. Connections are easy to build on this site, as users all seem to be on the quest for true love. (Or at least a nice date.) Why else would they go to the trouble of filling out the lengthy profile and answering match questions?

Tammy Hseih (3.5/5)

OkCupid gives users a clearer idea of who their match is, and breaks down the intimidation of talking to a stranger. There are also details one can edit and questions to answer. With those questions, OkCupid matches one’s answers and the importance of the answers to others and show the percentage of “Friend” or “Enemy.” In the profile, a user explicitly shows what they are looking for: new friends, long-term dating, short-term dating or casual sex. The app of OkCupid is pretty easy to use, but the website provides more functions like searching a user and uploading more photos. It also shows the using habit in one’s profile, either replying frequently or selectively. OkCupid provides more specific location of a user as well. However, because OkCupid users are only half of POF users and less active than POF, I have far less interaction with OkCupid users.

Mateo Ospina (2/5)

OkCupid was too much commitment. After signing up, I was expected to fill out a detailed biography. To start getting matches, I had to answer a minimum of 10 questions though it seemed to grow exponentially both in quantity and awkwardness. My personal favourite was one that asked: “In a certain light, wouldn't nuclear war be exciting?” My answers to these questions then formed my compatibility ratings with other users.

PC accessibility was a plus, but I was annoyed with the tab that showed me every user that had visited my profile. I was simultaneously self-conscious of why people visited my profile without leaving messages and of peeking on other profiles without my visit being recorded.

People were way more LTR oriented. Though I wonder if having all answers to hundreds of personal questions might take the place of actual human interactions.