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Dating apps on Apple Watch

I got an Apple Watch because I’m a big dork, and I was really excited to be an early adopter of this new product. (I know smartwatches have existed for ages, but I’m deep in the Apple ecosystem so I wasn’t that interested in offerings from other companies.) But in secret, I also got it because I was fascinated by the interesting and terrible dating app ecosystem that would surely emerge.

Picture this: you’re on a date with someone you met on Tinder. Your watch pings and the face lights up… with a picture of someone who just matched with you on Tinder. Your current date catches a glimpse of your glowing Apple Watch face with its obvious Tinder notification, and is instantly reminded that you’re totally both seeing other people and thinking about other people. Your date suddenly feels all chemistry and spark fizzle out in a watch-assisted instant. AWK-WARD, right!?

I was determined to take a look at how the dating app ecosystem could help and possibly harm your love lives. Let’s pretend this justifies my $400+ purchase, haha. :)

On Day One, April 24th, the Watch app store only had dating apps from Match and OkCupid. Tinder wasn’t even on there! I recorded this whole long video, mocking IAC for missing the launch day milestone… and then Tinder released a Watch app a couple days later. D’oh!

I re-recorded. It only made sense—and this way I had a little more time to check out the existing dating app ecosystem and see the good, the bad, and the ugly. (Spoilers: it’s mostly kinda ugly.)

My video talks you through the four main dating apps available on Apple Watch: OkCupid, Tinder, Match, and Coffee Meets Bagel. But you might notice on my Watch home screen as well as in a text message with my husband Grant that there’s also an app called Clover.

There’s a reason I didn’t cover Clover in the video—it sucks. I’ve literally never gotten the Watch app to do anything at launch. (And plus Clover is new in general to the dating scene and therefore probably not worth your efforts just yet since the userbase is still pretty small. Give it time to grow!)

And hey, on the Tinder thing, it’s worth noting that there are PLENTY of third-party apps that handle in-app dictation well. I still can’t get over how bad Tinder handled this. Twitterific on Apple Watch does a great job with dictation—you can dictate a rely to a tweet, but you have the opportunity to look it over and throw it out if the microphone didn’t pick up your speech as you intended.

Twitter is very similar to Tinder, in that it’s a context where you really want to get the words right instead of just hitting “send” on something garbled and awkward, you know? Twitterific isn’t even my usual Twitter client on the iPhone, but I’m ever so grateful of its existence on Apple Watch.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this walk through the main dating apps on Apple Watch—and I hope you, like me, will be ruthless in shutting notifications down and/or deleting these apps until these developers figure out how to offer you better functionality on your wrist. :) I promise to keep you posted.

Either way, happy early tech adoption and happy dating!

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