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Hinge: Dating & Relationshipsfor iOS

7.7.3

6

Hinge doesn’t mince words when it comes to what they want you to do with their app: delete it. Hinge’s goal is to match users looking for a more serious dating experience, aiming to create real-world connections and long-term relationships that will make keeping the app installed unnecessary. Hinge wants to break its followers out of hookup culture and create an atmosphere that makes dating and relationships more meaningful. This dating app doesn't place much emphasis on flash or frills; you'll browse matches in a simple interface that's easy on the eyes, and answer simple questions to put your personality on display.

Taking a more serious approach to the dating game

Hinge focuses on quality over quantity so you can stay offline and start a relationship.

Though Hinge is candid about wanting you to delete their app, it can be difficult to do so when the app itself is so pleasing to use. From the first moment you begin to create a profile, it becomes quickly apparent that one of Hinge's strongest features is their user interface. A simple color scheme that emphasizes black and white with a few splashes of bright color makes Hinge easy and pleasing to navigate. Scrolling and reading through profiles are intuitive and feel smooth, as does moving between the different menus and messenger windows. It's also noticeable that profiles place just as much emphasis on text as on images; answers to your personality questions take up just as much screen space as your chosen pictures. This is in line with Hinge's goal; they want profiles to be valued for more than the ability to take an appealing selfie.

Beyond photo galleries, users build a profile by answering a few specific questions about personality and interests. After answering basic questions about your match preferences and habits, users can go deeper and type out answers to some unique questions designed to prompt you to think. Examples include fun questions such as What is the most spontaneous thing you've ever done, and more serious ones asking about what you're looking for in a long-term partner. Answers to these prompts show up in a large, easy-to-read window that's one of the first elements you see on a user's profile.

If you come across a profile that sparks your interest, you can leave a like on that profile. You can go further and like specific elements of the profile, such as a photo or video. If you want, you can even leave a comment. It's a simple system that's reminiscent of Facebook or Instagram, and makes it much easier to make a connection and strike up a conversation. You won't need to worry about coming up with a quippy one-liner or icebreaker. For example, if you see that someone's posted a picture wearing a shirt with the logo of a band you like, you can comment directly on the picture and start chatting.

Hinge contends that this low-stake environment makes it easier to form deeper connections, and it's easy to see how that works in practice. With an element of artificiality and posturing stripped away, it's easier to be your true self. Using Hinge feels quite different from more casual dating apps that focus on hookups, such as Tinder.

Unfortunately, Hinge locks many additional features behind a paywall. Free users are only allowed 10 likes and 10 matches per day. Hinge limits you to interacting with your 10 matches unless you upgrade to the premium version of the app, at which point you'll have unlimited matches and likes to use as you see fit. Hinge does spin the limited likes as a plus, contending that the limitations will force users to be more thoughtful about their interactions. This may not seem like much of an inconvenience, especially since most other dating apps place similar restrictions on free accounts. Unfortunately, Hinge also includes a feature that recycles profiles you've already seen in case you want to give them a second chance. Seeing the same profiles over and over again can quickly become frustrating, especially when you're limited to 10 profiles per day as a free user.

They also aren't exaggerating when they say they want you to delete their app. If you decide that you want to leave Hinge, deleting your account is a matter of a few quick button presses. They don't try to hide the option behind confusing submenus or a questionnaire.

Free users also have a narrow set of criteria that they can use to filter profiles. Most of these criteria come from the answers to basic questions, such as age, location, and gender. Paid users are able to filter profiles using more in-depth qualifiers, such as attitudes towards kids, marriage, and drug and alcohol use. If you really are looking for a long-term relationship as Hinge contends, a person's attitudes towards these elements can be a deal-breaker.

Finally, because it's a relatively new app, Hinge has a smaller pool of users compared to other rival dating apps. Their main rival Match, for example, operates with a similar philosophy but has a much larger userbase. This is another factor that can once again lead to familiar faces popping up in your potential matches.

Where can you run this program?

Hinge is available as a download for both iOS and Android devices.

Is there a better alternative?

Despite excelling in other areas, Hinge falls short with its small pool of potential matches. If you like Hinge's philosophy, check out Match. It shares Hinge's objective of creating deeper relationships, but has a much larger user base clocking in at over 30 million people. If you're looking for a connection that's more low-stakes, you'll probably prefer Tinder or other dating apps with a casual focus.

Our take

Hinge's pleasing UI and easy-to-use features make for a quality dating app. That said, it suffers from some setbacks including a small pool of matches and a restrictive paywall. Though an otherwise excellent app, these shortcomings prevent Hinge from being the top of the pack.

Should you download it?

Yes. Despite some flaws, Hinge is still a great choice for those looking for a more meaningful dating app.

Hinge: Dating & Relationshipsfor iOS

7.7.3

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