5 Best Dating Apps

  Does your smartphone sit on the table during first dates? Instead of using it to text your best friend while your date is in the bathroom, put mobile technology to good use with these apps that help you have a better date. Want to find the perfect meet-up spot, run a background check, or make a quick exit? There's an app for that.

1. DateCheck Blind trust is overrated. So check out your date before you meet with this instant background-check app. It checks everything from age to home ownership to marital history. My favorite feature? The “Sleaze Detector.” It checks criminal records and sends any findings straight to your phone. Free for iPhone and Android. intelius.com

2. Slydial Sometimes you just want to leave a voicemail. Like when you’re nervous and you’ve scripted the perfect message. Call 267-SLYDIAL (267-759-3425), enter a phone number, and, after listening to an ad, you’ll be sent to voicemail. You can also create a paid account and use Slydial’s ad-free smartphone apps, which sync with your phone’s contacts. For iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Mobile, slydial.com

3. Picksie If you’re like me, picking a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop for a date is the hardest decision you’ll make all day. Enter Picksie, which finds places to go and things to do based on your likes and dislikes, time of day, and the weather. Just create a profile, enter your preferences, and the app will point you in the right direction. You can also view Zagat ratings, call for reservations, get directions, and buy tickets right from the app. Free for iPhone and Android, picksie.com

4. WineToMatch You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to order—or drink—like one. Just answer a few questions about your (or your date’s) dish, and the app suggests styles of wine that will complement the ingredients, flavor, and pungency of the meal. You’ll look seriously cultured, even if you’re anything but. $2.99 for iPhone and Android, winetomatch.com

5. Bad Date Rescue Is your date going horribly? A new app from eHarmony.com will make a fake emergency call for you. Pick a time and a contact from your address book to appear as the caller (your mom, bestie, boss, etc), and when the time comes, you’ll hear a recorded (yet totally believable!) voice on the other end begging you to come help them. There’s even a quick-rescue feature that can be triggered to ring you in a few seconds or minutes. Are you a bad liar? The app even comes with easy-to-follow scripts for a variety of excuses. Free for iPhone, iTunes
photo: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
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