Monday, February 13, 2012

SinglesAroundMe app likely won't change your relationship status

Valentine's Day is nearly here, and the rush by developers to interest as many people as possible to grab their app before Feb. 14 is on. That includes SinglesAroundMe, an available on iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, which on Friday was chosen as the featured app on Blackberry App World --- good timing for Valentine's Day.

The idea sounds good: the SinglesAroundMe (SAM) app is a location-aware mobile dating app that runs across the iPhone, Blackberry and Android platforms. The app can show you, within a radius of from 100 feet to 100 miles, Singles that are "around you."

Using the "SAM" search, you can plot your location and those of singles around you on a real-time Google map. Then From here you can view another user's profile, photos. You can send "winks" and messages to others, see their GPS location, add them to a "hot list," or even block them, as well as control your privacy settings.

Not once can you use it based on your real-time location, you can also "plan ahead," by using the "Destination Search" feature to view matching singles in real-time, at a location of your selection. While you might wonder why anyone would use that sort of feature, the site says it's a ways to check the "action" in a bar before you decide to go, or scope out a resort before traveling.

It sounds good --- if you're single and looking --- although it sounds more like a hook-up app than a dating app. However, the ratings in the App Store and Android Market make one think twice. Free in the Android Market, SinglesAroundMe has a current rating of 1.9 stars.

Also free in the App Store, it has an overall rating of 1.5 stars. However, premium messaging features are $2.99 for a month or $19.99 for a year, using in-app purchasing.

The app is also available in BlackBerry App World, where the $9.99 paid version has a rating of 4 stars while the Lite and "Special" versions, which are free, have 3.5 star ratings, each.

Perhaps BB users are more tolerant of extremely slow updates, as that and the app just not working are the complaints on Android and iOS. Despite these issues, the app is, according to the company, seeing 80,000 new downloads monthly. The company also says it expects 1 million new singles will join the service this year.

There are a number of other "hook-up" type apps available on the Android Market and iOS that are higher rated. Among them, we found MiuMeet, which has a 4+ rating in both stores, and Zoosk, 3.5 stars in the Android Market and 4 stars in the App Store.

Just remember: these may seem to be free, but to really use them, you'll need to make some in-app purchases that can add up quickly.

Based on these reviews, we'd say that if you are a BlackBerry user, you might want to try SinglesAroundMe. If you are an Android or iOS user, you might want to try something else.

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