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The search for the perfect mate isn't easy, but your smartphone may be able to help.

Even a few years ago, Internet dating meant tethering yourself to your computer, but these days, mobile devices and location-sensing apps have turned the world into your playground for dates, hookups and long-term relationships, with even Facebook launching a dating service as part of its social network.

On its face, Tinder encourages you to make shallow, snap judgments about potential partners.

You create a simple profile with a handful of photos and a few sentences about yourself, then throw yourself at the Internet's mercy. If you like one, swipe the photo to the right; otherwise, swipe to the left.

Free users can set up online profiles, upload a few pictures of themselves and then engage in some online flirting with "winks", and have new matches delivered to them daily.

More comprehensive features such as the ability to see who has checked out your profile and liked your pictures can be unlocked by a subscription.

For same-sex connections or friendships, either person has to make a move within 24 hours before that connection is gone, though you can get a 24-hour extension.

offers its users a freemium dating experience on Android and i OS.

Profile creation is a fairly minimal experience, focusing on a profile pic, user name, and a few simple questions, and choosing a "Tribe" that describes your type, and then you're up finding other users and chatting them up in minutes.

Grindr is free to use and advertisement-supported, but the premium version, Grindr Xtra, offers ad-free browsing in addition to other features like adding multiple Tribes and advanced search filters. Unlike other dating apps, push notifications for messages require Grindr Xtra.

Facebook Dating, first unveiled back in 2018, launched this year in the U. You access the Dating section from within Facebook's mobile app (Android, i OS), setting up a Dating profile that's separate from your regular Facebook profile.

From there, Facebook finds matches for you based on your preferences, interests and activities on the social networking site.

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