Admit it! When you bought an iPad, possibly against your better financial judgment, you secretly hoped that each time you pulled the shiny new gadget out in a bus or cafe, attractive singles would flock around you to stare and say hello. If you've since found that the attention-magnet-wannabe gadget hasn't sufficiently enhanced your charm quotient, there's now an app to hopefully offset the difference.
SpeedDate.com, the site that brought its dating app to the iPhone last year, announced on Friday a version for the iPad. The company claims this is the first dating app for the iPad and hints that the device's larger screen is synonymous with a higher chance of finding a date. After all, it seems apparent that the larger screen would let you see more search results in one page than the iPhone, as well as finger-swipe through photos more conveniently.
SpeedDate says the new free app allows for instant notification alerts when e-mails or "winks" have been received and when a person of interest is online. On top of that, more detailed search filters narrow the matching process further by sorting singles based on physical attributes, lifestyle, special interests, and other criteria. You can also use the tagging feature to ensure that all of your favorite profiles are stored and easily accessible.
I tried downloading the app to my iPad and immediately found out that my account, which I created a year ago for my previous post on the iPhone version, couldn't be used to log in. This is interesting as it still works when I try logging in at the Web site.
To use the app I had to create another account by surrendering another e-mail address and entering a few personal details including name, birthday, and location. I went ahead with the process. The old account didn't give me much luck in the past year anyway.
Once I created a new account and was able to log in successfully, I was greeted with a long list of (supposed) singles in my vicinity who I could quickly flirt with, wink to, add to my favorites list, or even send a private message to. Trying to do what singles probably want to do most, however--view photos--proves disappointing. The pictures are all very low resolution and show up at the same size as they do on an iPhone screen. On the iPad they look tiny, and there's no zooming function to judge just how hot he or she is.
I also found out that there's no way to change the login info on the iPad. Instead, each time you launch the app, it goes straight to the account you just created, even when you have restarted the device. This means that if your friends with SpeedDate accounts want to use your iPad to quickly check out their potential dates, that won't be possible.
It also means it's not a good idea to lend your iPad to other people after you've used the app, as they can easily see that you've been checking out PrincessCharmingButLonely. It's unclear if this is just a bug or if SpeedDate uses this as a way to identify those who use the iPad to access its service.
The app has four tabs at the bottom, including Matches, Messages, Members, and My Profile. The Matches tab, despite being labeled in the plural construction, shows one random match per screen, at which point you have to hit the Next button to go to another random match that you can wink to and flirt with but can't add to your favorites (apparently, the best way to remember screen names found through this feature is to write them down on a Post-it).
On the other hand, the more helpful Members tab shows a list of members in one long page. You can use the Messages tab to manage messages you've sent and received, and of course the My Profile tab is where you must show your charms (make sure to post a picture of yourself holding a new iPad).
All in all, the SpeedDate for iPad app seems rather simple, mundane, and not very well-thought-out. It makes an OK addition for those who have already been subscribers to the service and want to add it to their iPad.
To make the debut of the app more exciting, SpeedDate is randomly offering a free iPad between now and May 28 for any new user who subscribes for SpeedDate's premium service, which costs $16 per month for an annual subscription.
It's unclear how many iPads the company is planning to give away, so your chances of getting one might be really low--possibly lower than the chance of actually finding a date in real life.