By Scott Gamm
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you're probably busy booking restaurant reservations, ordering flowers and buying chocolates for the special someone in your life. After all, Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach more than $17 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation.But what if you don't have a date or you're trying to keep a date? Believe it or not, there are plenty of smartphone apps to help you in your quest for romance. We did a little digging and testing to bring you our 10 favorites.
|Smartphones can do everything these days, and making a little romance is no exception.|
The brand-new, just-updated Dating DNA free iPhone app has tons of features, but the most useful is probably the one that will find potential dates in your area using the phone's GPS. You can even view photos and find dates in other corners of the world. Simply add friends to the app and use its "Compatibility Score" to let you know which potential date would be the best match for you. And if you don't want to see advertisements and would like more flexibility (like being able to add 20 friends per day rather than only five in the free version), the premium edition of the app is available for $4.99.
Price: Free >>Valentine's Day Financial Facts You May not Know OkCupid
When it comes to finding the right person to date, you're in good hands with the OkCupid app (available on the iPhone and Android), which allows users of the popular (and free) dating Web site to manage their accounts on the go. From uploading pictures to messaging prospective dates to letting others know your status, this app "use
Price: Free SpeedDate: Real Dates in Real-Time
You don't want to waste time and money going on a date if the chemistry and compatibility is nonexistent. So why not cut to the chase and find that out before you even go out? The SpeedDate app (on the iPhone and Android phones) from the Web site SpeedDate.com helps find you a date in minutes. You can search profiles of more than 17 million members around the globe and still take advantage of finding dates in your area with the built-in location feature.
With the popular Skout app (on the iPhone and Android phones) you can chat with other users (who could be your date one day) and even see who looks at your profile. For safety, unless you tell the app to do so, your location or private information won't be made public for other users to see.
Moving on past the dating apps, consider how impressed your significant other would be if you actually made a special chocolate dessert, rather than buying a generic box of chocolates at the drug store. Thanks to the iChocolate iPhone app, you can't mess this one up even if you tried -- it's that easy. Choose from dozens of chocolate recipes including truffles, chocolate risotto, white truffles and more.
Price: 99 cents Find Chocolate!
You don't want your date to be disappointed with a generic gift, so if cooking chocolate pastries by hand really isn't your thing, we still don't suggest going to the drugstore for a tacky box of chocolates. Use the Find Chocolate! app (on the iPhone and Android platforms) to find a classy chocolate shop in your area and make a date of it. (Classy doesn't necessarily mean expensive.)
Price: Free iWrite: Love Poems
When you take your date out to dinner on Valentine's Day, how about a nice poem to dial up the romance? If you were a biology or business major in college, the last time you might have even thought about poetry was back in high school, so the iWrite: Love Poems iPhone app will help you write romantic poems that are perfect for Valentine's Day. The app actually gives you specific instructions; all you have to do is answer the questions.
Price: 99 cents Where to Eat?
Dates usually involve eating at a restaurant. But if you have no clue where to go, use the Where to Eat? app (on the iPhone), which will use the phone's GPS to let you search for restaurants by cuisine in your area. It's always a great way to make a good first impression if you pick an interesting restaurant, so get creative!
Price: $2.99 Valentine Radio
Available on the iPhone and Android phones, this app has all of the romantic music you need for a date or romantic Valentine's Day at home. With some 40 radio stations, the app will cover the mood music -- the rest is up to you.
Price: Free ProFlowers
A great gift for your loved one or your date is a fresh vase of flowers, and with this iPhone app, you can order the flowers now and have them delivered up to 45 days later. That way you'll never forget to make a romantic gesture for upcoming occasions. Scott Gamm is the founder of the personal finance Web site HelpSaveMyDollars.com. He has appeared on NBC's TODAY, MSNBC, CNN, Fox Business Network, Fox News Channel, ABC News and CBS. Follow Scott on Twitter. >To submit a news tip, email: email@example.com. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.