SpeedDate iPad app complicates love quest

SpeedDate.com announces an iPad application for its online dating service.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
3 min read

Hello singles! The Members tab shows a list of potential dates in one long page. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

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.