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Apps for Valentine's Day


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Today's smartphones are, by their nature, quite versatile. It's impossible to guide every lover on Valentine's Day to the app for their particular needs, because despite the requisite "flowers, chocolate, *something*" expectations, we all do it differently. I tried to round up a few apps that might appeal to just about anyone who participates in tomorrow's festivities. Happy Valentine's Day, if that's your thing!

Going out to eat

If you're trying to get a reservation, one of the fastest ways to check and make a reservation is with OpenTable (hopefully your area's restaurants are on-board with their system). If you're out and looking for somewhere to eat, I still use one of the first big breakout apps from the App Store, UrbanSpoon. Of course, you can always ask Siri, but if you don't have a 4S, try Yelp.

Going out to find someone to love

Personally I've had a great experience with OKCupid, probably the least skeevy of the online dating sites and its app is quite excellent. There's also Skout, which I haven't tried, but it has good reviews and features a location-based singles finder in the app.

There are also most specific love-finding apps like Grindr for the gay community and Cupidtino for fans of Apple stuff.

Buying a gift

Don't know what to buy your sweetheart? Apps like El Gifto, and Thoughtful (not yet available in app form) will help you answer that question by asking a few background questions first. You can use Red Laser to comparison shop (you hopeless romantic, you) or Giftiki to pool your money with friends -- the gift that says "I love you enough to beg our friends for money."

Setting the mood

Yeah we've all heard of Pandora by now, but lately I'm digging the DJ-powered Slacker Radio for less repetition and a wider set of music. Slacker also has several romance-themed stations set up, like this one called Love Songs.

If you subscribe to Rdio or Spotify, you can build your own playlist for all-night romance without commercial interruption. My personal preference is Rdio, but it'll be fun to see all the romantic songs being played in Spotify on the night of V-Day thanks to Spotify's in-your-face social mechanisms.

Having fun

Spending a night at home? Try Scene It? Romance Movies for some lighthearted fun -- although it could be embarrassing if you never watch romance movies. If you want to reminisce about the times you had together and snapped with Instagram, check out Lovestagram, which will bring up all the pics of you and your loved one taken using the social photo service. iKamasutra is the App Store-approved Kama Sutra for the iPhone. You could just as easily buy the real deal in ebook form, but the app provides easy navigation to all your favorite, um, love pretzels.

Got any other apps you recommend for Valentine's Day? If you need to call a florist, I'd suggest Google or Siri -- and that you do it fast.

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