It’s February, and love is in the air. Or is that just an unusually strong 3G signal?
Could be both if you use your smartphone to prepare for and pull off an epic Valentine’s Day date. Here are some apps to get you going:
So I Dated an Axe Murder
Look before you leap with Date Check ($7-$20 per check, iPhone and Android), from background check giant Intelius. Enter whatever ID information you have for your potential sweetie, and the app sifts through a massive public records database to uncover criminal background, financial details and whether he’s really still living in his parents’ garage. Or married.
A Greasy Spoon Ain’t Sexy
A romantic dinner is pretty much the foundation for any serious Valentine’s Day canoodling. Haven’t picked the place yet? Then better get cracking with Open Table (free, available for iPhone, Android and most other smartphone platforms), which shows restaurant availability and customer reviews and lets you make instant reservations. Competing reservation service Urbanspoon (free, iPhone, Android, iPad and Blackberry) has restaurants that Open Table skips, more rating features and a slot machine widget for the chronically indecisive. The app also includes a geolocation feature that shows restaurants near you, in case your plans crash and you need to go into hunt-and-gather mode.
I’ll Have Bottle of Your…
You expect your date to drink what with the seared scallops and saffron risotto?!? Let your phone help you make an informed wine choice with Hello Vino (free, iPhone and Android), which recommends compatible wines according to food pairings and personal tastes.
Smooth Like Butter
Psst! You should say something nice about the way your date looks. Several times. For the terminally tongue-tied, Wheel of Compliments, ($1.05, Android) provides admiring comments at the flick of a finger. Love Poems (free, Android) adds a little iambic pentameter to the sweet talk. Or deliver the verbal strokes the cute and sweet way — realistically inscribed on the image of a candy heart — with Candy Hearts ($1, iPhone.)
You can Dance Right?
Dinner went well and you’re ready to crank up the good vibes. Wertago (free, iPhone and Android) and clubZone (free, iPhone) are location-aware services that tell you about nearby clubs and dance spots, with reviews and social hooks to find friends in the area (in case you need a wingman).
Time to Move In
Time to test the chemistry? Have your best moves ready by practicing with Kiss Me (free, Android) or Kissing Test (free, iPhone). Both apps use your phone’s touch screen to evaluate your kissing technique and suggest improvements. Just have a tissue or two handy to wipe the screen afterward.
You, of course, are witty, charming and irresistible. But it takes two to make magic. Buy yourself a little disaster insurance with Fake Calls ($1, iPhone). The app will deliver a convincing fake phone call at the time you specify. If the date’s going swell, make a show of not answering. If it’s veering into chew-your-leg-off territory, take the call and deliver the “No, first you have to seal off the cobalt chamber, then reboot the reactor” monologue you’ve practiced and dash off to deal with the faux emergency.