Valentine’s Day is near, and love is in the air. This ancient love fest goes back centuries, but it has gone high-tech in recent years. In 2014, this means your smartphone apps can play a part in finding love, celebrating love, and sharing things love-connected.
Free on iOS and Android
The simplest love apps offer love quotations. There are hundreds of these littering app stores, and many are awful. But I like Love Quotes from Skol Labs — on iOS and Android. It gathers inspirational phrases from the Web, mainly as images with words on them. The images are split into categories like “Funny” and “Miss You,” and the phrases are as simple as “I need your hug” or as sophisticated as this F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.”
You can find out where the images originated and then share the Web links with a partner. Or you can download the images to forward in a text message or perhaps via Twitter.
The images may make for cute digital love messages.
Love Quotes is easy to use, and it has swipe controls for quick browsing of available images. But the app does warn that images may be subject to copyright, so consider that when sharing them. Plus there’s an occasional pop-up promotion for other apps. That is the price users must pay for a free app.
$1 on iOS
If your Valentine’s Day plans call for cooking dinner, many apps stand at the ready to help.
My Valentine Recipes, $1 on iOS, is one decent choice. It has more than 100 ideas for food and drink, ranging from bloody mary shrimp cocktails to glazed brownie hearts.
The recipes are accompanied by attractive photos to inspire your creativity, and each one has detailed instructions.
There’s even the option to select several recipes and have all the ingredients collated in one handy shopping list.
Valentines Day Recipes Cupcake is a free Android app that concentrates on the sweeter cooking you can do for love. It includes recipes and instructions for many cake and cookie desserts, and has suggestions for cute decorations for your confectionary creations. Its design isn’t the slickest, and it spends too much time promoting other apps and services. But it could give you some good cooking ideas.
Free on iOS and Android
And don’t forget about music for the big day. The Valentine Radio app (free on iOS and Android) has been popular for a while, and that is because it does the trick.
It’s not the most sophisticated — it simply connects you to radio stations around the world that stream free mood-setting music online. You’ll be limited to what’s streaming at the time you tune in, but you can expect a lot of Barry White.
Plus, Valentine Radio’s design makes it easy to zip through channels to find the right background music for your romantic moments.
Lastly, don’t forget that your smartphone can also make calls.
This makes it useful for contacting restaurants, flower delivery services, or talking to that special someone.
Kit Eaton writes on technology for The New York Times.