These Android apps will prepare you for date night

by Caitlin M. Foyt

So you have a hot date this week and are really excited about it.

Whether you're taking out someone new or you'd like to surprise that person you've been with for awhile, there are a handful of really great Android apps you can download to ensure that everything runs smoothly during your special evening.

Have some flowers delivered, find a secret romantic hideaway, prepare an impressive meal and pick the perfect wine to complement dinner with these apps to prepare you for date night.

Background Check -BeenVerified

People aren't always what they seem. Before you actually meet up with that guy from OKCupid or that girl you met by chance at a cafe, it's smart to make sure that he or she is not potentially dangerous.

Background Check -BeenVerified allows you to be your own detective and search a perspective mate’s criminal history, property records (and their values), current contact information, and who their relatives and neighbors are based on name queries or email addresses. You can also search a person's entire web presence based on the social networking they belong to, including photos, blog posts and interests. The app is free to download and users are allowed one free background check per month. Unlimited access will cost you $8 per month.

1800flowers Mobile Gift Center (FREE)

Make a good first impression by showing up with a pretty bouquet. Have the flowers sent to your home or deliver them to your date's desk at work so that the pre-date jitters/excitement can begin to set in earlier in the day.

NPR News (FREE)

You don't have to stick with talking about things as basic as favorite movies and hobbies. Even if you do regularly pay attention to the news, it can't hurt to bone up on your current events. You know, just in case your date asks you your opinion about the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal or what’s happening in Libya at the moment. NPR gets you quickly caught up by giving you the top stories at a glance—or you can even listen to hourly five minute newscasts or stream your local NPR station while you're running errands or cooking dinner.

Urbanspoon (FREE) and Yelp (FREE)

Get outside your comfort zone and try a completely new restaurant by using Urbanspoon. The app is like a restaurant slot machine and you actually shake your phone to find a random spot to eat. If you know which area you'd like to stick to or what kind of price range you'd like to stay in, you can lock in these categories. If you find something that sounds tasty and unique, head over to your Yelp app to read some reviews. This is a great way to answer some of your questions like How's the service? Is the food good? Is this place clean? What's parking like? This will help you determine whether this particular business is worth visiting. Both apps will allow you to learn more details about the restaurant and even give you the means to call the restaurant directly if you'd like to make a reservation.

The Eye Chef Date Night ($2.99)

Maybe you'd like to impress your date by making him or her a candle-lit, home-cooked dinner. The Eye Chef Date Night lists a whole bunch of different recipes for meals that sound like they'd be found on the menu of an expensive restaurant. Even if you're not a great cook, this app makes even the most difficult recipe seem doable. All directions have been worded clearly, so they're very easy to follow. The app also has photos, a pop-up list of ingredients and necessary utensils you may need to reference when you're out shopping for the supplies you'll need.

Pair It! Wine Pairing Guide ($4.99)

What kind of wine tastes best with the oysters you just ordered? How about your home cooked beef tenderloin? Pair It! Simplifies the process of matching your vino to your dinner by allowing you to select your meal on a drop down list. You can also make things interesting by shaking the app and letting it choose one for you at random. Not only is this a great way to ensure your meal tastes as great as it should, but a fun, adventurous way to experience new flavors.

The app regularly updates the 180 wine varietals and 1,000 food items to continually offer something new each time you use it. Because you won't have to ask the host what he or she recommends, you'll look like you know a thing or two about fine wine. Very impressive!

Goby (FREE)

A dinner and a movie is always a good stand-by idea, but why not do something a little bit more memorable? Goby, a search engine of fun things to do nearby, will give you some date ideas that are a little off the beaten path. The app lists actual scheduled events, such as group hikes, dance parties, comedy shows, a movie screening of an old cult favorite, or festivals, for instance. The app also has suggestions for fun things to do, such as where you can go to take a hot air balloon ride, go whale watching, or have a relaxing dinner cruise.

Movies by Flixster (FREE)

If you would like to catch a movie, Flixster for Android lets you view trailers, find theaters and times, and read critical reviews—all of the information you need so that you and your date can decide on a film you'll both enjoy.