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I was trying to use the latest version of Tinder 3.3.1 but each time I get the following message:

Get Google Play services

This app won't work without Google Play services, which are missing from your phone.

Since this is not covered by their FAQ and their support service ignored my inquiry, what is the reason for this happening? Why would Tinder need an active Gmail account on the phone? I'm asking since I use my Android device without a Google account, hence I'm not sure whether to expect Tinder to work correctly or not.

In other words, what Tinder functionality could possibly break?


EDIT

I also noticed an additional notification from Tinder:

Failed to Enable Push Notifications. Your Google account credentials are invalid.

Could this explain why I am not getting any matches?

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    Needing Google Play Services installed isn't the same thing as needing a Gmail account, nor even a Google account. Why do you say it is the latter? – Dan Hulme Oct 11 '14 at 23:49
  • Well, I have Google Market pre-installed with the phone. But I never connected it to a Google account. Still, I get the "Google Play services" error message. What would explain this? – landroni Oct 12 '14 at 14:40
  • What Android version are you on? If you still have Android Market instead of Google Play, it's almost certainly too old to run Tinder. – Dan Hulme Oct 12 '14 at 14:42
  • I'm running 2.3.4 Gingerbread, and Tinder's FAQ advertises Android 2.3+ support. – landroni Oct 12 '14 at 15:17
  • @DanHulme Could you please check the revised Question? – landroni Oct 21 '14 at 18:28
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I don't use Tinder, but I'm trying to answer your questions based on the provided information.

What is the reason for this happening?

Seems you don't have Google Play services installed. Download and install it from Google Play.

Why would Tinder need an active Gmail account on the phone?

As mentioned in the comment by Dan Hulme, "Needing Google Play Services installed isn't the same thing as needing a Gmail account, nor even a Google account." which is partially true regarding Google account (read the next section).

In other words, what Tinder functionality could possibly break?

For Tinder-specific functionality, possibly nothing. However, as already stated from the updated info,

Failed to Enable Push Notifications. Your Google account credentials are invalid.

you won't get any push notification from Tinder (through Google Cloud Messaging). If you don't care about it, then you may just ignore it. However, if you want to have it, then you have to setup a Google account. From Google Cloud Messaging documentation,

"It uses an existing connection for Google services. For pre-3.0 devices, this requires users to set up their Google account on their mobile devices. A Google account is not a requirement on devices running Android 4.0.4 or higher." (Emphasized mine)

Could this explain why I am not getting any matches?

As explained in your self-answer, no, the matchmaking system has nothing to do with Google Play services and Google Cloud Messaging.


Addendum: for devices which don't have access to Google services (Google Accounts, Google Play app and Google Play Services) can try a workaround to download from Amazon App Store (courtesy of Hugo's answer), which seems to be independent of Google services.

  • Thanks for the explanations. "you won't get any push notification from Tinder (through Google Cloud Messaging). If you don't care about it, then you may just ignore it." What type of notifications would one expect to be sent via GCM? It's not obvious to me that I'm lacking any app functionality... – landroni Nov 11 '14 at 7:25
  • I still can't really say since I haven't tested Tinder, but basically it's a notification similar to WhatsApp when a new message comes, or when there is a new email from any Email Client app. However, since I read from the FAQ that there is a messaging function, perhaps you won't get any notifications from Tinder when there is a new message. This is more of a speculation than a fact, though. – Andrew T. Nov 11 '14 at 7:30
  • OK, I see then. Probably on new messages you don't get Android wide notification, but you can still see within Tinder if a new message arrives. So no biggy... – landroni Nov 11 '14 at 8:10
  • > Download and install it from Google Play. You'd need google play for that though. Devices lacking google play services usually also lack googele play. (this is my particular case). – WhyNotHugo Nov 13 '15 at 2:26
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    @Hugo makes sense. I added a reference to your answer for workaround. I hope you don't mind. – Andrew T. Nov 14 '15 at 11:33
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Download Tinder from Amazon App Store to get around the Google services stuff.

That worked perfectly for me.

  • Please. Can you elaborate further? And what if the app is not available on the Amazon App Store? – Tamoghna Chowdhury Nov 13 '15 at 8:05
  • That's a weird "what if". Fortunately, it is available on the Amazon App Store: amazon.com/Tinder-Inc/dp/B00GUXOV1U – WhyNotHugo Nov 13 '15 at 18:06
  • No it's not - possibly not anymore or not in my location – Nobody Nov 27 '18 at 21:24
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Actually the app seems to work just fine. I am getting matches, can chat with them, so it looks like Tinder's error message is erroneous.

In any case no obvious functionality appears broken.

  • My device never finished finding people - as if it could not lock a location. Can you confirm you don't have Google Play Services installed? – WhyNotHugo Nov 13 '15 at 2:26
  • @Hugo Yes, no configured Google Play. Sometimes the app needs restarting to work properly, or GPS re-enabled... – landroni Nov 13 '15 at 7:24
  • Actually, I left it open for quite a while longer, and Play Services kept crashing (all I saw was the error "Unfortunately Google Services has crashed"), while Tinder didn't get any data. Using the Amazon Apps version solved the issue for me. – WhyNotHugo Nov 13 '15 at 18:08

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