When you ask a guy his opinion about Growlr and Scruff his response is often heavily biased based on his own looks and preferences rather than the app itself. It’s no surprise that users who are lean and muscular (and like the same) think Scruff is superior because that’s where they get more attention and have more success. Just like if the guy prefers a belly then he’ll probably find Growlr to be the better app. I realized I was a good person to provide an unbiased review of the actual apps since I have used both and even paid for the ‘Pro’ versions of each. While I find the guys on Growlr more attractive I get more attention from guys on Scruff. Remember this review has nothing to do with the types of guys on the apps and will only talk about the apps themselves.
Scruff:Color Scheme– I really like Scruff’s dark gray and black color scheme which feels polished and up to date.
- ‘Online Now’ view- Scruff has a button that changes your nearby view to include only guys who have logged on or been active recently. Anyone who hasn’t been active within an hour or so will disappear. Very helpful for real time communication.
- Being able to view profiles while offline-You can scroll through profiles and use a lot of the basic functions of Scruff without needing to be online. This allows for stealth Scruffing which is great if you’re at work in a large office building.
- Amount of private pics- Scruff allows users to upload a lot of private pictures and videos. Many more options available to show off your goods.
- Ease of re-locking pictures- There is a screen that shows you everyone who can see your unlocked pictures. From that same screen you can also pick and choose who to re-lock without having to go to their individual profile. It’s a big time saver if you don’t want to do a blanket relock for everyone.
- Events– Growlr’s event page is jam packed with events big and small all over the country. It’s a great centralized place to look and see if something bear-centric is going on in a given city.
- Profile layout- Growlr has the best profile lay out of any app I’ve used. All the information is well organized and put together in a logical sequence.
- Anonymous viewing- If you pay for Growlr Pro you have the option of anonymously viewing profiles. You can stalk anyone you want and you won’t show up in their viewer list.
- Travel indicator- The travel indicator is an orange square around the profile picture of anyone who has moved more than 50 miles. Although Scruff has a similar feature, the one on Growlr stands out and is much more noticeable. Useful if you like hotel hookups.
- Woofs included in messages- I really love that Woof’s are included in the messages and not located on a separate screen. If you Woof at someone if automatically starts a conversation. Great combination of features.
- Pop Ups- When you first open Scruff you are inundated with a lot of pop up adds. It’s really annoying because sometimes they are 4 or 5 deep.
- Profile Layout- Scruff’s profiles are cluttered with too many sub sections. The titles of these sections doesn’t help matters. They are clunky and too specific. Instead of just listing the user’s home town there is the title Where I am from. It’s overkill. I really wish there was just a blank general section to type in. In addition I also don’t like that additional pictures are located on a separate screen.
- Accidentally unlocking pictures- The button to unlock pictures is located in a very bad location on the right side of the screen. I’ve accidentally unlocked many times while trying to scroll through a profile.
- Having to go through his profile to get to messages- The default setting for Scruff messages is that it brings you through the person’s profile in order to view the messages. While there is a work around the default setting is still annoying.
- Color Scheme- The color scheme of Growlr is giving us 2001 Bear411 realness. Unfortunately Bear411 was ugly and outdate even in 2001. We get it. The bear flag is brown… Listen to queen Elsa and let it go.
- Log In/Log Off- You can log off Growlr but strangely there is no way to porposely log on. When you reopen the app it’s just assumed that you are logging back on. Whenever I log off I always wonder if I’m really getting logged out because there really isn’t anyway to tell.
- Technical Issues- A lot of people have always complained that Growlr eats messages. It’s an ongoing issue that doesn’t seem to ever be resolves.
Fun But Useless
Match Stack- This Tindr inspired feature is a lot of fun. However after a couple uses it becomes clear that it really is a useless feature. It’s not like the Match Stack will suddenly find a secret underground group of super hotties that are only 2 miles away from you. If you do match with and unknown stud, most likely he’ll be 1500 miles away. Fun but useless.
The Galleries- Growlr offers many different galleries that allow you to view the best of the best around the world. Finding these husky hunks doesn’t mean that they’ll be near by or that they’ll find you attractive. Fun but useless.
At first glance Scruff feels modern and polished with it’s dark color scheme. However the lack of a main menu screen along with poor profile layouts gives the entire app a bitter aftertaste. The apps biggest opportunity for improvement is its event section. It tends to only feature circuit party type events that Scruff is sponsoring and therefore is very under used by most. More local events would make it easier for the average user to get involved.
One of the first complaints you’ll hear everyone say about Growlr is about the color scheme. The brown and beige layout feels juvenile and outdated. However I offer a warning to the Growlr makers: Don’t make any drastic changes to the color pallet or guys will lose their shit. People say they want change until they actually get said change. A slight modification will do much better than a total color overhaul.
While doing “research” for this article I discovered numerous other gay dating/hookup apps beyond Growlr, Scruff and Grindr. If you’re curious give them a try.
- Hanky Gay Chat
- Guy Spy
- Get Male
- G Chat Italia
- Bigger City
- Gay Connections
- Boy Ahoy
- Meet Market
- Mr. X
- Men of Men
- U4 Bear