New iPhone apps worth downloading: Facebook Messenger and Punch Quest updates, Izik

Jan 7, 2013

Facebook fans will want to check out the big new update to Facebook Messenger, which now includes a voice feature perfect for sending quick messages. We’ve also got Izik, an iPad-optimized search engine, and a big update to Punch Quest, the side-scroller that’s all about the effective use of your fists.

Facebook Messenger update (Free)

What’s it about? Facebook’s standalone messaging app, Facebook Messenger, lets users get in touch with social friends – both those that are using the web version of Facebook, and those on the app.

What’s cool? Using Facebook Messenger helps you avoid things your cellular provider’s text message count because it utilizes data connections instead. That means you can send messages or IM chat with people basically for free. The latest update for Messenger also adds a push to talk feature that lets you send short voice messages to other users.

Who’s it for? Avid Facebook users should definitely have Facebook Messenger for its contact capabilities.

What’s it like? The standalone Facebook app also allows for a lot of quality contact. Another app that combines messaging features for several clients is eBuddy Messenger.

Izik (iPad) (Free)

What’s it about? Izik is a search app specifically designed for tablets, optimized to make the most of your device’s screen.

What’s cool? Instead of providing you with search results that are basically a list of links with text explanations, Izik is a visual search result provider. When you type in search results, Izik provides a series of modules with images to give you a better idea of what you’re getting when you tap a link. You can also page through results by swiping and narrow your searches by choosing categories at the outset of each one. Izik also makes it easy to share your results with others through Facebook and Twitter.

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Who’s it for? Anyone who uses their iPad to search the Internet for info should try Izik for an alternative to common search apps such as Google.

What’s it like? Speaking of Google Search, it’s still a great app for browsing the web and finding fine-tuned results, as is Bing.

Punch Quest update (Free)

What’s it about? Side-scrolling running title Punch Quest is all about pounding bad guys who get in your way and earning “puncho” currency for doing it.

What’s cool? Your primary job in Punch Quest is to wail on bad guys using a series of different punches. Fighting enemies slows you down, so the goal is to punch them out quickly and effectively without taking damage. Punch Quest’s big update for the holidays adds a new game mode and reshuffles a few elements to make the title tougher, should that be what you want. Punch Quest made our list of the best iOS games of 2012 and it’s currently free, which makes it worth a look.

Who’s it for? Players who enjoy running titles, fighting games and old-school graphics – Punch Quest is for you.

What’s it like? Sidescrollers Save Them All and Canabalt are also effective entries in the genre.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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