Fresh iPhone Apps for May 24: [email protected], Sonar, Firefly Hero, Omega Drive

May 24, 2011
Games

Searching the Internet and meeting people are made different – and easier – with a couple of interesting apps on today’s Fresh Apps list. Up first is [email protected], a handy search tool that uses web apps to help you find what you’re looking for on a given topic. Sonar is more about finding people, specifically […]

Searching the Internet and meeting people are made different – and easier – with a couple of interesting apps on today’s Fresh Apps list. Up first is [email protected], a handy search tool that uses web apps to help you find what you’re looking for on a given topic. Sonar is more about finding people, specifically people in the same room as you, and uses your public social networking information to help you find friends of friends or people you follow on Twitter in person. Next are a couple of games: Firefly Hero is a casual puzzler with tons of challenging levels, and Omega Drive is a 3D driving game that won’t cost you a dime.

[email protected] (iPhone, iPad) Free

Search is done a little differently with [email protected] Like apps such as Google or Bing, [email protected] lets you type in a subject and scours the Internet for what you’re looking for – but unlike other search apps, it doesn’t just pull up web pages. Instead, [email protected] looks for web apps in particular categories, and brings you the best results. The app suggests what category you might be looking for, and then returns a number of results from that category.

For example, after a bit of Netflix, I typed in “Twilight Zone,” and [email protected] presented me with a number of “@ categories”: options such as “Twilight Zone @TV,” “Twilight Zone @movies” and “Twilight Zone @reference.” Hitting the @reference option pulled up Twilight Zone entries from Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary, Answers.com, Merriam Webster and Britannica, among others. Every search you run gives you these options, and then more options based on your choices, to help you find exactly what you want to know or experience when conducting a search while on the go. [email protected] is designed explicitly for the iPhone and seems to make search pretty simple.

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Sonar – Mobile Profile for Local Social Networking (iPhone, iPad) Free

Sonar is basically Facebook for people you’re sharing a room with. The app uses a Foursquare account and combines the information found within it with your presence on services like Twitter and Facebook. Once it knows a little bit about you, Sonar pings other Sonar users at a party or event and starts to pick up similarities, helping you find friends of friends or people with like interests, who could be standing right next to you.

Great for finding Internet and Twitter friends in real life, Sonar only taps into the information you make publically available on social networks, so anything you don’t want shared is easy to hold back from the service. It’s even handy for meeting other “like-minded” single people when you’re out and about.

Firefly Hero (iPhone, iPad) $0.99

The touchscreen interface continues to be a great way to play casual puzzle games. Joining the ranks of greats like Cut the Rope and Burn It All is Firefly Hero, a game that’s even simpler to play – just tap light bulbs to turn them on. That’s it. The idea is to draw a firefly from one location to another with the light; he moves in a straight line, and between the various bulbs are obstacles and stars. The idea is to draw the firefly through all the stars in as few taps as possible to snag a high score.

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In addition to the stars to catch, puzzles start to add objects like spikes that you need to help guide the firefly around. This gets tricky, especially when you’re hoping to minimize the number of taps you use. The game packs 75 levels and gets pretty challenging pretty quickly.

Omega Drive (iPhone, iPad) Free

The world’s about to end – you’ve got driving to do. Omega Drive is a free driving game in which you control your car by tilting your device left and right like a steering wheel. As you play Omega Drive, you’re working against a timer, trying to activate laser beams to stop an asteroid from hitting the planet. So you’ve got only a short time to drive around a 3D city, drifting around corners and bouncing over ramps, trying to move as fast as possible.

Omega Drive is free, so it’s not exactly huge – the game basically consists of that one turn-on-the-lasers level. But it is a pretty decent 3D game with responsive, challenging driving mechanics and the ability to pull some crazy stunts in the meantime. And again, it costs absolutely zippo, which just adds to the fun.

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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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