Fresh iPhone Apps for May 24: Google Search, Sonar and Infinity Blade II updates, Defender Chronicles II

May 24, 2012
Games

We’ve got three big updates making up today’s Fresh iPhone Apps list. The first is for Google Search, which the search company has reworked to make faster and more appealing, with a new interface and better searches. Next is an update to social network app Sonar which gives users the ability to chat in real […]

We’ve got three big updates making up today’s Fresh iPhone Apps list. The first is for Google Search, which the search company has reworked to make faster and more appealing, with a new interface and better searches. Next is an update to social network app Sonar which gives users the ability to chat in real time with people near them. Finally, one of the most popular games on iOS, Infinity Blade II, catches its big Vale of Tears update and adds new gameplay features. And then there’s Defender Chronicles II, the only brand new title on the list, which brings vertical tower defense to the iTunes App Store.

Google Search update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Google’s iPhone search app has just received a huge update, reworking the app in a lot of ways to make improvements just about everywhere. Google has redesigned the app’s interface and sped up its ability to pull down search results, and has also added integration with its web apps such as Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar.

The new version of Google Search also includes a full-screen image search function, which makes searching for and finding pictures you need a lot easier. You can also search through web pages for text, access pages from within Google Search and then quickly go back to the search menu with a swipe, quickly switching between different types of searches.

Sonar update (iPhone, iPad) Free

Social networking app Sonar is an app built to be taken with you to conventions and other events. It’s specifically designed for close-proximity social interactions, allowing you to locate people you know from all kinds of different places, including Twitter, Facebook and email, but who you might not necessarily have met in regular life. The app detects other app users you know when they come close enough to you, facilitating meetings and “small-world moments.”

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For Sonar’s first birthday, the app has received an update that adds status updates for users in the app and also allows you to chat with other people you find on Sonar in real time. You can also sign-in with your Facebook account and leave Sonar to run in the background to allow others to find you; the app has been tweaked so that it does a much better job with battery life.

Infinity Blade II update (iPhone, iPad) $2.99 for a limited time

We previewed the Vault of Tears update to Infinity Blade II pretty extensively earlier this week, but it bears repeating that it’s worth checking out for Infinity Blade fans and players who haven’t yet given the game a shot. Developer ChAIR has added quite a bit to the game, expanding the real-estate through which you’ll play with new areas, dropping lots of new weapons, armor and other loot to find, and infusing the game with a bunch more bad guys with which to battle.

The update also includes new story elements to flesh out the Infinity Blade universe more, and throws in some smaller elements that help to expand the scope of the game. One feature, Treasure Maps, are a minor addition but help break up the game – they display a cryptic image of an object and challenge you to find it and the treasure inside. There’s also new improvements to the social ClashMob system that allow players to interact from social networks Facebook and Twitter, without actually playing.

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Defender Chronicles II: Heroes of Athelia (iPhone, iPad) $2.99

Tower defense title Defender Chronicles II takes the standard setup of the genre, which usually sees players creating mazes through which enemies must travel, and literally upends it to create a different sort of presentation. Instead of an overhead view, it uses side-scrolling level design in which enemies move upward through towers and castles in an attempt to reach the top of each. Players fight off enemies to earn money, which they can use to purchase more towers and upgrade them as they fight.

Defender Chronicles II also includes role-playing game elements in the form of special heroes that accompany you through each fight. They can be switched out and also equipped with new weapons and armor to make them more formidable. The game includes five different game modes and lots of world to explore as you play through it, and presents a detailed story using comic panels as cutscenes.

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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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