New iPhone apps worth downloading: Google Maps update, Tellit, PWN: Combat Hacking

by Phil Hornshaw

If you haven't snagged Google Maps already, it should definitely be on your list. Recently updated, the app now includes the ability to search for addresses from your Google Contacts, among other improvements. Our apps worth downloading list today also includes Tellit, a group messaging app with the ability to share and manipulate photos and video, and PWN: Combat Hacking, a puzzle-like strategy game in which players square off by trying to take over a grid of computers and out-hack one another.

Google Maps update (Free)

What’s it about? Google's answer to Apple's native maps app, Google Maps brings the web service to your iOS device and finally supports turn-by-turn directions.

What’s cool? In its latest update, Google Maps allows you to quickly places around you by searching by category, and can access addresses you've saved in your Google Contacts on the web. Users of iPhones and iPads had been asking for an official Google Maps app for some time before it was released last year, and the app continues to be a standout in mobile navigation. It includes everything you've come to expect from the Google Maps experience, with the ability to plot directions, check traffic and see addresses on your maps. It also includes turn-by-turn directions, a feature that was previously restricted to Android devices.

Who’s it for? If you're on the lookout for a solid navigation and maps app, this one's great.

What’s it like? Try MapQuest and Maps+ for more solid ways of getting around using your iOS device.


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Tellit (Free)

What’s it about? Tellit, formerly known as GREE Messenger, is a group messaging app that uses your device's cellular data connection or Wi-Fi rather than SMS text messages.

What’s cool? Tellit’s new update lets you share your location, and includes the ability to chat with as many as 100 people at once. It is basically an instant messenger, allowing you to connect with other users one-on-one, to chat with groups, to send images and video and more. Tellit includes a “stickers” feature for adding images to photos to bring more life to your interactions, and also supports free voice calls.

Who’s it for? Users with a heavy degree of chat requirements will find a lot of useful features in Tellit.

What’s it like? Both TextNow and Tango are also messaging apps that offer a whole lot of features.

PWN: Combat Hacking ($0.99)

What’s it about? Puzzle-strategy title PWN: Combat Hacking has players taking on the roles of hackers as they battle each other in cyberspace, using special abilities and software to trip each other up.

What’s cool? PWN: Combat Hacking is sort of like Tic-Tac-Toe in its combination of strategy and simplicity. Players battle by taking over “nodes” on a grid by tapping them, the goal to capture each node adjacent to ones you control in order to overtake the other player's entire network. You can use a number of different power-ups to help out, like encrypting your nodes so they're harder to hack, and use various strategies such as using two adjacent nodes at the same time to speed the hacking of a third. PWN: Combat Hacking includes a campaign mode you can play alone, or the ability to challenge other players online.

Who’s it for? If you like puzzle-like strategy games with a cyberpunk flare, you'll get a kick out of PWN: Combat Hacking. Or you could watch the 1995 film Hackers.

What’s it like? Another fun hacking-themed game worth checking out is The Hacker.