The latest version of Crosswords, 4.4 (currently in beta and for
Windows Mobile only), adds three new features:
This page gives status and describes those new features. For
information on installing the WinMo versions of Crosswords see the Smartphone page.
- Support for localization
- Support for play between networked devices (e.g. smartphones)
- Support for dictionaries built from Unicode wordlists
(Download the latest 4.4 beta for Smartphone or
PocketPC) Then pick the language translations
Jan. 17, Beta-10 (rev. 2952) adds improvements to localized
languages and removes the requirement that you manually select a new
language after installing it. Also fixes a potential crasher.
Dec. 27, Beta-9 (rev. 2871) will finally bring up a cellular data
connection if none exists, and enforces (while providing status and
error messages) a new rule that the host connect before the guest[s]
when playing via relay.
Nov.25, Beta-7 (rev. 2818) fixes a couple of annoying bugs:
backspace now works again, and dragging empty regions of dialogs
scrolls them again.
Nov.22, Beta-6 adds store-and-forward support to the relay and
better sizing of fonts to fit the screen. Now once you and the other
device[s] in your game have connected, you don't have to all be
connected at the same time to continue the game. Also adds a
preference to stop requiring you to confirm every move you make.
Oct. 25, Beta-5 fixes a crash, makes some simple UI changes like
adding the name of the player whose turn it is to the scoreboard,
makes changes for localized dialogs, and finally has a single .cab
file to install on both platforms. Download
Sept 29, Beta-4 fixes a problem just introduced drawing on 320x320 displays.
On Sept 26 I'm posting Beta-3 (rev. 2716). It fixes a number of
connection issues and a crasher when switching games. Older versions
of Crosswords will not be able to open games saved from this version
As of Sept 21, Beta-2 is posted, and this site now has URLs to allow
downloading. Have at it.
- Sometimes a new game won't connect to the relay. Try quitting and
- The tops are getting cut off of numbers on the screen. It's
a cosmetic issue but ugly!
Localization support means that it's now possible to have the menus,
dialogs, and alerts you see while playing Crosswords appear in
languages other than English. (Yes, the PalmOS version has had this
feature for years.)
Of course language experts still need to translate the files. So
far Crosswords has been localized into Polish, and is currently being
localized into French and Catalan. If you're interested in helping
with another language, please email me. It will probably take
about 12 hours of your time.
The Crosswords .exe file always contains everything it needs to run
in English. To change the language it uses you must install a
localized .dll into the same directory as the .exe. (Installing from
a .cab file is the easiest way to do this.) Once there is an installed
.dll Crosswords will use it. If you want to revert to English, or if
you want to switch between several installed .dlls, use the Preferences dialog to launch the language
picker to change the language -- and then exit and restart
(Prior to beta 10, Crosswords required to you explicitly select a language
after installing it.)
If you later remove the .dll Crosswords will revert to English.
Download .cab files to install .dlls providing
Note that localization has nothing to do with what language you are
using to form words while playing the game. Switching languages in
that way is done by switching dictionaries.
With 4.4 on Windows Mobile it's now possible to play one game
between two or more internet-enabled devices (e.g. WinMo Smartphones
with data plans.) Getting connected is a bit more complicated than
with beaming. Here's how it works.
Because cellphones are usually protected by carriers'
firewalls, you can't just tell one to connect directly to
another. Instead, they all connect to a server that relays messages
between them. Since every Crosswords player in the world is using the
same server the participants in a particular game have to agree on how
to identify each other. That agreement is expressed as a
Room which all devices transmit as part of beginning a game.
(Think: "Let's meet in room Eric vs. Kati".)
Once the relay server has received connection requests from enough
devices using the same Room they can begin to exchange
The New game dialog for Crosswords 4.4
has a new dropdown at the top called Role. The choices are
Standalone, Host and Guest.
Standalone means no network play: when it's chosen the
"Configure role" button disappears. Pick Host or
Guest to play across the network.
The host is reponsible for determining how many players will be in
the game and of them how many are remote. So when Host is
chosen a new column called "Remote" appears in the player
listing. This box must be checked for at least one player. Guests
have no such responsibilities; they list only the players on that one
Please make sure that that number of players marked Remote on
the host is equal to the number of players on all guest devices in the
game. In the example above, the host device is saying there will
be one remote player; and the one guest device is providing that one
player. For a three-device game, there would be one host listing two
remote players, and two guests providing one player each.
Tap the "Configure role" button to launch the
"Connection" dialog (above middle). You can put anything in the
"Room" field, but it is absolutely critical that all
devices trying to connect use the same word or phrase.
In list form, for emphasis :-)
- There must be one host per game, and the host must connect first
- There must be between one and three guest devices per game
- The number of players marked Remote on the host must equal the
sum of all players listed on guests
- All devices must have the same word or phrase in the Room field
- There can be no more than four players total
Progress in connecting is indictated by a two-directional arrow
icon at the right end of the scoreboard (or the bottom end if your
scoreboard is vertical) whose background goes from red to green as the
connection gets made. The shape will vary slightly depending on the
resolution of your screen, but below are three images very close to
what you'll see. And their meanings.
|You have a
working internet connection, but are not yet connected to the relay
is connected to the relay server, but at least one other device is
|You are connected
and all the other devices in your game are too. It's
If you open the New Game/Game Info
dialog after the devices have connected you will see that player
information has been exchanged. All devices will now have the same
list of all the players in the game.
While you can use this feature to play against somebody anywhere in
the world, that's not really what I designed it for.
Multi-device support started out using beaming on PalmOS devices, and
I imagine that's how this will be used too: between people who are
within talking distance of each other. You're welcome to use it
however you like, of course. Please let me know how it works for you.
Unicode is the easiest way to represent letters of
non-Western-European languages as well as special characters like the
· on Catalan's L·L tile. Building dictionaries for Catalan and Polish
recently I found Crosswords needed Unicode support.
Existing non-Unicode dictionaries still work. Dictionaries built
from now on will be encoded the old way if possible. If they include
Unicode (UTF-8) characters then the new dictionary format will be
used, and older versions of Crosswords will not recognize them as
Soon, but not yet, B.Y.O.D. will handle
UTF-8 properly as well.