This page is for users of Crosswords version 4.2 (and the latest, 4.4 beta 10) for Microsoft's Smartphone OS.
Version 4.2 has shipped: you can download
it now. This version also works on PocketPC handhelds.
Navigation without a Touchscreen
Lack of a touchscreen is a significant difference between
Smartphone and Pocket PC. What follows is a brief introduction to using the
five-way navigator and any keys you do have to navigate and make moves in
Crosswords. These techniques work on PocketPC as well; it's just that there
touching the screen is an additional option.
Concepts: focus and diving
The screen element that will process key strokes is said to have
the "focus". In Crosswords, the focus starts at the top level, in
which case it is on either the scoreboard, board, or tray (or scrollbar if one is
needed). You shift the focus among these objects using the four
directional arrow keys. Top-level focus is indicated by a background
or border in the focus color. It's on the board in the image to
Pressing the center key causes the focus to "dive", to enter an
element within the top-level object. The top-level focus highlight
disappears, replaced by the element having the "dived" focus being
drawn with a background in the focus color. You move the dived focus
just as you do the top-level, with the five-way's arrow keys. In the
image to the right the focus has dived into the tray and is on the Q tile.
When the focus is dived, pushing the center key is the same as
tapping the focussed element on a touch-screen device. Some elements,
e.g. bonus squares and scoreboard entries, respond differently to a
pen being held for a fraction of a second. Trigger that behavior by
holding the center key down.
To move up from the dived state, returning the focus to the top
level, use the escape/back key, or the spacebar if you have one.
Also, if you navigate the dived focus beyond the edge of the element
that contains it it will return to the top level.
The focus color can be changed via the
Edit color dialog.
Using the keys
|While the five-way is used to move the focus, the other keys --
numbered keys in the case of a nine-key phone keypad, QWERTY keyboard
keys if you have them -- can be used to move tiles from the tray to
the board. Keys 1-7 operate on the first through seventh tiles, while
keys with letters operate on tiles that bear the same letter. In the
screen at right, pressing the 3 key or the N key will move the third
tile onto the board where the arrow is. If there were no arrow but a focussed
and empty square, it would move there instead. The backspace key (if you have one) will
return the most recently placed tile to the board.
You're playing against a friend who's just handed you the phone:
it's your turn. First, you'll show your tiles (if necessary) by
moving the focus to the scoreboard, hitting the center key to dive,
moving the focus within the scoreboard to select your score, and then
hitting the center key again to activate it. If you have set a password you will be prompted for it now.
You study the board and your tray tiles, looking for a good move.
You can reorder the tiles if you like: move focus to the tray, then
dive into it. Hitting the center key when a tile is focussed selects
or de-selects it. Moving the focus when a tile is selected moves that
tile too -- drags it, in effect. The tile separator can be
dragged in the same way.
Finally you're ready to move. Shift the focus to the board, dive
into it, and position the focus where your first letter will go. Hit
the center key once for a horizontal arrow, again for a vertical arrow.
Now use your keyboard, numbers or letters, to choose tiles from the tray
and watch as they appear in sequence on the board.
To commit your move, you can use the "Turn done" menu item, or you
can touch the pending score area of the tray: move focus
to the tray, dive in, and move focus to the pending score area. Then
press the center key. If instead you want to return all your tiles to
the tray, move focus just right of the rightmost tile in the tray before
pressing the center key.
And a request
Though Crosswords 4.2 for Smartphone is finished, I am always looking for ways to improve it.
If you notice problems, or think of ways that something could be done better, please
let me know. In fact, I'd love just to know
what kind of Smartphone you're using it on. (I like hearing from PocketPC
users too, of course.)