The app: Shortyz
Shortyz is an app that lets you do crosswords on your phone. You can set it up to download new crosswords when you open the program, or you can just download them on your own (I do the latter). The app pulls from a bunch of places – LA Times, Houston Chronicle, The Onion, and most importantly, the New York Times – though you need a NYT subscription to get those. In the past month or so they’ve added a whole lot more, and it’s at the point where I find myself with a crossword backlog. Which is okay, because it means there’s always something to do. The app is fast, slick, and intuitive. If you get stuck you can have it reveal a letter or a word, and there’s a setting so that it’ll turn the box red if you get a letter wrong.
I think the thing that I appreciate the most, though, is that the developer is really fast with updates. A few weeks ago he pushed an update that changed what double-tapping did, and after it was wildly unpopular (apparently) he rolled it back within a few hours. So yeah, there’s often an update available for the app, but it’s constantly evolving. And if you hit any bugs, just send him an email and it usually gets in within a few days.
If you like doing crosswords, or even think that you might like doing crosswords, give Shortyz a look. Oh, and the explanation for that name: it’s a bit of a hat tip to Will Shortz. Use the QR code at the top to speed up getting the app.