Usability issues with the iPhone app

Sean Robertson's Avatar

Sean Robertson

28 Aug, 2011 06:50 PM

There are a couple of very annoying usability issues with the iPhone app that prevent me from using it as much as the 2 Across app, even though this one has some better features (like automatically showing errors).

The biggest problem I've got with it is the keyboard. I wish you had used the standard iPhone keyboard instead of trying to reinvent the wheel. For one thing, the buttons are too small making for much more difficult targets than the standard keyboard buttons. Secondly, putting the main app buttons below the keyboard means that just slightly missing those small targets frequently kicks you out of what you're doing in the puzzle forcing you to go back. This is especially problematic with the backspace key for me - I'm constantly missing it and getting the puzzle info instead. Those buttons could just as easily be placed across the top where they're far less likely to be struct accidentally.

Another thing that I find very annoying is that when you finish a word, if you have the feature to jump to the next clue turned off, the caret jumps back to the beginning of the word. This is especially annoying with really long words. I often find myself having to swipe all the way back to the other side of a puzzle to fill in words surrounding the one I just solved. 2 Across leaves the caret at the last finished letter if there are no more blank ones in the clue. If I want to swipe back the other way, I can, but I'm not forced back. At least make this a user-configurable option (call it "return to beginning of solved word" or something.

The popup that I'm not connected to the internet gets annoying at times too, because I'm usually riding the subway when I do these - I already know I'm not online! This is partly a problem with the entire iOS notification system, but the app still doesn't need to trigger a popup for something so unimportant. A lot of apps just display a message within the app screen that fades after a second without being too intrusive - see the way the Twitter app handles a failed retweet for an excellent example.

If you fixed these issues, I'd completely replace 2Across with this app, especially the keyboard and menu issue - that drives me absolutely nuts.

Thanks for an otherwise great app.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by ben on 28 Aug, 2011 07:14 PM

    ben's Avatar

    Thanks for the great feedback! I'll try and address each of your points:

    • Tabs (buttons) on the bottom: you can turn these off if you don't like 'em; "Use Tabs at Bottom" in the Settings screen controls this. We think the built in keyboard is too big, and takes too much of the screen. You can make the Crosswords keyboard a little larger in Settings as well.

    • I hear your frustration with jumping back to the beginning. I can't promise anything, but I will look at making this optional. We try to keep our settings screen as sparse as possible, as it's very easy to get overwhelmed by too many options.

    • I will definitely look at your suggestion for reporting a connection error. It won't be in the next release, but will be something we consider going forward.

    Thanks again for the feedback, glad you like the app!


  2. ben closed this discussion on 28 Aug, 2011 07:14 PM.

  3. Sean Robertson re-opened this discussion on 28 Aug, 2011 07:23 PM

  4. 2 Posted by Sean Robertson on 28 Aug, 2011 07:23 PM

    Sean Robertson's Avatar

    Thanks, I had missed those additional options; that definitely helps! Looking forward to seeing the other tweaks in a future version. :-)

  5. SAI Technical Support closed this discussion on 30 Aug, 2011 02:19 AM.

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