I am thankful that Scrabble for iOS exists. I play several concurrent games with my 91 year-old mother who lives 3,000 miles away. It has always been her favorite game and in addition to keeping us connected, it keeps her mind active.
There are always ‘little things’ that are bothersome. Requiring a Facebook or Origin account is a little annoying to play someone remotely. Sometimes it loses the connection to Facebook and has to be reauthorized.
Also, app updates seem infrequent. Unfortunately, on an iPhone XS Max, the play area enlarges disproportionately, so the score area at the top is obscured by the Face ID notch, and, for some reason, the iOS home bar at the bottom of the screen never goes away when Scrabble is open, so all the icons are obscured by it, making things like exchanging tiles tricky to tap.
But operationally, it’s reliable. It hasn’t crashed once in many years.
Invasive app. Poor privacy policies. EA collects your personal data!
The app is well designed, and fun to play. However, there are serious game play flaws.
1. Music and sounds are turned on by default. It woke my partner up when I first launched the game. Suggestion: have it off by default and simply have text on screen -- silently -- saying you can turn it on sound effects and music!
2. One is forced to go through a tutorial -- and it is irritating. There is a skip button (discovered later) at the beginning, but no way of exiting once you are trapped inside the tutorial. Suggestion: here, too, just a brief message saying tutorial available.
3. The game gets stuck at the end when player and computer have nothing to play! You have to go back and forth *three* times before it will finally conclude the game!
4. The app plays many unusual, even questionable, words and that detracts from the enjoyment. Suggestion: The dictionary should include definitions! That way, users could learn something along the way.
5. The Best Word feature is fine, but the animation is distracting and gets old fast!
INVASION OF PRIVACY CONCERNS
6. Worst of all, Electronic Arts is gathering so much information on what you are doing -- even collecting all the *private* games you have played *OFF LINE* -- that we cannot recommend this app.
It gathers location data, device ID, plants tracking cookies, and shares information with third parties!
Worse, it does that even if you DON’T sign up for its on-line services or "play with friends".
There is also NO way of opting out of most of this data collection -- of course, it should be opt-in to begin with, but EA has NO business exploiting users' info, habits, and browsing this way.
See the next section for details about their policy and all the information that they can gather on you!
Note: I’m quoting from their policy and have added numbers and exclamation points to highlight especially egregious aspects!
1. "If you play a game offline, this data will be stored on your device and transmitted to EA when your device connects to the Internet." !!
Can you believe that?! That's none of their business!
2. "We collect other information automatically when you use our products, including:
3. IP address;” !!
4. “Mobile and other hardware or device identifiers;” !!
Identifying your stuff.
5. “Browser information, including your browser type and the language you prefer”; !!
So, collecting data on your browser preference, but also on your language! Is EA part of the NSA?!
6. “Referring and exit pages, including landing pages and pages viewed;” !!
In other words, where you are browsing!
7. "Platform type;”
8. “Information about your media, device, hardware and software," !!
9. "your hardware settings and components," !!
They're really being invasive!
10. "Details about what EA products you use and your use of them;" !!
"Use of them"?!
11. "Device event information, including crash reports, request and referral URL's" !!
(Note error: it should be URLs.)
Then, the *coup de grace*:
12. "We also may collect and store information locally on your device, using mechanisms like cookies, browser web storage (including HTML 5) and application data caches." !!
In other words, you are granting them permission via their app to put tracking cookies on your device!
This amount to EA tracking its users, which is abhorrent and akin to stalking.
Appreciate that the developers responded to this review. However, their response was a patronizing, tone deaf one!
Yes, we know players have to accept *your* terms before playing.
How “nice” of you to encourage everyone to read them first!
Those aren’t the issue! The problem is that your terms are incredibly intrusive, invasive, and violate privacy in fundamental ways! There is no reason for them save unalloyed greed.
Tracking = cyber stalking and the amount of information you gather is well beyond what is needed and beyond what most apps do!
You also know full well that most people never read privacy policies and terms, so YOU ALL share a responsibility to make your policies fair, non-invasive, respectful of users, respectful of their privacy, and people-friendly.
Please fix this going forward!
Score is cut off in new phones
Classic fun scrabble game, but the Interface is practically retro now. The style is circa iOS 3 or 4, think heavy shadows. It was almost acceptable on my old iPhone 7, but I upgraded to X and now the interface is totally cut off. I can’t see my score! If the app was free, that would be one thing...but it’s not.
Come on Scrabble, I expect more from you.
Needs update for iPhone Xs
By Colleen Pael
On iPhone Xs, the current game score can’t be found when playing Scrabble premium because it’s hidden under the black strip at the top of the screen.
Do not like when playing, the screen enlarges very annoying
How did this pass Apple's review??!
Not properly designed. Score is obstructed by iPhone notch. Constantly thinks I’m switching apps when I try to drag a tile from the rack: it’s too close to the bottom of the view. There’s extra white space above/below board. Take advantage of it!
Please fix the screen resolution /size to work with iPhone plus/max
Please fix the screen resolution to work with the phone XS/XS Max. The score is completely obstructed.
Can’t see score on iPhone Xs
The notch blocks out the score.
Messed up on iPhone XS
On the iPhone XS Max (and I suspect on the X, XS, and XR as well) the Scrabble app zooms/stretches full-screen in such a way that the user scores above the game board are hidden behind the iPhone “notch” so you can’t see what the score is or who is winning, etc... And the little swipe bar thing (that replace the old iPhone home button) obscures the buttons at the bottom of the Scrabble board (the dictionary, etc)... On the upside, Landscape mode is supported, where the scores are revealed, but where other stuff is covered by the notch instead, and sizing on everything is generally off. The app needs a serious polish for the latest phones. Words with Friends nailed it on Day 1... I also continue to get logged out of my EA account on Scrabble daily (although at least these days logging back in works consistently, which wasn’t the case for a while).... Gotta stay on the ball Scrabble!
Fix for notch
I’ve played for years. New iPhone X and now the controls and score are in unusable places on the screen, under the notch or the home bar. I hope this gets fixed.