WordEke (pronounced word-ek-a) provides three kinds of hints if you'd like them:
Word hints - These appear in a popup as the count of the number of words starting with the letters shown preceded by the number that you have found so far. So if you press the letter A you would see something like this, depending on the dictionary and the other letters in your square: 0/8 <a>. This means that there are eight words starting with the letter a from the location you pressed and that you haven't found any of them so far. After you have been playing for a while, you could drag your finger across several letters and see 1/2 <aeo>. This says there are two words starting with the letters 'aeo' and you've found one of them. Like all the hints, word hints can be switched off completely, set to appear after you hold you finger on the square for a short while (typically one second, but you can change this) or shown always.
Shading hints - Shading hints make the letters in the square lighter as you find more words. At the beginning of a game, all of the letters will be the same dark color/colour (you can choose the color/colour on the options page) or will be pale grey for letters that have no words associated with them. After you have been playing for a while, the square might look like this:
Here, Y and T have no words behind them, while all words have been found for the top F and most words for the bottom F. The letter N in the top row still needs a little work!
The next example shows a word in progress. The word so far is ATO. The N and P in the bottom row show the next letters on the path to words in this dictionary ('atone' and 'atop'):
You can choose to have shading hints on always, only shown after you hold a letter for a little while or never shown.
Letter hints - These are the actual letters shown in the squares above. If you're feeling brave and have a good memory, you can turn them off, like this:
Notice that in this example, shading hints are still turned on, but you won't get to find out what the letters are until you touch them. If you have letter hints turned off completely, the letters will never appear in the square - only in the word popup. However, you can also set letter hints to appear after a delay. So you press on a letter and after a little while (one second by default) the letters will be shown. This setting is normally reserved for 'hard' mode but all of the hints can be adjusted individually.
WordEke offers four dictionaries in both American (US) and British (UK) English:
Basic (850 words) - This is Charles K. Ogden's basic English word list adapted for US and UK spellings. Ogden believed that 90% of English could be expressed with these 850 words. The challenge with this dictionary is not in finding long or unusual words, but guessing which words are essential to the language and which are not. For example, 'almost' is in the dictionary but 'always' is not. Note that this dictionary includes some two-letter words.
Note that because the list was created in the 1920's the choice of words is a little dated: 'oil' and 'horse' are included but not 'email' or 'coffee'!
Standard (80,000 words) - The standard dictionary is comparable to a mini or large pocket print edition. It contains words in common use but no abbreviations or proper nouns. Note that in the UK version, we have used the Oxford University Press preference for -ize endings. We have removed any words likely to cause offense. All words are three letters or longer.
If you'd like to suggest updates to the standard dictionary, please visit our website and complete the update form.
Scrabble™ (180,000 words US / 270,000 words UK) - Unlike the other WordEke dictionaries, the Scrabble dictionaries differ substantially between the US and UK. The US version is the OWL2 tournament list while the UK uses SOWPODS, which also includes OWL2. See Wikipedia for a detailed discussion of these lists. Scrabble is a trademark of Mattel.
Unabridged (350,000 words) - This dictionary contains many words no longer in common use, plus abbreviations and proper nouns. Like the standard dictionary (above), it is bowdlerized (excluding words likely to cause offense). The unabridged dictionary is based on Grady Ward's Moby list. All words are three letters or longer.
If you'd like to suggest updates to the unabridged dictionary, please visit our website and complete the update form.
Ad-Free With Audio
The ad-free version of WordEke also includes audio features that allow WordEke to be used without looking at the screen. In audio mode each letter is read out as it is touched. Words are automatically treated as found when the right combination of letters is traced. By default WordEke will vibrate for each word found.
A game will finish when all of the words have been found. By default WordEke will vibrate three times at this point. If you want to finish a game early, press in the top part of the screen - above the letter square - for two seconds. In either case you will hear a confirmation message with further instructions.
You can change app options by double-tapping in the top part of the screen. You can then change between American and British English by touching across the word square: American (US) English to the left and British (UK) English to the right.
The dictionary can be changed by touch top to bottom in the word square. Smaller dictionaries are at the top while larger are at the bottom. The language and dictionary name will both be spoken. Double-click towards the top of the screen again to save the settings. Click and hold - or just wait 10 seconds - to cancel.
Audio mode can be switched on or off by shaking your device while WordEke is active. You will hear a confirmation message.
Note that audio mode typically does not work when the device's own screen reader is turned on. This is because the touch events are intercepted and so they are not seen by WordEke . You need to turn off any inbuilt screen reader in most cases.