Thursday, 7 June 2018

Food Hygiene Ratings v1.02 Release Notes

Release notes for Android Food Hygiene Ratings UK v1.02

Establishment Details


When you now view the details of the establishment the app will look up the establishment on Google Places to find its telephone number, website and any photographs. The place details and photos will be displayed in cards. If no place information can be found, a toast will be shown to notify the user that no place details are available.

A dark green floating action button is now displayed on the Establishment details screen, press this to see a map and location of the establishment.

When you now press the send email link on the Local Authority card, the email will be filled out with the establishment details.

Bug fixes:

  • FSA link now works on the ratings card
  • If no address, "Not specified" is shown instead.
  • The map will no longer show for establishments with no address and instead show a notification.
  • Local authority card text is now formatted not to wrap


Results


You can now search a list of results by searching for text contained with in the name or address. The results table will automatically update as you type.

You can also filter results by rating, by checking the appropriate rating in the menu.

Results are now grouped into business categories such as Takeaways/Sandwich Shop, Pub/Bar/Nightclub and Restaurant/Cafe.

Distance from the centre of the map is shown for map search results.

These features bring the app into line with the iOS version.


Maps


Map searches are now disabled by default, but you can enable them in the settings menu.
When enabled, a dark green floating action button (FAB) with a map icon will be displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.

Pressing the FAB on the home screen will show you a map of the UK, you can zoom and move the map and press the search icon in the menu bar to search for results.

Pressing the FAB on the results screen will show you a map of the area containing the results, which you can zoom, move and search again.

Maps have been disabled by default since the establishment's geo-coordinate information from the FSA is inaccurate.

Home Screen


The user interface has been updated to improve its look and feel:

  • The background is now white
  • The advanced search button has been moved to the menu.
  • The menu search icon is now an icon to view the user guide 
  • The find places near me button is now material design (borderless) and is centred
  • The text field clear buttons will now only display when there is text
  • The clear buttons are bigger and centred
  • Clear buttons when pressed will set the focus on the textfield and open the keyboard
  • The action colour has been changed from orange to dark green
  • A small notice to say all data is from the FSA and is live is displayed at the bottom of the screen
  • The keyboard is automatically hidden when navigating away.

Settings


New settings screen accessible from the home screen menu, settings are:
  • Search radius (1-10 miles) for "find places near to me" and map searches
  • Results text filter mode, find text contained in the name only or name and address
  • Search timeout (10 seconds to 5 minutes) for FSA web server requests
  • Enable map searches, when enabled shows a green button to bring up the map on the results and home screens.
  • Google places - enable to lookup and show information from Google places in the establishment details.

About


The about screen has been updated with links to app's privacy policy and information about how the app uses Google Admob and Firebase.


Future Work


Favourites:  keep a list of establishments of interest and notify you when a rating changes
Google Places: If a place is not found, show the Google Place dialog for you to try to find it.

To keep the updates coming, please rate the app, send me feedback, tell your friends and keep on checking those restaurants with the app.




Food Hygiene Ratings Guide



This is a guide to using the Food Hygiene Ratings UK Android app. The app looks up food hygiene ratings from the Food Standards Agency, www.food.gov.uk. If you do not have the app, click the link below from your phone/tablet:

 Food Hygiene Ratings on the Play Store

If you have an iPhone please visit the iPhone version of the guide

Home Screen



From the home screen you can perform a quick search for establishments by entering a name and place, then press SEARCH.

If you want to find establishments near to you press the FIND PLACES NEAR ME button.

From the menu top right, you can view this guide, go to settings, do an advanced search and see information about the app including a link to the privacy policy.


Quick Search


The quick search allows you to enter a name of an establishment and a place. You could just enter a name or a place on its own. Here enter 'cottage loaf' for the name and 'llandudno' for the place, press search on the keyboard or press the search button.

The app will send your query to the Food Standard Agency's web server and wait for a response which usually takes a few seconds but can take longer if busy. All data is live and up to date, no 
information is stored in the app. 


As you can see the Cottage Loaf scores a 5 (Very Good) and you can see a bit of the address, press the result to get more details.


Details




Pressing on a result shows more details about an establishment. You will see the appropriate Food Hygiene Rating icon which should be displayed on the premises, the establishment type and when the rating was awarded.

FSA Website


You can also view the establishment details directly on the FSA website, by clicking the button on the ratings card on the details screen.


Google Places


On the details screen scroll down to view more information cards.




The app will also look up the establishment up on Google Places, which may have photos, a telephone number and web site for the business.

Press the telephone number to call the business, press the web site to open a browser to view their website. If there is a photo, an attribution will be displayed in the bottom right hand corner, press this to view more of the photographer's images on Google Maps.

Sometimes the app will not be able to find any Google Places information, this is due to the FSA name of the place being different to that which is is listed under Google Places. If you are a business owner please check that your business name is correctly listed on the FSA database.




Scroll down the cards to see if the app has loaded any more photos


Scores



In the scores card there is a breakdown of the rating into scores for 3 categories: hygiene, structural and management, click MORE INFO for a brief description of the categories. These scores are like hazard points, so lower the score the better. The range of possible scores is 0-30 in steps of 5, with 0 the best and 30 the worst. You can find a more detailed explanation of the scores on page 35 of the FHRS guidance notes.


Details Map


Press the map button on the address card to view a map of the establishment.


The app will initially place a pin on the map based on the longitude/latitude data as returned from the FSA. However these geo-coordinates can be inaccurate, so the app will look up accurate geo-coordinates based on the address of the establishment and reposition the pin.

The map is fully interactive and you can zoom and move the map.

Note if the establishment has no address and no geo-coordinates, the app will not show the details map and pop up a notification instead.


Local Authority



On the local authority card you will see a contact email address and a web site address.
Pressing the SEND EMAIL button will open your email client, address it to the local authority and the body of the email will already be filled out with the establishment details.

If you are a business owner wishing to query any information, your local authority is the best place to start.



Near Me


The app can use the device's location to find establishments near to you. You will be asked to give the app permission to use location services.

On the home screen press the FIND PLACES NEAR ME button.



The app has found 432 establishments in my location of Llandudno. The results are grouped by business type, Takeaway/Sandwich Shop, Restaurant/Cafe, Pub/bar/nightclub etc.

Each establishment displays a coloured icon, a name, distance from your location and address. The icons have been designed for you to easily see poor ratings and good ratings.

Note that the default search radius is 1 mile, you can set this up to 10 miles in the app's settings.

There are quite a few results so the app allows you to filter your results to quickly find the place you're after.

Results Rating Filter



Open the menu (top right) to filter the results by rating. The results list will automatically update.


Results Text Filter



On the results screen press the search icon to search for text in the name and address of the establishment, the results will automatically be updated to show only those that contain the text you have entered.

You can search for text in the name only, go to the app's setting to set the appropriate Results Text Filter.

Settings


You can get to the settings screen from the home screen menu.

There are 5 settings:

  1. Search Radius (Near Me / Map) which specifies the search radius 1 to 10 miles
  2. Results Text Filter - search for text in the name and address or name only
  3. Search Timeout - set the time out when waiting for a response from the FSA server
  4. Enable Map Searches - check to enable map searches
  5. Show information from Google Places  - check to show Place info such as photos


Map Searches


Map searches are disabled by default, to enable them you will need to go into the settings screen and check the Enable Map Searches setting.

Nota Bene the longitude/latitude data for each establishment is inaccurate, this means that the establishments will not be pinned in the correct locations on the map. Worse, the pins will usually be stacked on top of each other. This is why map searches have been disabled by default, only perform map searches if you are comfortable with the pins not showing in the correct location.

Once enabled a green button will appear in the lower right corner of the home screen and results screen. Press this to open up a map.

Pure Map Searches




Press the green map button on the home screen to show a map of the UK.

Pinch zoom and move to St Ives and press the search icon in the menu bar top right. Touch a pin to show a pop out to see the name and rating of a place. Green pins are 5* rated, red 1* star. You can press a pop up to see the establishment details.

In practice you will find that pins are placed in the wrong location and usually stacked on top of other pins. I recommend that you only use pure map searches for establishments in villages, suburbs or small towns.


Results Map Searches



Press the green map button on the results screen, the results will be displayed on a map.


In practice it is best to try and filter the results to whittle them down, here I entered "chip" into the search filter to find Fish & Chip places in Llandudno, as most chippys usually have chip or fish in their names.

You can move the map and hit search again, to find places in a radius (specified in the settings) about the centre of the map. Note that any filters will be cleared, but you can press back to see a list of results, set up a new filter and press the map button again to see the filtered results.


Advanced Searched


The advanced search replicates the features you may have seen on the food hygiene ratings website.

Let us say you are looking for  4* and 5* rated pub on Anglesey.

From the home screen, press the menu (top-right) and select Advanced Search


Select the business type to be Pub/bar/nightclub.
Select Anglesey for the area
Select rating 4
Select comparison GreaterThanOrEqual.
Press the search menu icon top right

The app finds 72 establishments.


Scottish Rating System


The app is UK wide and supports establishments that have been rated with the Scottish Ratings System, eg Pass/Pass Plus/Improvement Required.




P+ icon represents Pass Eat Safe rating
P icon is a Pass
! icon is an Improvement Required.

Trouble Shooting


Connection Timeout


The FSA database is often slow at times, so you may need to increase the timeout setting from 30 seconds to a minute or more, see Settings.

Occasionally the BBC / ITV feature Food Hygiene Ratings on consumer affairs shows such as Rip Off Britain. Suddenly huge numbers of folk are using apps and websites to check out food hygiene ratings. This puts severe strain the FSA database and usually makes it unavailable. Problems can last for several days afterwards. Please do not complain about the app being slow or not working.

Different Rating


I often see comments saying that the app is out of date and that the scores on the door do not match. The app itself does not store any data, it fetches all data from the FSA. So if you see a business is displaying a different rating to the app, it's possible that the FSA database has not been updated.

The app allows you to send an email to the Local Authority where you can request clarification. 
Please:
  • Do not challenge the business about the rating (for your own safety!)
  • Do not leave a bad review on the app store about it (be nice)
  • Do not send me an email about the discrepancy (what can i do?)
  • Do consider sending an email to the local authority for clarification.

If you are a business owner and are concerned with the data shown, please contact your local authority to check the status and details of your inspection.


Establishment Not Listed


You type in the name and place and your favourite take-away is not found, one problem maybe that the place you have specified is not in the business address, so the app will not find the business. So try widening the address, eg change Westminster to London.

Another common problem is that the name of the establishment is different to what it is listed on the FSA database. Try part of the name to see if you can find the establishment. For example, a Fish & Chip shop near to me is listed as Riverside Fish Bar but its name now is Riverside Chippy.

Try finding the establishment on the FSA website, http://ratings.food.gov.uk/
If the establishment is found on the website, but not the app, please send me the name/address of the establishment so I can take a look.

Also bear in mind it may take several years for a business to be inspected, some local authorities have bigger back logs than others. So if a business is fairly new or has recently changed name, it may take time to have its rating listed on the FSA website.

If you are a business owner and cannot find your business, please contact your local authority to inquire about the status and details of your inspection.


Spurious Search Results


Search for Nando's and you will find also Lando's. The FSA database search algorithm is not so strict which is handy if you make spelling mistakes but can be frustrating if you are getting too many irrelevant matches. Fortunately the app is easy and quick to use, so browsing a huge list of results in combination with the filters, make it easier for you to find the establishment you are looking for.

Try the advanced search features to specify your search further, eg for The Swan at Stone, also specify the local authority area, eg Stafford, as there are lots of places called Stone.

Acknowledgements


All ratings information is provided by the Food Standards Agency, http://www.food.gov.uk
The app and this blog post are not affiliated and have not been endorsed by the FSA.

The app is free of charge and is ad funded. Ads are provided by Google Admob, the app will only display a banner along the bottom of the screen. 

Place information is provided by Google Places. See the apps privacy policy for more details.


Finally


Many thanks for using the app and I hope you use it every time you try a new place to eat or drink. It's also a good way of finding new places!

For any problems please send me an email via the feedback button on the About screen which you can access from the home screen menu.

To help keep updates coming, I'd be grateful if you could take the time to rate the app on the Play Store. Also spread the word, tell your friends about the app, you can do this easily by going to the About screen (menu option on the home screen) pressing the 'Email Friends' button which will share a link to the app via Facebook / Twitter (if you have the apps installed) or email.

Privacy Policy (Food Hygiene Ratings)

Privacy Policy, Terms of Service and Licence for the Android Food Hygiene Ratings UK app

Privacy Policy


The app does not store any information except for the user settings, however the app uses third party services which may collect data and are detailed below. The app does not send any data to MPD Bailey Technology.

Google Admob and Firebase


The app uses Google Admob and Firebase analytics to deliver relevant targeted ads to you, to find out more about how Google uses information from this app visit: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/partner-sites/

Feedback Emails


I may temporarily store any emails you may send to me whilst I deal with any issues raised. Your email address will not be used for any marketing by myself or third parties.

Your email client may store sent or draft messages from yourself and replies from me.

Note that I use Yahoo! email service for my feedback, to find out more about Yahoo, an Oath company, click the link below:
https://policies.oath.com/us/en/oath/privacy/index.html

Food Standards Agency


This app will display public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

All Food Hygiene Ratings information is provided by the live data feed from the Food Standards Agency. If you find any issues with the data please contact the relevant local authority. For more information visit https://www.food.gov.uk

Note that no ratings information or business information is stored in the app.

Google Maps APIs


The app uses the Maps, Geocoding and Places APIs from Google.

All map data shown is provided by Google Maps.

When viewing an establishment on the map, the app will use the Geocoding API to find the exact geo-coordinates .

Place information is provided by Google, image attribution and link is shown in the bottom right corner of any Place images shown

For further information, see Google Privacy Policy.


Terms of Service


By using this application you are bound by Google's Terms of Service

Using this app you agree that MPD Bailey Technology and its agents (Mark Bailey) are not liable for any information shown within the app.

MPD Bailey Technology and its agents (Mark Bailey) take no responsibility for the actions of any users of this app.

The app EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. The app makes no warranty that (1) THE APP OR THE CONTENT WILL MEET OR SATISFY YOUR REQUIREMENTS (2) THE APP SHALL HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR PHONE OR TABLET OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM YOUR USE OF THE APP OR ITS CONTENT.

Licence


Food Hygiene Ratings UK is licensed under Apache License-2.0:

Copyright 2018 MPD Bailey Technology

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

    http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Crossword Solver King Release Notes

Release notes for Crossword Solver King v3.24 and Crossword Solver King Pro v1.03.

280,000 Word List

I've removed the standard word list of 130,000 words and created a new word list of 280,000 words based on the SCOWL word lists. I have removed the Use Pro Word List setting as there is only one word list now.

For the new word list, I've carefully removed abbreviations, hacker words, Roman numerals, profanity and offensive/taboo words. I've also replaced all two letter words with the approved TWL and CSW words. Accented letters have been simply converted to their base letter.

The new word list now has a lot less non-words and over 1200 new words compared to the old Pro word list, including neologisms such as crowdfunding. Thanks to everyone who sent in word suggestions.


Rebranding

The name of the app has now changed from CleverDic Crossword Solver to Crossword Solver King, its still the same great app and still developed by myself, Mark Bailey. I've changed the icon to show a crown on a crossword.

There is now an User Guide for the app and this replaces the guide on solving cryptic crosswords.


Dictionary Definitions

Added Word Game Dictionary, Collins, Oxford Living Dictionaries and Merriam Webster Thesaurus to the list of look up options for the Dictionary Definition setting. On the pop up menu, added Collins and Word Game Dictionary The word game dictionary is a quick way of checking if a word is allowed in Scrabble, how many points it is worth and its definition.

On the pop up menu, I've added an option to copy all the words to the clipboard as this was a oft requested feature.

The google look up now uses the dictionary query instead of define. For instance looking up eyewash only returns ads for define whereas dictionary will show ads but also the dictionary definition

Filters

The containing letters filters now works correctly if you enter the same letter multiple times, so if you entered ee, feed is allowed but not fed.

There is a new contains word filter, which checks if a match contains the word you specified. Try it with moonstarer and enter room in the contains word filter, you will find anterooms, restroom, tearoom, rooms...

For Pro users there are two new Pro Filters, Word Pattern and Regular Expression. Word Pattern is useful for Scrabble games where you can detail some of the letters on the board and Regular Expression is for advanced word searches. Please see the user guide for details.


Miscellaneous

Three word anagrams are now supported, enter cli ntea stwood to find old west action. The spaces fix the size of the three words to be searched (3-4-6), even with this limitation the app will find 100's of combinations. The maximum query length has been increased from 30 to 42 letters to accommodate 3 large words and larger results will now be shown on multiple lines.

And finally as a oft requested feature (well complaint!) I have added a setting to show sub-anagrams. If you uncheck this option the app will not search for sub-anagrams only show you 'true anagrams'.

Thanks for all the feedback and please keep it coming.



Monday, 14 May 2018

Crossword Solver King Guide

User guide for Crossword Solver King and Crossword Solver King Pro apps for Android.

Crossword Solver King has over 280,000 words which you can easily search helping you find those difficult crossword clues.

The guide will explain how to use the app for solving crosswords, make the best use of advanced features like filters and other powerful searches you can do for other word games such as Scrabble and Countdown.



Welcome


To quickly familiarise yourself with the app, there is an interactive list of the various search types for you to try out. Press the SHOW ME button on each of the hints to see what it does. 



You enter your own search queries in the text box at the top of the app and then press the SEARCH button to start the search. Press the X button (top-right) in the tool bar to clear a query.

Pressing the menu button will give you options for settings, information about the app and a link to this user guide.

To return to the main help screen from a search, press the back button.



Missing Letters

As you fill out a crossword you will also fill out other clues with letters. Use the app to find matching words, you use a full-stop (period) to represent a missing (unknown) letter:

r..p....

The app finds 64 words such as raspberry, ragpicker and respected. You can quickly scroll through the results to find your word. For any words that you do not know the meaning, press the spy glass icon to the right of the word to look it up.

You can also use question marks, ?,  to represent missing letters, enter c??v?r to find clever, clover, carver.


If you don't have any letters yet, cryptic clues helpfully give you some, for example:

Sort of cable - flatter one, aluminium (7)

I'm going to assume sort of cable is the definition, even though sort indicates an anagram. I cannont yet think of another word for flatter, but i for one (Roman numeral I) and Al for the chemical symbol for Aluminium, so lets try ....ial

Out of the 59 nine matches, coaxial looks right as it is a type of cable and coax means to flatter.

Tip! Consonants, especially JKMQWXZ are really good for narrowing down the number of matches

Tip! Depending on the clue you can guess the ending of a word, s, ed, ing. Plug these letters to help find the right word in.



Shortcuts

If you have many missing letters, you can use numbers to represent a group of dots.


Enter z9 to find zookeepers, zombielike

z9 is equivalent to entering z.........


Anagrams

Crosswords,  especially cryptic crosswords, usually have several anagram clues, denoted by (anag.) for concise crosswords and many other sneaky indicators for cryptic clues.

To find anagrams enter the letters and press search, for example:

enter eprsu 

to find pursue, sprue and super

The app will also find sub-anagrams, smaller words using the same letters that you entered. These are useful for puzzles such as Wordwheels, TV shows like Countdown and games like Word Cookie and 4 Pics 1 Word.

Tip! You can turn off sub-anagrams from the settings menu


Two Word Anagrams

Enter Manchester United to find mechanised nutter, inducement haters, untested chairmen

The space indicates to the app to look for two words that use all the letters. In the example above the app will first search for words of length 10 and 6 letters, and then search for other combinations of words that total 16 letters.

Three word anagrams are also supported, try cli ntea stwood to find old west action. The spaces in the query set the size of the 3 words to be searched, 3-4-6 in this example. In practice you will find that most 3 word searches will return 1000's of results and may take 10 seconds or more. For crosswords, I find it is better to guess one of the words in a 3 word answer, such as and or the.


Blank Letters

In games such as Scrabble you have blank tiles representing any letter, in the app you use + to represent a blank tile.

Enter google++++ to find bootlegger, boondoggle, egyptology

For cryptic crossword clues, you may be given part of the answer as an anagram and the remaining letters you will have to deduce from the rest of the clue. So you could enter the anagram letters and +'s for the remaining letters. For example, here is a clue from the i newspaper:

22ac Stratus spreading around break of day - something in the heavens (8)

Spreading indicates an anagram , stratus is one letter short but we can use + for the unknown letter.




stratus+ returns 7 matches: stardust, startups, statures, stratous, stratums, turistas, upstarts

Stardust is something in the heavens, and break of day indicates d, the first letter of the word day, so stardust is the answer. Notice how the app highlights the blank letter in the list of results.

Tip! You can set the blank letter colour in the settings menu


Definitions

You can press the information icon on the right of a word to look up its definition on Google.  You can change from Google to Merriam-Webster, MW Thesaurus, Collins, Oxford Dictionaries or Wikipedia via the settings menu. For Scrabble fans I recommend the Word Game Dictionary lookup which checks if the word is allowed, its score and definition.

The app works with the English Dictionary App from Livio, an offline dictionary. If you have the English Dictionary app installed, you can send words to the app for it to display their definition.

Instead of using the settings menu to change the default dictionary provider, you can long press a word to bring up a dialog of options:



The pop-up menu is quite large now, so you may have to scroll the menu to see all the options. Pressing copy will copy the word to the system clip board which you can paste back into the query field on the main screen. Copy All will paste all the words to the clip board so you can paste them into some other app.


Suffix @ Prefix

This search type is not very useful for cruciverbalists but will be useful to wordsmiths.

Whereas a . represents a single letter, @ represents 1 or more letters

Enter @ace to find face, hyperspace, peace

You can also mix . and @ in your search,
Enter sup@x. to find supergalaxy
Here @ represents ergala and the . y


Supergrams

Find larger words that contain your anagram letters, use * to represent 1 or more extra letters (blank tiles)

Enter microsoft* to find discomforting, nonconformists, oversimplification

nonconformists contains all the letters in microsoft plus nnnos.

This feature would be more useful to a crossword setter!


Filters

Most searches will return an overwhelming 5000 results, to help you find the right word the app has powerful filters to help you narrow down your search.

Lets first look at an example:

1ac Cross inlaid with gold on church vessel(8)

I have letters a and p, so I try.a...p..



64 Matches, lets see if we can narrow this down. The clue mentions gold, typically this means letters Au, or, ore. I will use a filter to look for words containing the word 'au'.
Press the pink filter button bottom right. Enter au into the word filter:




Press search:



Saucepan looks good, it contains letters CE for church and span means to cross, so span is inlaid with auce to give saucepan which is a vessel.


The standard version of the app has 8 filters, the Pro has 10 filters:

Containing Letters - Filter words that contain the letters you have specified, the order of the letters does not matter and you can specify a letter more than once. So aabc will filter words that contain at least 2 a's, 1 b and 1c.

Containing Word - Like Containing Letters filter but the order of the letters must be the same. So abc will filter words containing the letters (in order) abc.

Excluding Letters - exclude words that contain any of the letters you have specified. This filter is useful if you do Codeword crosswords.

Starting With / Ending With - Only include words that start or end with the letters (in order)
you have specified.

Word Size filters allow you to search for words bigger than a certain size, smaller than a certain size or equal to a specific length you have set.

The Pro filters allow you specify a word pattern, similar to a crossword (missing letter) search, use . for an unknown letter.  So .tr... will look for 6 letter words where the second letter is a t and the third an r. This is useful for Scrabble games where you specify the letters on the board you want to use. You also can use @ to mean 1 or more letters.

The Pro Regular Expression filter is for advanced users who know RegEx, a powerful matching tool used in computer string processing, don't panic I will give you a quick guide.

In the word pattern filter, your pattern is converted into RegEx. So a . is converted in [a-z] meaning any letter a to z, @ is converted to [a-z]+ meaning 1 or more letters. Here are some more examples:


  • [aeiou] letter must be a vowel
  • [a-z]* any letter none or more times
  • [a-z]+ any letter one or more times
  • [a-z] any letter just once

For a simple crib sheet, please take a loot at https://www.petefreitag.com/cheatsheets/regex/ 


Codewords

Codeword crosswords substitute numbers for each letter of the alphabet. You are shown a completed grid of numbers, given 3 letters and you then have to deduce what the numbers are for each letter.



The first step is to fill out the grid with the letters you are given. You then have to try work out words that will fit the grid, this can be tricky but words that use the same letter more than once will be easier to guess.

Lets say you have a word that is made up of the following numbers:

14 12 8 8 23 17 17 23

The 3rd/4th letters are the same,so are the  5th/8th and 6th/7th. In the app enter this query:

..112332



The app finds 11 matches, including barrette, cassette and pallette.

Breaking down the query, ..112332, the dots represent any letter and the numbers represent letters that are the same, here I specified 3 letters than must be the same 1,2 and 3. So for cassette, 1 is S, 2 is E and 3 is T. Mapping this back to the clue, 14 12 8 8 23 17 17 23, 1 is 8, 2 is 23 and 3 is 17, so S is 8, E is 23 and T is 17.

Lets say we already had E, you would then enter the query as ..11E22E
Notice that I use 2 for the T now.

The Excluding Letters filter is really handy for Codewords, lets say we already have letters LMFR, so we can exclude any words that contain these letters:



 Enter the letters you already know that aren't in the clue, press search.


The app now only matches cassette.


Settings

You can get to the settings screen by pressing the menu key (top right) and then pressing Settings from the menu.


The settings shown above are
  • Dictionary Definition - choose which dictionary provide to use when you press the information icon next to a word
  • You can set the maximum number of results return to 100, 500, 1000 or 5000.
  • You can set the font size of the results and even select a large mono-spaced font.
  • Letter highlighting, chose the colour of the letters in Blank and Supergram searches
  • Automatically Show keyboard, enable to cause the keyboard to appear when you go to the main screen
  • If the filter button is in the way, you can remove it here by unchecking Show Filter Button
  • If you only want to see anagram and no sub-anagrams you can uncheck the Show-Sub-anagrams

Go Pro

The standard version of the app shows banner ads from Google Admob and contains analytics (Google's Firebase) to show you relevant ads. This means the app will eat your data and bandwidth by downloading ads, take up extra storage (standard - 12Mb, pro 6Mb) and you will have less screen space to view your results.




For a small price, less than a cup of coffee, you can download the Pro version of the app. The Pro version also has the following extra filters, Word Pattern and Regular Expression.

From the main home screen scroll down to the Go Pro tip and press FIND OUT MORE. You will be taken to the Pro version of the app on the Google Playstore.



Help Out

Thanks for using the app and if you have upgraded to Pro, thanks again.

If you can think of any other uses for the app, please enter them in the comments below. Reading comments in the app store and feedback from emails, users have found all sorts of uses for the app such as deciphering handwriting, learning English, writing poetry,  writing quizzes, creating puzzles and even helping with a hearing disability ( I think they enter part of the word they heard)


Spread the word and tell your friends about the app, there is a recommend button on the Help Out tip to send your friends a link to the app on the Play Store. You can also send me feedback via email and rate the app.

I hope you will enjoy using the app for years to come, remember it's not cheating - just saving you a little time ;)


Mark

App Developer

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Anagram Solver Release Notes

Release notes for Anagram Solver v4.11 and Anagram Solver Pro v2.06.

280,000 Word List

I've removed the standard word list of 130,000 words and created a new word list of 280,000 words based on the SCOWL word lists. So users of the free version of the app can now search the full list of words. For Pro users I have removed the Use Pro Word List setting as there is only one word list now.

For the new word list, I've carefully removed abbreviations, hacker words, Roman numerals, profanity and offensive/taboo words. I've also replaced all two letter words with the approved TWL and CSW words. Accented letters have been simply converted to their base letter.

The new word list now has a lot less non-words and over 1200 new words compared to the old Pro word list, including neologisms such as crowdfunding. Thanks to everyone who sent in word suggestions.


Dictionary Definitions

Added Word Game Dictionary, Collins, Oxford Living Dictionaries and Merriam Webster Thesaurus to the list of look up options for the Dictionary Definition setting. On the pop up menu, added Collins and Word Game Dictionary The word game dictionary is a quick way of checking if a word is allowed in Scrabble, how many points it is worth and its definition.

On the pop up menu, I've added an option to copy all the words to the clipboard as this was a oft requested feature.

The google look up now uses the dictionary query instead of define. For instance looking up eyewash only returns ads for define whereas dictionary will show ads but also the dictionary definition

User Guide

On the iOS version of the app, I wrote an online user guide for the app which proved to be popular amongst users and so I wrote one for the Android version. You can access the online user guide via the menu or from the tips on the main screen. Click here to see the guide.


Filters

The containing letters filters now works correctly if you enter the same letter multiple times, so if you entered ee, feed is allowed but not fed.

There is a new contains word filter, which checks if a match contains the word you specified. Try it with moonstarer and enter room in the contains word filter, you will find anterooms, restroom, tearoom, rooms...

For Pro users there are two new Pro Filters, Word Pattern and Regular Expression. Word Pattern is useful for Scrabble games where you can detail some of the letters on the board and Regular Expression is for advanced word searches. Please see the user guide for details.


Miscellaneous

Three word anagrams are now supported, enter cli ntea stwood to find old west action. The spaces fix the size of the three words to be searched (3-4-6), even with this limitation the app will find 100's of combinations. The maximum query length has been increased from 30 to 42 letters to accommodate 3 large words.

And finally as a oft requested feature (well complaint!) I have added a setting to show sub-anagrams. If you uncheck this option the app will not search for sub-anagrams only show you 'true anagrams'.

Thanks for all the feedback and please keep it coming.




Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Privacy Policy

Privacy policy for Anagram Solver, Anagram Solver Pro, Crossword Solver King and Crossword Solver King Pro. None of the apps store any information about you or what you enter into the app. The apps do not send any data to MPD Bailey Technology.

The apps may use third party apps, such as email clients, for you to send me feedback. The apps will use third party apps, such as a web browser app, to look up word definitions.

Anagram Solver
The app uses Google Admob and Firebase analytics to deliver relevant targeted ads to you, to find out more about how Google uses information from this app please visit: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/partner-sites/

Anagram Solver Pro
This app contains no advertising and no thirdparty tracking libraries

Crossword Solver King
The app uses Google Admob and Firebase analytics to deliver relevant targeted ads to you, to find out more about how Google uses information from this app please visit: https://www.google.com/policies/technologies/partner-sites/

Crossword Solver King Pro
This app contains no advertising and no thirdparty tracking libraries

Feedback Emails
I may temporarily store any emails you may send me whilst I deal with any issues raised. Your email address will not be used for any marketing either by myself or third parties.

Your email client may store sent or draft messages from yourself and replies from me.

Note that I use Yahoo! email service for my feedback, to find out more about Yahoo, an Oath company, click the link below:
https://policies.oath.com/us/en/oath/privacy/index.html

Licence


Anagram Solver, Anagram Solver Pro, Crossword Solver King and Crossword Solver King Pro are licensed under Apache License-2.0:

Copyright 2018 MPD Bailey Technology

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

    http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied.
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.