Apps for Scrabble Word Study

I just posted an entry that introduced a Scrabble word study plan with Hoot, but Hoot is a Windows program so you can't use it when all you have available is a cell phone. Since I don't have the resources  to create a comparable app for Scrabble word study I have to rely on existing apps when I don't  have access to the computer. For that I've used three different Android apps, Scrabble Expert, Wordlist Pro, and Zax.
Combined I can do basic studies with these three.

Scrabble Expert

Scrabble Expert (by Pisanu Chaloemrattanaporn) is the best app I've found and before this blog entry the only one I'd purchased. The interface is simple but functional. It has two dropdown selection boxes/buttons and a word entry text box. One of the boxes lets you select the length of words (2-15 or All) to return in the results. The other box provides a long list of search options, including 2 Letter Words, 3 Letter Words, Q without U, Starting With, Ending With, Bingo Formulas, Contains Letters, Word Builder, and Pattern. 

If you've used Hoot for very long you may want to note some of the changes in terminology. In Hoot, sub anagrams are words that contain some or all of the words in the search term. I also refer to that as the Contains Letters search. In Scrabble Expert, that's called the Word Builder. Also, where Hoot returns words that build on a search term (without rearranging) with the Extensions search, Scrabble Expert uses the Containing search.

The only issues I have with the interface is that the sorting options require a few more steps to get to. As for functionality, two other apps fill in the options missing in Scrabble Expert. In Scrabble Expert you can get a definition by tapping on a word and then tapping on a look-up button. That's where Wordlist Pro makes it easy. From any list of results you can simply tap the word to look up the definition. 

Wordlist Pro

Wordlist Pro also has a couple of word length options that might appeals to you, though it's not as easy to get to. Instead of selecting a length you can set the word length range in Preferences. That range could also include words from 16 to 21 letters long but you have to purchase the Unlimited version (which I did) to get access to the Super-Scrabble lexicon.

The search types are also in Preferences under Filters and include Anagram, Build, Hooks, Pattern, Begins, Ends, and Contains. Sorting is also there and lets you sort alphabetically, by score, and by word length. The thing that I use it for is the single tap definitions. In Scrabble Expert you have to tap the word then the lookup button. Unfortunately the definitions are often not as helpful. Scrabble Expert which links to more detailed Wordnik definitions, and provides a link to the original word if the search is for an alternate spelling.

One of the bonuses I found from the hamburger menu is that you can share your searches with others. 


Zax, also listed as Anagram Solver-Scrabble Expert (by Komol P), is basically a quizzing app, but does have a Word Search where you can select Anagram, Build, and Pattern. Other than that, it has nothing. There is no way to select a lexicon. My searches return results comparable with OWL3.1 so it's useful to me.The only thing that I use it for is the display of words with their hook letters. 

It does have quiz options by word length, but the free version only allows 4 letter words. Each of the other word lists (and ad-removeable) must be unlocked separately.  Unlock all is available, but at an unreasonable 15.99. The search options are also limited, and only include anagram, build, and pattern.

Word App

Yet another notable app is Word App (from Craig Hart). Though I haven't been using it, it does have a nice interface and has the min/max word length option up to 15 letters. The search options are limited to Pattern, Anagram, Build, and Regular Expression but Regular Expressions open up the possibility of doing all kinds of searches for someone who knows the syntax. I wasn't thinking of this app until I got into writing this post so I may consider using it more often.

While some of the apps allow you to search for words "Containing" a certain letter, others will require you to use an alternate method. For example, three letter words containing H would be searched in Zax with the anagram search of H??. All of the apps here include the OTCWL2016 lexicon, but they all fail to provide an option for a custom word list.

App Scrabble Study Plan

All of that introduction is to explain my study routine. My first search is in Scrabble Expert where I list words by length and alphabetically. After I've reviewed all of the words in Scrabble Expert, I go to Wordlist Pro and review again, this time looking up definitions for unfamiliar words. Finally, I switch to Zax to study the hook words. I do that by mentally adding the hook letters to the word result. So from AAH I learned the words WAAH and AAHS. Not only do I learn two other words but I now know how easy or difficult it is to hook onto the word. Also, I know that the unique front hook is W and the unique back hook is S.

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