Newspapers are a dying breed with the popularity of online content, and mobile devices. One piece of the newspaper that hasn’t really translated, is the crossword puzzle. There are plenty of apps that have attempted to make crosswords for iOS, but none have really stood-out, nor made easier to use than a newspaper with pen/pencil. Four Down: Beautiful Crosswords is looking to change that with a simplified layout that puts the crossword puzzle front, and center. The app doesn’t get bogged down in convoluted menus, and instead provides context sensitive entry, based on where you tap on the puzzle.
With Four Down, you can tap on eight across, and the clue for that entry appears right above the keyboard, and you’re ready to type in the answer. You can dismiss the keyboard at any time to see the puzzle full screen, and the keyboard only appears when you tap on a box in the puzzle. It’s effortless to enter in answers, and the game comes with 24 crossword puzzles for free, with 24 more for $0.99. Another neat feature in the app is that you can check any individual letter, or word to see if you have the right answer as you’re filling in the puzzle. If you’re stuck, you can fill in specific letters, or whole words, and the app syncs your crossword progress with iCloud.
Four Down: Beautiful Crosswords ($0.99 -> Free, Universal) is free for a limited time, and it makes crossword puzzles on your iOS device actually enjoyable, and better than the newspaper version.