The paid version of Words With Friends HD [2.99] has been available for the iPad since the dinosaurs began hocking up miasmic balls of cosmic goo. But the free version? Nah, that hasn't been around at all -- until recently at least.

The free version of WWF HD [free] is now available to download as of yesterday, and just like its iPhone counterpart, the app is ad-supported.

In this version specifically, you'll get access to everything WWF. In other words, you'll be able to play up to 20 games at the same time, join and start online games, chat in a cute little text box while playing, receive push notifications when not in the app, and feel like a moron whenever you spell "van" knowing full well that "V" could have gone somewhere else for more points.

There's not a lot that differentiates the iPhone and iPad versions of WWF. The iPad version, of course, has more screen space to work with and looks sharper, but that's about it. I should note that, annoyingly, both the free and paid versions of the iPad app are locked in portrait mode, so no horizontal spelling action is allowed. It's a bummer, but, hey, WWF is (kinda) free now on the iPad! Why am I complaining?

  • Jesse

    I would be so much more inclined to purchase apps like this if they would simply release one universal app.

    • Adams Immersive

      My solution: I’m getting the paid app for one of the two devices, and using the ad-supported version on the other.

      I haven’t decided which, though... Until I actually own an iPad I’m not sure which one I will play on more!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551080582 Nick Papageorge

        Exactly what I do.

        My biggest issue with WWF is there is no point total like in Lexulous, no dictionary, no online/facebook play....

        If they fix this, I would be in for the paid version, no questions asked.

  • Big Huge Nerd

    Did Brad really just say, "...could have went"?

    Crazy...

  • Howard

    Whats the difference between this and scrabble?

    • Adams Immersive

      1. Different arrangement of bonus squares (but they score the same). Same number of TWs for instance, but shifted so they’re all on the edges and not the corners.

      2. A bingo (7 tiles played) is worth 35 points instead of 50.

      3. The center star (required for first play) is NOT a double-word. (Which I kind of like--it takes away some first-turn advantage.)

      4. Some of the letters are worth a point more or less than real Scrabble. (Such as C being worth 4 instead of 3.)

      5. There used to be some differences in the allowable dictionary, vs. OSPD (the red Scrabble dictionary) but I haven’t noticed that in recent updates. Then again, I never use a dictionary to play WWF, so I have nothing to go on but memory.

      6. As with most computer Scrabble variants, it has built-in word-checking so there are no disputes. If you try a word that isn't a real word, no harm done and no turn lost: you just try again.

      7. Compared to the official Scrabble app: this one has Retina graphics (iPhone) and a nicer UI (especially for wild card, where official Scrabble makes you tap-cycle through the alphabet like you're entering a high score in 1985!). More importantly, it has Internet multiplayer (with known friends OR random strangers) not just local. On the flip side, official Scrabble has an AI opponent (although pretty weak, I find) and semi-interesting "best word" picker that you can use a few times. (It's not cheating as much as it sounds: the "best word" may be high-scoring, but not strategic for the board.)

      8. And since WWF is Asyhcnronous, you don't have to play all at once, the way you normally would with Scrabble. People can take turns right away if they want, but they don't have to--so you can wait hours or days if something comes up and you can't play. The game will wait for you, and when you take your turn, your opponent will get a notification. If this slow pace sounds annoying, remember you can have multiple games going at once.

  • Asd

    I have to say, as much as I loved WWF, I threw up my hands in frustration from the rampant cheating. There's not much you can do about it I guess, but it seems like every third player now is using online Scrabble-type game cheat tools. Either that, or somehow everyone but me has an innate talent for coming up with obscure 18th century medical devices and rare insect subspecies at the drop of the hat.

    • Adams Immersive

      The funny thing is when they have all those cheat words, but their cheating tool doesn’t know the WWF board layout, so they still lose by using the bonus squares badly! (Which is one way you know they’re cheating and not just inhumanly brilliant.)

      It’s weird when people find cheating to be enough fun that they keep at it. I like to find people who are good, fair players, and keep re-matching. I have pretty good luck finding non-cheaters. (Actually, newcomers who are just really bad seem more common than cheaters. But I don’t quit on them—we all had to learn sometime!)

      And I’ve certainly met people who beat me badly, repeatedly, who are not cheating. You can tell after a while.