Since mentioning several weeks ago that IZ is a playable word for some Words With Friends players and not for others, that post has generated more search engine traffic through this blog than any other post. (The situation, briefly: Players with most Android devices could play IZ and several other words that are unusual even by word-game standards; iOS users and many others could not. This frequently resulted in an unfair advantage for the Android players since they had extra opportunities to use their tough-to-play, high-value Zs.)
One of our players has a connection with the producer of the wwf app at Zynga. She posed the question about the words being allowed by Android users and not Apple users. Here is the response:
I was a bit confused when I saw this, as we JUST made some changes to address this issue about a month or two ago. However, when I looked back, I saw that you’re completely correct: that some of our changes didn’t take affect for Android users!!
We do make changes to the dictionary periodically, but we always try to update all platforms/users at the same time. Because the Dictionary is stored inside the app on your device instead of our servers, users on different devices (or even on different versions, if someone hasn’t updated lately) could still be seeing different word lists. I just made the fix for this a priority for our next Android release, which should be the last step to get everyone (iPhone/Android/Facebook/etc…) back on the same word lists. Expect that in the next 2-3 weeks!
Going forward, once the new Android update is out, you and your tournament friends will always see the same lists, as long as you make sure everyone has updated to the latest version of Words With Friends on their devices! (Making everyone update their App is probably a good rule for tournament play anyways!)”