Posts to be included on the homepage

TrickyPuzzle

Free sudoku for your local publications!

Are you in the need of a free Sudoku puzzle to add some extra interest to your newsletter or leaflet ?

It’s amazing how having a puzzle available means that it gets a bit of extra interest, and gives your regular readers an extra little reason to look forward to your next delivery!

We’ve just updated our Sudoku Bulletin Edition page with new links to puzzles – these are changed every month and are available in lovely big print sizes (high DPI) so that you can embed them into your document and they will scale and print without any loss of quality. There are also the full solutions to print too – either on another page in the same newsletter or in the next issue.

Perfect!

Looking for packs for your Palm Centro (or other Palm OS or Windows Mobile device)?

centroIt might be hard to believe, but “in the wild” there are still quite a few Palm Centro owners who still have working devices, and who haven’t migrated to another device. Astraware Sudoku was bundled with these devices as a built-in app back in 2007, and as a result Centro owners made up the majority of our Puzzle Of The Day accesses for several years!

Each month there are fewer and fewer of these devices left still working and accessing the site… but there are still some!  It’s quite a testament to the usability of these great little devices that they’re still popular all these years later, and to their build that they’re still functioning – especially for a device that was relatively budget at the time!

As the devices could be a little slow to generate puzzles themselves, we pre-built many hundreds of puzzles and made them available on this website – if you’re looking for those, we’ve collected them together into a single zip file, which you can access from our Sudoku Links page!

Still using your Centro? Comment here and let us know why! (Is it just because of Astraware Sudoku? If so, you’re safe to migrate to an iOS or Android device – we’ve got you covered now with an all new version!)

Latest Sudoku Of The Day app for Android – supporting most devices!

We’ve just updated our Sudoku Of The Day App for Android, which adds support (by the magic of clever scaling) for most Android phones and tablets that have been released recently! Even owners of the latest devices should find that the game scales its graphics nicely, and hopefully as readably as possible!

Get the latest version (1.73) for Android from our App page!  Our Nook and iOS version have also been updated with minor fixes too!

Play the latest Sudoku Of The Day puzzles directly in your browser!

By popular request (people have been asking us for it since we started the site!), I’ve been working on a playable Sudoku that works right in your browser!

It’s really a beta, in that it doesn’t look quite as polished as I would like it to become, and I haven’t decided on the final features that will be added, but all of the basic playable features – entering values, pencil marks, (and an undo!) are all in there now.

You can play any of the Sudoku Of The Day Daily Puzzles,  select the puzzle you’d like to play and tap on it, and then choose the option that says “Play this puzzle in your browser now!”

It runs directly in your browser and does not require any additional software to install! (No flash, no plugins, no extra programs!)

Please try it out and comment with your thoughts – did you play it? Did you complete the puzzle? Did it work right? Was it obvious how to use, or confusing?  Feel free to comment here or on the Play Sudoku Beta page itself !

The more useful feedback we get, the better the changes we can make to make it more playable and useful for everyone!

Speedier Site – faster downloads!

We’ve been working behind the scenes to improve how the pictures work here!

Some of the pages on the site (for instance the technique pages) have multiple Sudoku images showing, as they explain how to apply a technique. Some pages (for instance one of the Step-By-Step guides for one of the daily puzzles) can have over a hundred images, showing in detail how to solve one of our daily sudoku puzzles.

Those images are fairly small – perhaps 10-15kb each, but when you have a hundred, that’s over a megabyte of data our server has to send out, and your computer has to receive and store, and that’s all a slow process, especially if you’re on shared WiFi!

So we’ve been trying out Canvas and Javascript to send the puzzle and layout information in a condensed form in the pages, which asks your browser to paint the picture itself, rather than downloading it.  Our experiments here are that it saves anywhere from 100kb to 1Mb per page, and even on a fast connection that’s anything up to 10 seconds of saving!  It helps our server keep cool and mellow in the summer, and it means you don’t chew through quite so much data from your allowance!

Another bonus is that because it uses the nice fonts and technology in your computer, it will render the puzzles more sharply and clearly than before – so it should be good for readability.

We’ve tried to make it fall-back gracefully if you’re using a much older browser, so it’ll go back to the old image method if it needs to. We’ve tried on a number of mobile devices too and it seems to help them a bit, but we can see we still have layout/css problems all over the place to fix!

We’ve tested that printing still works, so hopefully everyone should be able to keep doing things the way they prefer.

Please let us know if you come across any problems!

 

For the techies:

We use a wordpress shortcode in our page to query our database for the appropriate puzzle information. This returns a puzzle ‘string’ (a sequence of usually 81 characters, to make up the 9×9 cells, sometimes more if there are pencilmarks to include or things like background shades and arrows).  The PHP that processes the shortcode writes this out as a small piece of javascript in the page. As your browser renders the page, it runs the javascript, and expands it out into either a canvas, or if the browser can’t handle a canvas, includes the good old img src for the puzzle from our server the old way.

If it’s running a canvas, it then runs a function to draw in the grid, numbers, pencilmarks, shading, and everything else, directly onto that canvas. All in far less time than it takes to request the equivalent picture from our server!  As a result the server is processing a single page, as the browser creates all of the images directly, rather than a page resulting in 50-100 different requests. The reduced load on the server means that everyone gets pages more quickly when lots of people are accessing at once!

More than 99% of the visitors to our site are using a modern browser so should get all of the benefits!

 

 

 

Sudoku Of The Day App – 1.71 now live in stores!

Great news – it took a while to go through Apple’s approval, but version 1.71 is now live in the Apple Store. This version fixes all of the restore-purchase problems that we had with the previous version (1.70) and also improves stability in a number of ways.

We’re very sorry about the problems this caused, and we’re very grateful for the incredible patience our customers have shown with us during the delay in getting the fix approved and out there!  We’re happy that everyone can get back on with their routine of playing a Sudoku a day (or more!)

To download (if you haven’t already) follow the links on the Get The App page. We have a link there for iOS (iPhone/iPad), and Android via Google Play and Amazon. If you already have the app on your device, follow your usual method to get updates and it should come down for you.

If you’re having problems with the app, please get in touch with us via the Astraware Support System and we’ll do our best to resolve!  Please include the Unique ID (which looks something like A123-456-789) from the about screen, and that’ll help us even more!

Updates for easier navigation and better printing

David and I have been working on improving some of the functionality of the site – it’s now possible to navigate more easily to the daily puzzle archive pages, and select the puzzle you want to play;  You can then print just that puzzle, without having the solution right in front of you!

From there you can take a look at the solution too (a side-by-side view in case you do want to print both), or to go straight to the step-by-step guide to solving the puzzle.

We’ve added in by request the rating value for each puzzle, and also the calculated techniques that will get you to the solution – of course you’re free to use whatever techniques work for you!

Finally we’re working on making many more of the pages (particularly the daily page, and individual puzzles) much more printer friendly by removing sections that you don’t need on paper. Hug that tree!

In the future we’re hoping to have a feature on the site where you can play right in the browser too – and still have access to all the solver assistance, pencilmarks, and help from the mobile app – but that’s likely some time away!

If you have any more suggestions for the site – or if you’ve found a page that is broken, please get in touch – we do our best to make the site work as well as possible for everyone, as well as being welcoming for new users!

Sudoku Puzzle problems (July 11th) and App update woes.

We are currently receiving a lot of email and support from customers experiencing problems with the latest update to the Astraware Sudoku Of The Day app, and also some problems getting to puzzles on this site too (particularly the Archive page wasn’t showing up for some visitors)

We have had two problems which have compounded together – one is that our server suffered a problem and was unable to deliver daily games and scores, or even worse, tried to deliver a partial puzzle which is not possible to complete!

In addition our submission of the latest version (1.70.000) had a problem which didn’t show up during testing, which caused it to lose statistics and also sometimes revert back to not having any purchases unlocked – and the Restore Purchases button was then not working for many people.

1.70.001 has been submitted to Google Play (should be available by the end of Friday), Amazon (should be available by approx Monday 14th) and Apple, where we hope it will be reviewed and available by approx Tuesday 15th.

This will fix all the purchase problems, and restore purchases will work for anyone who has purchased the generator and removing ads (or unlock all). We’re very sorry but the lost statistics are gone – but the new version will at least keep the new statistics you build up.

We have given the server a swift kick in the configs and that’s up and running just fine now, delivering correct puzzles for all of our daily games again.

We’re very sorry for the problems, we know how anxious our daily puzzle players get when there’s a delay, and I promise we do our best to avoid this kind of problem and keep the puzzles flowing smoothly!

Thanks for sticking with us!

Howard and David

Site update – everything has moved!

Well, not everything, but a lot of pages have indeed moved to different locations within the site, as we’ve done a grand tidy-up and made the whole site a lot neat (and more stable and maintainable too!)

If you can’t see what you’re looking for, we have a new menu at the bottom of each page.

Welcome to our new look!

When we originally launched the Sudoku Of The Day site back in around 2004/2005, we had no idea how popular it would be as a reference for people who wanted to learn how to do Sudoku, and improve their knowledge to tackle harder puzzles. Since then we’ve released many iterations of our phone/tablet playable versions with new features and styling, but the website has hardly had an update in almost 10 years! We finally felt it was about time, to coincide with releasing an updated handheld version, to update the website and make some fixes and improvements along the way!

We hope you like the new clean look, and find it just as easy to navigate around!  If you’re accessing from a mobile device, you should find that this site is much nicer on your device too as it will scale to make the absolute best use of your available screen space.

Let us know what you think in the comments!

Howard & David, Astraware