Ninjawords: An iPhone Dictionary, Censored by Apple

Two years ago I linked to a web site called Ninjawords — a fast, simple online dictionary backed by a good data source (Wiktionary).

The developers behind Ninjawords, Matchstick Software, have released an iPhone version, currently available from the App Store for just $2. Here’s how they describe it:

Ninjas are three things:

They’re smart
They’re quick
They’re deadly accurate

Ninjawords is a dictionary for the iPhone built on these principles. We made it because we saw that the low-cost dictionaries on the App Store are slow, cluttered, and all use the same bad data source (WordNet) for their definitions.

Ninjawords takes a different approach. We use awesome, fresh, high quality data with more words and synonyms than you can throw a ninja star at. And best of all, when you look up your words, they all stay on the page. No need to flip back and forth between different pages as you look up multiple words.

It’s a terrific app — pretty much exactly what I’ve always wanted in an iPhone dictionary, and, yes, with both a better user experience and better dictionary content than the other low-cost dictionaries in the App Store.

But Ninjawords for iPhone suffers one humiliating flaw: it omits all the words deemed “objectionable” by Apple’s App Store reviewers, despite the fact that Ninjawords carries a 17+ rating.

Apple censored an English dictionary.

A dictionary. A reference book. For words contained in all reasonable dictionaries. For words contained in dictionaries that are used every day in elementary school libraries and classrooms.

Written by

Computer Science Student from University of Cincinnati turned writer with my first iPhone. I like to travel, make friends with tech minded folks on internet. I write on my 13" MacBook Pro Retina and iPad Air Cellular. Black iPhone 5S is my sidekick.