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NASPA Zyzzyva Mobile

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NASPA Zyzzyva Mobile is a new word study and word adjudication app for handheld devices (smartphones and tablets) running iOS or Android. It is based on the same code base as Zyzzyva for desktop and laptop computers, but with a smaller, streamlined interface. That interface is closely patterned on Michael Thelen’s Zyzzyva app for iOS, introduced in 2011 and acquired by NASPA in 2014.

Supported Operating Systems

NASPA Zyzzyva Mobile is an app for mobile devices, currently available for the iOS and Android operating systems. It is optimized for small screens, but can also be used on tablets.

The app interoperates with, and is functionally equivalent to, the Zyzzyva program for computers. This allows users to study words at home and on the go.

Current Version

Version 3.3.0 introduces the CSW21 lexicon. It continues to include the NWL2020, NSWL2020, NWL2018, NSWL2018, CSW2019, and Volost lexicons.


Michael Thelen, author of the original Zyzzyva, launched a crowdfunding campaign around 2010 to develop a miniature version for iPhones, which were then taking off in popularity. With the support of about 100 subscribers, he brought his app to the iTunes Store in 2011.

In September 2014, NASPA bought all rights to Zyzzyva, and while the desktop version carried on, mobile app development stopped, due to a lack of volunteer developers with relevant skills and the difficulty of working under the licensing restrictions imposed by the owners of the lexicons.

In 2019, after NASPA began to publish lexicons under its own copyright, NASPA’s Zyzzyva Committee began work to factor off a common code base for all NASPA Zyzzyva platforms, desktop and mobile, so that they can be maintained in parallel, and the resulting NASPA Zyzzyva Mobile app was released in late 2021.

We chose to stick with the “look and feel” of the old iOS app as a starting point, partly to acknowledge the financial support that made that work possible. The Committee welcomes suggestions about improvements to the software.

Version History

NASPA Zyzzyva Mobile 3.3.0
includes NWL2020, NSWL2020, NWL2018, NSWL2018, CSW21, and CSW2019

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We will be compiling a list of answers to frequently asked questions as we collect feedback from users of this new app. In the meantime, please read the articles linked below. Dedicated students should enjoy our new Cardboxing 101 and Cardboxing 201 articles, to get an idea of how you can power up your word study using NZ on desktops and NZM on mobile devices.

NASPA will be updating this page as time permits; we welcome specific questions or suggestions at zyzzyva@scrabbleplayers.org.