‘Black Ink 2’ Mac crossword puzzle app adds Dark Mode support, improves accessibility

Red Sweater, the developer behind the popular crossword puzzle game Black Ink for Mac, is back with a brand new version of the game.

Announced this weekBlack Ink 2 is available now from either Red Sweater’s website directly, or through the Mac App Store. The new title is free to download and install, and there is no time limit restricting access, either. Red Sweater also confirmed that anyone who purchased a license to Black Ink on or after January 1, 2018, will get a free upgrade to Black Ink 2.

If you purchased Black Ink in 2017 or earlier, you can get a discounted upgrade price to Black Ink 2.

As noted by the developer, this is a huge update to the game itself. It boasts a redesigned puzzle-solving window, Dark Mode for users on macOS 10.14, and much more.

One of the biggest changes is the free mode. As noted above, the game is free to download and install, and there is no time restriction if you choose to stick with the free option. However, you can also pay for a license to help support development of the app.

There are also premium features behind that license paywall. Those include: the ability to print puzzles, revealing puzzle answers, using the puzzle timer, and checking puzzle answers. If you want those features you’ll need to pay for the license.

As far as the aesthetic is concerned, Red Sweater says there are some important changes to the puzzle-solving window:

Every aspect of the puzzle-solving window has been rethought, from the elimination of the outdated “drawers” for the clue lists, to painstaking improvements to how the elements of the puzzle grid are drawn. One of my goals with Black Ink is that it embraces the aesthetic joy of working with crossword puzzles, and to that end the puzzle itself must be as beautiful as I can possibly make it.

Black Ink 2 also supports VoiceOver for accessibility, and the game now correctly handles the “focus follows zoom” feature as well.

Red Sweater says solving puzzles is more enjoyable thanks to the little changes, including “nuanced behaviors” when tabbing forwards and backwards in puzzles, among other additions and changes.

Finally, puzzles that have notes from the author attached to them are now much easier to spot. Where previously you had to look for a “Show Notes” menu item, Black Ink 2 will now prompt you when opening a puzzle that has notes. If you choose to view them, you can either dismiss the notes, or drag them off into a separate window for easy reference as you solve the puzzle.

Black Ink 2 is available now.