Phantom push notifications from Words With Friends. WTF?
August 22, 2012 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Phantom push notifications from Words With Friends. WTF?

Last night, I started getting phantom push notifications from Words With Friends on my iphone. These are the "Your move with [username]" type notifications, except I'm not playing with anyone named [username], I don't even know anyone with the username [username] and when I check my games, no games with [username] show up.

I've tried killing and restarting the app, and it continues to happen. I got three last night, two from one username (username1) and one from another (username2), and today I got one from username1 and one from username2.

At first I was thinking that maybe it was friends looking to start games with me. Then after I didn't see any games with those usernames when I opened the app, I thought maybe they weren't showing up because I had the maximum 20 games going, but one ended today and I didn't hit rematch, and there are still no new games showing. I also don't recognize who the phantom usernames could be, and most of my friends have usernames I could guess, even if they aren't similar to their actual names.

I've done some googling and I don't see any mention of this problem. What gives? Do I have a serious problem here?
posted by rabbitrabbit to Technology (12 answers total)
Have you tried deleting the apps data? I had a problem where I wasn't getting anything and that fixed it. But I'm on Android, so obviously YRWV.
posted by theichibun at 1:50 PM on August 22, 2012

I've gotten a few of these. I assumed it was because I hadn't been playing the game in a really long time and zynga was trying to trick me into coming back. Eyeballs on ads and all that.

Don't have any hard data to back that up, just speculation on my part.
posted by phunniemee at 1:59 PM on August 22, 2012

Response by poster: Just a few notes. I did just power off and back on, I totally never power off so that didn't even occur to me, sheesh. Won't be able to tell whether that worked or not until I get another phantom notification, or I don't for a reasonable amount of time.

I was just playing earlier in the day yesterday, and I also have the ad-free pay version, so I don't think it was a WWF gambit to get me to look at ads.

How do you delete the data? Will that delete all my games? Or do you mean remove and then reinstall the app?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2012

On Android there's an option to delete the apps data when you go through the menu section to manage your apps. Since everything game wise is stored with Zynga you shouldn't lose your games.

Not sure of the iPhone equivalent except deleting and re-installing the app.
posted by theichibun at 2:18 PM on August 22, 2012

I was getting these too. I just figured same as phunniemee, tricks to get me to log back in, maybe start playing again.
posted by Garm at 3:14 PM on August 22, 2012

I was in a game with someone I thought was a random invite for the longest time (their username showed as zynga#randomnumber# ) and only today, now that we are down to like 12 tiles left has their name resolved to my friend's, so it's possible that zynga's servers are having some issues?
posted by juv3nal at 3:30 PM on August 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Words With Friends was buggy as hell about a year ago when I stopped bothering to play it because of the bugs. My guess is there are still some bugs. If I recall correctly you could uninstall and reinstall the app and still keep your games so I'd try that first (that was on Android).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:30 PM on August 22, 2012

Just confirming it's happening on my iPod Touch. I didn't give it much thought, figuring it's something else Zynga screwed up. I'll try to see if they correspond to any of my games the next time it happens.
posted by kathrynm at 5:45 PM on August 22, 2012

I have been having the same thing happen. I get a notification that tells me that someone I'm not currently playing just scored 90 points or something similar. It's a buggy game that I can't... stop.... playing.
posted by sacrifix at 5:56 PM on August 22, 2012

I was just playing earlier in the day yesterday, and I also have the ad-free pay version, so I don't think it was a WWF gambit to get me to look at ads.

there's still ads in the pay version, they're just for other zynga games... "hey, there's new news! check out scramble with friends - you'll love it!"... what you're seeing may or may not be intentional, but just because you forked out cash for the for-pay version doesn't mean zynga are happy for you to never launch the app again...
posted by russm at 2:54 AM on August 23, 2012

Datapoint: on my 4S I occasionally get super phantom notifications, I hear the sound WWF uses but no visual notification of any kind.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:40 AM on August 23, 2012

Best answer: I'm pretty sure I just figured it out. WWF notifications are not resolving to names like they usually do. I got the same notification for username2 and it corresponds to a move just made by someone listed by their name (pulled from Facebook) rather than their username. I've never even seen their username so I had no idea that's who it was (and it's someone who I don't know well so the username didn't make any sense to me).
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:45 AM on August 24, 2012

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