It’s rewarding to see many go players at the Go Congress use SmartGo Kifu, and invaluable to be able to provide support in person. Most questions are due to users not being aware of existing features. I will keep improving the user interface to make features easier to find and use; meanwhile, here are answers to questions that came up several times during the week.
Edit Game Info
If you misspelled your opponent’s name, or started recording a game without entering the player names, tap on the title of the game above the board (with the little orange i) to see the game info, then tap on Edit to add or change any of the game info attributes.
Many players know about joseki matching, but may not be aware they can match a whole side of the board. To see a list of the games that match, tap on the little orange > in the joseki result (bottom left below the board).
Rotate to Opponent’s View
If you get a game record from your opponent, it’s probably upside down. You can rotate a game in My Games by rotating two fingers around the center of the board. It rotates by 90 degrees only, so you have to rotate twice, and it’s a bit fiddly, but at least it’s possible. (This will be much improved in a future version, showing the following panel of rotation options.)
Guess Next Move
Pick a game by a pro you like, turn on Guess Move, then try to figure out where the pro played. SmartGo Kifu gives you clues: right area but wrong move, right move but wrong timing, or the wrong area entirely. This also turns out to be great bar entertainment for several people, as we proved at the Green Leafe last night.
Such a simple feature: double-tap to zoom in on the Go board. On the iPhone, it conveniently zooms to use the full height available. So why does SmartGo Kifu have a setting to turn it off?
When SmartGo detects a tap on the board, your intent is not clear: do you plan to play a move, or is there a second tap coming? On iOS you can tell the system to disambiguate between the two gestures – for the single-tap to succeed, the double-tap has to fail:
The price you pay is that move entry is delayed by a quarter of a second. Thus that setting gives you a choice: convenient zooming or faster move entry. Not a good choice. (But at least you now know how to speed up move entry.)
There’s a better way to solve this: always play the move right away. Then if it turns out to be the first tap in a double-tap, undo the move and zoom the board instead. Fast move entry and zoom, no setting needed. However, that means being able to cleanly undo the move (and anything else that a tap on the board might do), and in SmartGo Kifu, that would be harder to implement than what the feature is worth.
Rewriting SmartGo in Swift is still work in progress; a long journey. But thanks to less technical debt, I’m able to add features like undo, and thus make move input fast while still allowing you to double-tap. Getting rid of a confusing setting always makes me happy.
My Othello app is now available in the App Store — check it out at smartothello.com. Even if you’re not interested in Othello/Reversi, it will give you an idea of the future direction of my Go apps. And next time you play Go and somebody asks whether that’s Othello, at least now you have an app you can recommend.
SmartOthello is 100% Swift: it was a perfect way to learn Swift while building up code I can reuse for my Go apps. It’s also my first app to support Game Center, including achievements and leaderboards. My experience with Swift has been really good; my experience with Game Center less so.
The tutorial in SmartGo Player uses Go Books under the hood, so the Swift version of Go Books is up next. Yes, this conversion is taking a while, but I’m planning to live with these apps for many more years. After launching my first Swift app, I’m more convinced than ever that the investment is worth it.
Go Books on iOS now includes dark gray and black backgrounds for better reading at night. That was not a feature I saw a need for myself, but I started getting a number of requests for this, and it’s clearly a significant issue for many. Whenever you want to read Go books, I want to encourage that, whether it’s day or night.
Please let me know how this new night mode works for you. So far, I have not changed the diagrams — do you also need the board to be darker?
Bonus feature: You can now choose three-column layout on the iPad. Probably not that useful, which is why I had not enabled it before, but I think you’re going to love three or even four columns on the upcoming iPad Pro. (The Mac version of Go Books already supports four-column layout.)
SmartGo Kifu now supports split view on the newest iPads running iOS 9, so you can run it next to Safari, Notes, or even Go Books. And in addition to numerous UI refinements, there are two new features.
On an iPhone 6S or 6S Plus, deep press on the app icon to see two Quick Actions:
- Empty Board: Creates a new game in My Games. You can then quickly enter a position or analyze joseki, for example.
- Random Game: Goes to a random game in the library of 84,000 pro games. Just one more click and you’re watching a pro game on auto-replay while waiting in line.
Joseki matching has been extended with the ability to match a whole side of the board.
This lets you match popular openings like the low Chinese opening or the sanrensei. It also gives you more context to see how pros handle a joseki in relation to another corner.
As with joseki matching, tap on the matching stats to see a list of the games matching that position, then explore how those games typically develop from that position.
Side matching is also supported in the Mac version.
SmartGo Kifu 3.4 includes the newest GoGoD collection of 81,000 games. As always, this is a free update for existing customers – if you like the app, please tell your friends about it, or leave a rating or review. (Note that Apple by default only shows the ratings and reviews for the newest version, so it helps to submit it again when the app gets updated.)
This update also includes some refinements to the app icon by Scott Jensen, losing the handle of the magnifying glass to make it more abstract and reveal more of the famous Go position. Thanks to @dahanbn for inspiring this change.
The most requested feature for SmartGo Books: bookmarks and/or notes. I had planned to tackle that later this year, but when Scott Jensen came up with an exquisite update for the app icon, I had no choice.
To add your own notes to any paragraph or diagram, just tap and hold on a paragraph (or diagram), then choose Add Note. To find your notes and navigate between them, tap on the move number at the bottom of the page, tap the bookmark icon on the right, then use the slider to go from note to note.
The user interface is very minimal at this point. I anticipate adding more support for notes in future versions, once I know better how you actually use them. Please let me know what you’re missing. Notes are not yet synced between devices, that’s definitely on the list.
This version of Go Books also adds four new books and several translations, for a total of 91 books, including books in German, French, Spanish, and Japanese.