Tag: Windows

SmartGo for Macintosh

It’s been a long road. But today you can download an early beta version of SmartGo for Macintosh.

I know a lot of you doubted this day would ever come. I’ve been promising a Mac version since practically forever, and it kept not happening. Sorry about that. Some history is in order.

Smart Go Board for the Macintosh was released in 1987, with frequent updates until I joined Microsoft in 1991, where I worked on PowerPoint until 1999. SmartGo for Windows was released in 2002; Windows Vista finally pushed me over the edge and I switched back to the Mac in 2007.

So in early 2008 I had made good progress on the Mac version, but was running into issues with the cross-platform approach I had started with (using wxWidgets). When Apple announced the iPhone SDK, it seemed like a great way to gain experience with Objective-C development before getting back to building a fully native Mac version. I knew I wanted thousands of pro games in my pocket, and figured other Go players would too; I had no clue it was going to take off as it did.

So in 2009 I added computer play, and more games, and then had some time to work on the Mac version again. And what does Apple do in 2010? They announce the iPad. SmartGo Kifu was born, available on day one. A big success, but that first iPad version demanded a lot of rethinking and refinement.

The iPad also inspired a new way to visualize annotated games: book view. That gave me this crazy idea of putting Go books on the iPad. Basically, I wanted to read “Invincible” on the iPad; I had no clue that a few years later I would end up with a new file format and 100 Go books. (And no time to work on the Mac version.)

Turned out it made sense to split off Go Books for the Mac as a separate app, and that actually shipped a few months ago. Which finally left some time to make significant progress on SmartGo for Macintosh.

So is the Mac version done yet? No. But it has gotten to the point where it’s useful to me. Getting it to a 1.0 release will take time, as there are many big and lots of small issues to work on, and I still need to keep updating the iOS versions as well as Go Books. Meanwhile, I want to give you the opportunity to use what I have so far.

As promised, the Mac version is free if you already own the Windows version. The two platforms are bundled: buy one, get both. So if you’re already using SmartGo for Windows, and now have access to a Mac, just download the Mac version and start using it. (If your email has changed, let me know.) If you’re new to SmartGo, take the 15-day free trial for a spin.

The Mac version inherits the GoGoD game collection and the problem collection from SmartGo for Windows and SmartGo Kifu. It inherits the tree view and joseki matching from SmartGo Kifu. It adds built-in access to Kogo’s Joseki Dictionary. However, there are still significant holes; for example, there’s not even a way to edit game info yet. Over time, those holes will be filled, and more of the advanced functions from the Windows version will make their way to the Mac. (Some, like playing on IGS, will remain Windows-only.)

It’s still a long road ahead. But now you can join me for the rest of the journey.

SmartGo 3 with GoGoD Game Collection

SmartGo for Windows is back. It’s in beta, but you can download and play with it, even buy it if you like: smartgo.com/windows.html

The big change is the inclusion of all 76,891 games of the GoGoD collection by John Fairbairn and T Mark Hall, the same collection used in SmartGo Kifu.

This is of course a free upgrade for current users. After several years without any changes, I’m calling this SmartGo 3 in anticipation of some more improvements down the road. However, the iOS versions and the perennially-in-progress SmartGo for the Mac are still the top priorities for now.

The current price is $39, down from $49. It will remain that way at least through the beta testing; I have not yet decided whether to restore the previous price once version 3.0 is ready.

Enjoy! And remember that it’s a beta release; please let me know if you run into any issues.

60,144 Pro Games

SmartGo Kifu 2.1 will include more than 60,000 professional games. After starting with ‘only’ 6,000 games in 2008, I’ve kept adding games whenever I could do so without slowing down the app. After continual improvements in both hardware and software (including compiler technology), performance is now at the point where I can include the full collection.

Joseki and fuseki matching is done based on all those games, and all 60k games are included directly in the app (no need for an online connection).


  • 60,144 games played from 1573 to 2012
  • 53,378 games with komi
  • 879 handicap games
  • 2,072 players, 14 players with more than 1000 games
  • 12.8 MB, 212 bytes/game (including game info)
  • 12,709,890 moves, 211 moves/game, 7.6 bits/move

Windows users: You can download this newest collection from http://smartgo.com/smartgo.sgd and replace the existing smartgo.sgd in your SmartGo installation with this new file. This file is about 15.8 MB due to less sophisticated compression.

SmartGo for Windows: More games, lower price

More games

The game collection for the Windows version of SmartGo has been updated to include 50,744 professional games, with games played as recently as March 2010. You can download the newest version here:


Just replace the existing smartgo.sgd in your SmartGo installation with this new file. Enjoy!

Lower price

At the same time, we’re lowering the price of SmartGo for Windows from $69 to $49. We hope this will encourage more of our iPhone and iPad customers to upgrade to our flagship product.

We also want to make clear that:

  • Upgrades to the next major version of SmartGo for Windows will be free for existing users.
  • Licenses for the Windows version will also work for the future Macintosh version.

However, the iPad has definitely impacted the schedule for the Mac version as well as future Windows versions, and we won’t make any promises for even rough dates for these products at this point.