Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New version of iChess - Chess puzzles released to Google Play Store!

iChess 4.0.2 has been publicly released (Google Play Store)! Thanks to all who helped with the Testing. Please let me know if you spot anything odd.
I hope you all like it the way I enjoyed adding these new features!
Ofcourse, there is still lot of work to be done and I plan to add new features (Sync, etc!)

In due course of time, I hope to get these changes on Amazon (sooner) and on iOS (couple of months)

Monday, 16 February 2015

iChess 4.0 BETA ready for testing!

iChess 4.0 BETA is ready for Testing!
Its a big release and some things may have been inadvertently broken on some devices. Please help me test the App and report bugs/crashes!

//How to Test:
1. Either join the
MyChessApps G+ community https://plus.google.com/communities/108010145398500180406
or
Google Group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/my-chess-apps
2. Visit the below link depending on the Free or Pro version of the App you have
Free:-  https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.pereira.ichess
Pro:-  https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.pereira.ichess.paid
3. Click 'BECOME A TESTER'. It should say "You are now a tester"
4. Click 'Download iChess from the Play Store' at the bottom of the page.
5. Test and let me know if you see any bugs/problems!

//What's new
* New material design!
* Mark puzzle as Favorite
* Improved Random puzzle function
* Option to hide Hint button (to remove temptation!)
* Sort puzzle icons by Title or Last Opened
* Auto open last puzzle file
* and more...

Friday, 21 November 2014

Using Analyze This' Instant-position analysis from your Android Chess App

You can use the Instant-position analysis feature of Analyze This from your own Chess App! All you need to do is invoke Analyze This and pass additional Intent extras.

1. Instant-position analysis for current position only
You can send the FEN string of the current position for Instant-position analysis. Note that only the FEN string is sent and not the whole PGN. So users would need to return back to your App in case they wish to analyze some other position.

public static final String PKG_ANALYZE_THIS_FREE = "com.pereira.analysis";
public static final String PKG_ANALYZE_THIS_PAID = "com.pereira.analysis.paid";
public static final String ANALYZE_THIS_ACTIVITY = "com.pereira.analysis.ui.BoardActivity";
public static final String KEY_FEN = "KEY_FEN";

//Since users may have either the Free or the Paid version of Analyze This, you should check using Package Manager

String 
analyzeThisPackageName = PKG_ANALYZE_THIS_FREE; //default to free version, but check below if paid version is installed
if (isInstalled(this, 
PKG_ANALYZE_THIS_PAID)) {
    //paid version is installed, so use it!
    
analyzeThisPackageName = PKG_ANALYZE_THIS_PAID;
}

Intent intent = new Intent();
//set the FEN extra
intent.putExtra(KEY_FEN, fen); //send the "fen" string from your program
//set the component
ComponentName name = new ComponentName(analyzeThisPackageName, ANALYZE_THIS_ACTIVITY);
intent.setComponent(name);

try {
    startActivity(intent);
    } catch (ActivityNotFoundException e) {
    //TODO neither Free nor Paid version of Analyze This is installed, so show message to the user to install the App from the Play store
}

//Method to check if the given package is installed on the device
public static boolean isInstalled(Context context, String packageName) {
    boolean installed = true;
    try {
        PackageInfo pinfo = context.getPackageManager().getPackageInfo(
        packageName, 0);
        } catch (android.content.pm.PackageManager.NameNotFoundException e) {
        installed = false;
    }
    return installed;
}

2. Instant-position analysis with whole PGN
You can also send the whole PGN game to Analyze This and have it immediately start analyzing the position at a given ply number: (new addition in Analyze This v3.1.4). The added advantage of sending the whole PGN text is that users can also move back and forth through the game without having to return back to your App.

public static final String KEY_PLY_NUM = "KEY_PLY_NUM";

Intent shareIntent = new Intent(android.content.Intent.ACTION_SEND);
intent.setType("application/x-chess-pgn");
intent.putExtra(android.content.Intent.EXTRA_TEXT, pgn); //complete pgn text
ComponentName name = new ComponentName(analyzeThisPackageName, 
ANALYZE_THIS_ACTIVITY);intent.putExtra(KEY_PLY_NUM, plyNum); //plyNum (half-move) at which to start analyzing

intent.setComponent(name);

try {
    startActivity(intent);
    } catch (ActivityNotFoundException e) {
    //TODO neither Free nor Paid version of Analyze This is installed, so show message to the user to install the App from the Play store
}

BONUS!
You can even ask Analyze This to flip the board or choose a different board color which suits your application's board color.
intent.putExtra("KEY_COLOR", 0); //Integer value, where 0="Aqua", 1="Blue", 2="Brown", 3="Gray", 4="Green", 5="Fritz", 6="Sky Blue"
intent.putExtra("KEY_FLIPPED", true); //boolean value, where true = turn the board and show white on top, false = do not turn the board

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

My Chess Apps has a new Google Forum!

Dear Friends,

You now have a single place to discuss everything about my Chess apps!
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!members/my-chess-apps

Join the Google forum group and discuss features, suggestions, bugs and stuff with like-minded Chess enthusiasts!


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Analyze This - Understanding the Chess Engine

What is Critter, Stockfish?

Critter & Stockfish are the Top free Chess engines (aka mini Computers) that come pre-installed with Analyze This.
They are like the commercial engines Fritz, Houdini albeit free.
As of May 2013, Critter has an estimated ELO strength of 3175 while Stockfish is rated at 3164! (Carlsen is 2868!)
Newer versions of Critter and Stockfish can be downloaded from their respective sites:
http://www.vlasak.biz/critter/
http://stockfishchess.org/download/

What are the three buttons next to the Engine?

"Start/Stop"
Start or stop the engine.

"+"
Increase the number of "lines" that the engine shows. By default, the engine only shows the first best move it has calculated. You can press "+" to ask the engine to show the 2nd, 3rd etc "best" moves. 1st move is always the best move. More engine lines mean that the engine has to use lot of CPU power and also spend equal time analyzing the other "best" moves that it considers. The quality can degrade with too many lines.

"-"
Decrease the number of lines. Lesser the lines, the efficient is the engine.

What do those numbers and symbols shown by the Engine mean?


+/= (=/+)
Slight advantage: White (Black) has slightly better chances.

+/− (−/+)
Advantage: White (Black) has much better chances. It is also written as ± for White advantage, ∓ for
Black advantage; the other similar symbols can be written in this style as well.

+− (−+)
Decisive advantage: White (Black) has a clear advantage.

(6.31) Centi pawn evaluation
The engine considers the position to be equal to 6.31 pawns (winning). Negative value means the position is losing for that side by those many pawns.
In other words, the evaluation of the position in terms of pawns (where pawn = 1pt)

d=16 (Engine depth)
The half-moves that the engine is currently thinking ahead. Typically means that the engine is thinking 8 moves ahead (8 for White, 8 for Black). As you give more time for the engine to chew on that position, the depth will keep increasing gradually.

For more details, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess_annotation_symbols

NOTE: Running more engines simultaneously or with multiple lines can severely drain device battery.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

What's new in Follow Chess App!?

In the month of August, Follow Chess App got few nice updates:

All Games | Tournament Standings | Follow your country-men!
Tap on the arrow at the right, to see these hidden goodies!

ALL GAMES
Missed games from the earlier rounds? No problem! You can check out All Games from previous rounds too!
PS. Pro users can view ALL these games. Free users can view only some of them.
TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
View tournament standings after every round!


FOLLOW YOUR COUNTRY-MEN
Follow Chess makes it easy to follow games and progress of your country-men. Simply set your country and Follow Chess will highlight their Standings. Also their live games will be shown at the very top for quick access!
(You may have been asked to choose your country the very first time you launched the App. Or you can set it from the Settings too!)

As promised, more goodies are coming!!

DOWNLOAD : Follow Chess App

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Your Move App updated - now make your move on ChessOK and mychess!

What's new in Your Move 1.2.1

DOWNLOAD

* Added support for mychess.de and ChessOk correspondence servers

* Multiple Logins - Now you can login to your ICCF, Scheming Mind, ChessOK & mychess.de accounts, all on a single device, using a single App!

* [PRO] Export the game (ongoing or finished) via Email/FB/Twitter or send it to other Chess Apps installed on your device

* Minor enhancements and bug fixes