06 Oct 2009

A personal response from Stefan Meyer-Kahlen

3 Months ago I was given a T-Mobile HTC G1 (Android) phone. I really like the phone. The OS is good, and the Market (App Store) is second only to the Apple App Store.

There are two main problems.

The hardware isn’t that good. It has an old Qualcom CPU, and too little RAM (192MB, but that includes Baseband) The Android Market has lots of lame apps, AND, a lot of apps are ported from regular Java BREW phones, which don’t take advantage of Android APIs, or its Smartphone-like CPU

I happen to really like chess. I have been playing since I was 5 (or possibly younger, but I don’t really remember). I’ve downloaded every Chess app available in the Android Market, but they’re all no-name, cheap, ports. There are no proper chess apps like Rybka, Shredder, Fritz, Junior, Naum etc..

Windows Mobile has lots of great applications (Fritz/Hiarcs, Shredder, Naum, Crafty etc..). Many of those applications are now on the iPhone, but Android has jack squat. Android’s chess apps suck. They’re ugly, and have so little processing power that even I can beat them. Being a fan of the Shredder Chess program, which is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, JAVA Brew & Windows Mobile (and having used it to analyse chess games for the last 9 years), I wrote to Shredder’s author, Stefan Meyer-Kahlen.

Here is a copy of both my email and his reply.

Stefan, do you plan on supporting the Android OS. Windows Mobile is no good, and I don’t like Steve Jobs. Android now also has an NDK as well as the regular Java Dalvik SDK (so the GUI can be written in the VM, and the engine in native code.) I know you can’t charge as much on Android as on Windows Mobile (Just as you did with your iPhone version), but there are 0 good > chess apps on the Android market. Surely a good Shredder would be the only choice. I’ve been a fan since Shredder 5.32. I don’t care what SSDF says, I still prefer you over Rybka :)

p.s. I’m an engineer with an Android device, so let me know if you need beta testing or any other help.

Antony Williams

here is Stefan’s reply:


we are not sure yet if we should port Shredder to Android. We have tested some devices and I have to say that I am not really impressed with Android yet. I agree, Windows Mobile also sucks, but try the iPhone, this is really nice, even if you do not like Jobs.

Best regards


I love how on smaller projects you can often contact the lead developer directly. This is much better than contacting some HR person who has no idea.