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.


<blockquote>
  <p>
    Stefan,<br /> do you plan on supporting the Android OS.<br /> Windows Mobile is no good, and I don&#8217;t like Apple&#8217;s restrictions.
  </p>

  <div>
    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.)</p> 

    <div>
      I know you can&#8217;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.
    </div>

    <div>
      I&#8217;ve been a fan since Shredder 5.32. I don&#8217;t care what SSDF says, I still prefer you over Rybka 🙂
    </div>

    <div>
      p.s. I&#8217;m an engineer with an Android device, so let me know if you need beta testing or any other help.
    </div>
  </div>
</blockquote>

Antony Williams

here is Stefan’s reply:

Anthony,

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
      <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
        <span style="color: #1f497d; font-size: 11pt;" lang="EN-US">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 Apple.</span>
      </p>

      <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
          <span style="color: #1f497d; font-size: 11pt;" lang="EN-US">Best regards</span>
        </p>

        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
          <span style="color: #1f497d; font-size: 11pt;" lang="EN-US"> Stefan</span>
        </p></blockquote> 

        <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
          <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
            <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 130%; color: #1f497d;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 15px;"><br /> </span></span>
          </p>

          <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0px;">
            <span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 130%;"><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size: 15px;">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.</span></span>
          </p></div> </div>