iPhone Chess Apps

Just thought I would share some random musings on various chess apps I’ve used for the iPhone.  I have an iPhone 3G running OS 3.1.3 (the upgrade to iOS 4.x slowed down the phone too much), which somewhat limits me as some of the apps are only compatible with iOS 4.x.

1. Online Chess:  I’ve covered these apps in another blog post.

2. Playing Chess Against an Engine:  Glaurung is one of the ones that got the best reviews, and best of all, it’s free.  So it’s the only one I’ve used for the iPhone.  Unfortunately for me, when Glaurung was upgraded to Version 2.0, the compatibility with OS 3.X was lost.  Luckily for me, I have jailbroken my iPhone, so I am able to access Abaia, which I understand is the same app as Glaurung 1.0, except for a different color scheme.

3. Database Apps: At least for OS 3.x, due to Apple’s restrictions it’s really hard to get file on and off the phone, posing a challenge for database apps.  I’ve tried Chess-wise (not sure if it’s possible to upload a database), PGN Viewer Pro (supports uploading of a PGN file on an FTP site), and ChessDB (supports uploading of a PGN file via HTTP).

My preference for the database apps available for OS 3.x is ChessDB, because it also allows creating a database within the app and manually inputting games.  (In fact, I had one iPhone running Chess with Friends and another running ChessDB so I could manually save a game into a PGN file while away from my home computer!)  But then there is no way to copy the newly created database file off the phone – except for jailbroken users who can access the file system of their phone.

Database apps written for iOS 4.0 may show more promise, as iOS 4.0 allows file sharing through iTunes.  CBase Chess is one I’m going to try when/if I upgrade to an iPhone 4.