SmartGo in 2013

by Anders Kierulf


“It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.” – Douglas Hofstadter

Another year without a Mac version of SmartGo. Progress, but not there yet. While that’s disappointing, both to you and to me, looking back at 2013 makes me feel much more confident about 2014.

SmartGo Kifu: Step by step, this app is approaching what I envision it to be. It got a fresh look with new icons, more logical layout, and less clutter. Then it went through another big change for iOS 7.

New features this year included Airdrop and Bluetooth keyboard support, and some large additions:

  • Tree view: The tree view reveals the structure of annotated games and makes navigation easy.
  • Matching games: When I introduced joseki matching last year I had to punt two features: dynamically switching to the corner with the most recent move, and showing the list of games that match a given position. Those are now done. Still many ways to make joseki matching even more useful; stay tuned.
  • GoGoD game collection: Switching to the GoGoD game collection took it from 40,000 games at the start of the year to over 76,000. The onomasticon (names dictionary) by John Fairbairn is also included, with a mini-biography of many professional players.

SmartGo Books: The 35 books added this year (for a total of 86) include out-of-print books as well as SmartGo Books exclusives, and several series are now complete: Elementary Go Series, Workshop Lectures, So You Want to Play Go, and Graded Go Problems. SmartGo Books now includes four books in German, one Japanese, one Spanish – more translations coming in 2014. See for a complete list.

SmartGo Player: It got an updated design, the tree view, and the ability to email the game record. More radical changes planned for next year.

Mac and Windows: The Mac version made progress, but is not ready for a beta yet. The Windows version was suspended for a while until I could upgrade the game collection; a beta version is now available.

Website: This year brought a completely new design for and, created by Scott Jensen, as well as more and better translations of the website. (Who else maintains their website in nine languages?)

Code: The health of the code determines how fast I can implement new features, how stable I can make the app, and how swiftly I can react to a curveball like iOS 7. This year included a complete rewrite of the gobook file format code, converting the whole code base to 64-bit and ARC (Automatic Reference Counting), integrating Crashlytics into SmartGo Kifu and Books, and significant performance improvements.

While I don’t know exactly what 2014 will bring, I’m confident that looking back there will be similarly good things to write about. Thanks for being a SmartGo user and recommending the apps to your friends. I wish you all the best for 2014!