Keywords: Software

Apple's iPhone is perhaps not the ideal platform for playing on with its small screen but its ubiquity and its touch screen ensure there is plenty of interest in internet clients, AI based games and its use as a study tool. All apps developed for the iPhone or iPod Touch can also be played on the iPad, but there are also apps written specifically for the iPad.

Table of contents

App Store

There is a growing number of go applications available from the App Store. You can't notice every new go app release and it is possible that some go apps are not available in your country. Therefore it isn't possible to list them all on this page, but here are some of them.

Free applications

  • Tsumego Pro - 6 daily problems, and several free problem packs. Additional packs can be bought for a low price ([ext] iTunes link).
  • Go Problems: The goproblems.com app. Comes with several hundred free problems, with additional problem sets available for purchase. Native to both iPad and iPod, and available in app store.
  • CleverGo-FREE?: Play Go on the way! Carry professional Go game in your iPhone, and take advantage of your spare minutes or hours to study Go. There is also a -FULL commercional app([ext] Web Site /)
  • GNU Go: An open source program to play against the classic GNU Go engine. Feel free to help for futher development.([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes). Update 27 May 2009 - Apple have decided that the GNU licence is incompatible with distribution through the App store ([ext] The Register)
  • IT IGO Free By MAGNOLIA: A free limited version of IT IGO by the same company. This is a go playing program with a reasonably good AI on 9x9 (around 4k on ipod touch 4g). It also has the capability of indicating joseki moves during the game. [ext] iTunes
  • SmartGo Books: Go bookstore & reader for iOS. The app and a sample chapter of each book are free. All diagrams are interactive, and allow you to play through whole variations.
  • Stones: seems to be available no more. A go board to play against a friend sitting next to you.([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • TRUE.Baduk Lite: A go board to play against a friend sitting next to you.([ext] iTunes)
  • Little Go: Free and open source. You can play against another human (on the same device), or against the computer. The computer player is powered by Fuego. ([ext] iTunes)
  • Go Real: A go board to play against a friend on the same WiFi? network, or via Bluetooth. ([ext] iTunes)
  • joygo: AI opponent and game library (30,000 games). Also seems to have the ability to watch live Pro games. ([ext] iTunes
  • Nihon Ki-in Tsumego Master: problem collections of various difficulties. Additional problems can be purchased in-app in sets of about 50 for between $0.99 and $2.99.
  • Go Star: Free edition with selected features from "Go Eye". Support browsing of live go games, and Go Seigen's complete work. All in-app purchases free presently. ([ext] iTunes)

Commercial applications

  • Aya Go?: A program to play against the computer or a friend. Based on international Gold-Medalist Go Engine made by Hiroshi Yamashita. 7,99€. ([ext] iTunes)
  • [ext] Baduk Cap: Lets you take a photo of your board position and generate an SGF file out of it, which can be copied to the clipboard, sent via email or opened in other applications like EasyGo or SmartGo Kifu. Supports flexible corner size for problem capture from books. Automatic scoring (In-App Purchase) to determine the result of a game. Live Capture of games by installing an iPhone above the board (In-App Purchase).([ext] iTunes)
  • [ext] BadukPop has Tsumego practice, AI opponents, online play, and interactive lessons. Free, with some limits on daily play (optional subscription removes all limits). Available for iOS and Android.
  • Boardz?: A general purpose application that lets you play Go in several different ways - using iPhone or iPad. Play against other users in a turn-based fashion, or live if both players are online. Play the computer, or use the iPad/iPhone as a gaming board. 1.99$ ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • EasyGo: A newly released app for iphone/ipad to practice go problems (2368 problems bundled, extensive variations), and also act as a SGF editor which displays variation tree, easy import/export sgf/zip files. $11.99([ext] iTunes, [ext] Web sites). Free version also available.
  • Go Eye: SGF/UGF SGF viewer/editor, with access to the online go4go.net pro game db and an online (complete) Go Seigen game collection. Web integration, image recognition (best suited for book diagrams automatically, as well as for real game boards with some human assistant to select 4 corners) and more features. Includes a special view when AirPlay? mirroring from your Airplay mirroring capable device (iPhone 4+ or iPad2+ with iOS version at least 6) to an AppleTV. Home page: [ext] http://goeye-app.com) ([ext] iTunes)
  • GO! (wéiqí): A program to play against the computer or a friend. (Strength ?). Currently 1,59€ / was free : price is changing twice a month. ([ext] Web Site / --([ext] iTunes))-- No longer available
  • Go Touch?: A program to play against the computer or a friend. (Strength ?). Based on weak, but fast responsive engine. 0,79€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • GoGrinder: For practicing Go problems. Includes 497 problems in two sets - one suitable for beginners, and one for players around dan level. Allows you to easily add your own sets of problems. Rotates problems and swaps colors randomly to encourage learning key shapes instead of memorizing problems. $2.99
  • Go Timer: The Go Timer application uses the iPhone as a timer to play Go ([ext] iTunes)
  • iBaduk: A go board to play against a friend sitting next to you. 0,79€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • igo: A program to play against the computer or a friend. (Strength ?). 2,39€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes) (note: not available from iTunes store as of July 13 2011)
  • Igowin: A new Igowin implementation that uses the full strength of the Many Faces of Go engine. Plays even games from 22 kyu to 2 dan. Tracks your rating. Adjusts rapidly to you rating when you start playing. 9x9 only. 2.39€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • IT IGO?: The program has been based on computer Go won consecutive world championships, has achieved a balance of strength and speed. In addition, iPhone will be in 19 normal route, but I also hit a rock hard, this software is to expand the board with one tap of the second time, beating on the screen to expand its打Temasu easier. In addition, graphics and beautiful, such as during a game and turn off the menu display, and also paid attention to the beauty of appearance. ([ext] WebSite)2,69€
  • Magic Baduk Go? Tesuji & Tsumego problems collection. 300 beginning level, 300 intermediate level, 300 advanced level, 250 expert level life and death (tsumego) problems, 300 tesuji problems. A total of 1,450 problems in all. {[ext] iTunes Link)
  • SmartGo Pro: A complete study application with 22 000 + pro-games and game recording app that allows email sending of games and importing your own games. Included are 2000+ problems and 30 annotaded pro games as an introduction to book view mode which you can find in SmartGo Books app. Book view is available for every game ni this app, but it is especially useful in annotaded games.. 10,49€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • Qipan? is a SGF reader for iPhone and iPad. Support multi-language (CJK/English/Unicode) file decoding - Access SGF files via Dropbox (inside Apps/Qipan folder) - Access SGF files via iTunes Files Sharing - Support both iPhone and iPad - Support both portrait and landscape modes ([ext] iTunes)
  • SmartGo: A program to play against the computer or a friend. Based on Monte Carlo engine. Changes handicap to keep game challenging. Tracks progress per user on 9x9, 11x11, and 13x13. Allows play on 19x19. 2,39€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • SmartGo Kifu - an iPad version of SmartGo Pro. Over 22 000 pro games, 2000 tsumego problems. You can record and edit with variations your own games and/or play with AI, send and import games from different sources. You also get 30 annotaded pro games as an introduction to book view mode which you can find in SmartGo Books app. Book view is available for every game in this app, but it is especially useful for annotated games. [ext] iTunes Link
  • SmartGo 9x9?: Like SmartGo, but limited to a 9x9 board. Ideal for beginners to learn the game thanks to step-by-step tutorial with over 100 problems. 0,79€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • 围棋死活题 : A program to manage collections of Go problems, in Chinese. It is not clear whether which collections, if any, is included. 0,79€. ([ext] Web Site / [ext] iTunes)
  • TRUE.Baduk: A program to play against the computer or a friend. (Strength ?). 2,39€. ([ext] iTunes)

Web Applications

Rather than produce special programs, a number of websites have been created for the iPhone. Examples are a version of Kogo at [ext] http://eidogo.com/, and the go playing client iShudan at [ext] http://code.google.com/p/ishudan/.

Little Golem has optimized pages for playing from iPhone - [ext] http://www.littlegolem.net/jsp/blog/blog.jsp?blogid=6

There is also a www server which works very nice on iPhone & iPad: [ext] http://eurogoserver.com/. The downside of this project is that there are no players available, and if you want to play there you should ask someone to log in there - so it is good for friendly sparring.

Server Clients

Playing on IGS, Tygem, WBaduk / CyberOro, KGS, or DGS natively on the iPhone & iPad - details

  • For IGS you can use Panda-Tetsuki. This app supports watching and playing on all common board sizes. It works on Wi-Fi & over the air (3G/Edge/GPRS) but it might not work on 3G/Edge/GPRS if your mobile carrier blocks some ports (try to change server port from 6969 to 7777).

KGS was an unlikely option for a long time since William Shubert generally discouraged clients other than CGoban. William stated that he won't start developing an iPhone version of CGoban until iPhone supports Java applications. Apple has no plan to add Java support, and it is unlikely they will ever support it. Yet, on Lifein19x19 William Shubert stated in September 2011 that his next big project is an HTML client for KGS. This kind of client would work in Mobile Safari on the iPhone. However, no time was specified by wms, and we should assume it will be quite a while. UPDATE: Shubert first open sourced the KGS API and then sold KGS to the American Go Foundation, a move that led to the development of at least two web apps. One is Shin KGS and there is also an app on Chrome.

Currently jailbroken iPhones can install java, however there are issues with the implementation of classpath.

The author of SmartGo has explained in a topic on godiscussions forum that the first version of SmartGo for iPhone does not include an IGS client. More than a year later, there is still no plan for an IGS client in SmartGo for iPhone. Maybe Tetsuki made the author of SmartGo refrain from including an IGS client.

Playing on KGS directly on the iPad and iPhone

After a long wait, KGS finally became available through web clients in 2017.

  • [ext] Shin KGS. Shin KGS is [ext] hosted on the official KGS site, following the change of the server's ownership in 2017. It works like a charm. It is also open source and there is currently active development and feature improvement.

Previously it was only possible to play on KGS indirectly (even if the interface could be difficult to use) over [ext] VNC through your home machine. This is accomplished by connecting with one of the VNC clients available on App Store.

A configuration example (this is just an example, there might be a better and/or cheaper options for your platform):

  • [ext] TightVNC (Open Source and Free Software) on my OpenBSD-server. Could as well be running on any normal Windows PC connected to the Internet with the VNC port open/port forwarding enabled in your firewall. (More info on [ext] http://www.portforward.com/.)
  • [ext] Jaadu on the iPhone.
  • [ext] AlwaysOnPC app. You don't need to have your home computer turned on to play on KGS. There is [ext] AlwaysOnPC app. It works like mentioned above but you are connecting to external Linux based desktop with Java&Flash installed. It is far better than using your home computer and leaving it turned on while you are out. Also you get there 2GB of space for your own. I suggest to try out a free desktop client to verify and decide if this is ok for you before you pay for the app.

This way you also get disconnect redundancy since even if your iPhone get temporarily disconnected, you can still just reconnect and CGoban will have continued running as if you had just walked away from the keyboard.

Performance and response over 3G/Wi-Fi is perfect and snappy, but of course depends on your home connection. When running over Edge it's not equally quick, but still perfectly playable.


Wallpaper for the iPhone

To download this wallpaper, right-click on the image and save it on your computer.

Mac & iPhone Go Introduction

Article on Macworld, [ext] http://www.macworld.com/article/139725/2009/03/go.html.


From a discussion attached to this page:

Found this on the store, a collection of life and death problems. I don't feel comfortable adding to the wiki, as I don't read Chinese characters well enough to know exactly what this program *does*, but perhaps someone more talented than me could link through?

[ext] http://www.cliffliu.com/iPhone/iGo.html

This is a different piece of software that the iGo already listed.

from a post in rgg Here are some Go Apps compatible with iPod touch and iPhone. I stopped at page 94. There is 131 pages of games to browse. Now some of these apps are free, some aren't. Enjoy.

SB: I think iGameClock by Khoi Hong / Mai9 is worth mentioning here. Timer for go, including Japanese Byoyomi, Canadian Overtime, Sudden Death. Lots of features, full timer settings, including automatic numbering of moves and sound on/off. Free version, very usable. Search in iTunes Store.

GOing2: SB’s comment about the game clock got me searching. After some short testing, I’d say that “Simply Go Clock” by Yuh-Rong Chen is a good game clock.

iPhone last edited by on November 12, 2022 - 10:08
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