Is there any reason why online sites like lichess.org do not install software provided by the manufacturer of DGT boards so that people can use DGT boards for online play? Is there an underlying cost or tech support issue associated with enabling this technology? Up until now, I was using the free Acid Ape Chess app to play on this site, but the developer decided to charge money for his app. However, in order to use the app, which now costs $18.99, you also need to purchase DGT board drivers which cost another $50. You find this out after you purchase the app. I ended up getting a refund from Google because I would rather make a monetary donation to this site than pay a third party who had absolutely nothing to do with creating lichess.org.
I would be interested in knowing whether you expect to do anything to directly support the use of DGT boards in the near future.
Acid ape chess charges too much. There is a free android app (chess for android) that support DGT. But it does not have a feature for playing on line. They are in the process of adding FICS in the next version (completly free). Would be nice if the android lichess application developper contacted android chess developper to share the code (http://www.aartbik.com)
There is no comparison between acid ape and chess for android. Acid Ape is a complete chess system for individual players (no community features), with chess960, opening book, puzzles, otb/online/engine play, as many engines as you want, etc. etc.. Chess for Android is a worthy app, but let's not compare apples and oranges.
As for whether it costs too much, that's a personal choice. If you have a DGT board and pieces, the price is around 10% to 15% of what the physical equipment costs. AAC is not just an interface for lichess, so the idea that AAC charges just to use lichess features is absurd.
There will be no lichess support for any other app (desktop or mobile) because of this github.com/pychess/pychess/issues/1332#issuecomment-388478724
Sad story. AAC is in a privileged position and they misused it IMO. Just read user reviews (and AAC reactions) at play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.acideapestudios.acidapechess&hl=en_US&showAllReviews=true :(
If someone wants to play against with a DGT against an engine on android then Chess for Android and Acid Ape Chess do exactly the same thing. One does it for free, the other for 70 €.
I dont understand why it would be that complicated to include support for DGT in the lichess android app as the guy behind chess for android did it alone on his spare time (I understood that DGT give example of code to anyone interested). Additionally the guy works for Google and is probably willing to share his code.
@jlasaintcyr the problem is that DGT usage on lichess have to use BOT API, so you can't play with your normal account if you use it.
"If someone wants to play against with a DGT against an engine on android then Chess for Android and Acid Ape Chess do exactly the same thing. One does it for free, the other for 70 €."
There's no way they're even remotely comparable, even for just playing against engines offline. AAC allows you to use multiple engines (not everyone wants to play against "an engine" - you might want to use stockfish for analysis and play against Rodent III personalities, for instance), configure them in a variety of ways, analyse using the board with a vast opening book and games database while the engine automatically annotates the move list... You get what you pay for.
If you're happy with Aart's personal engine, Bikjump, then that's OK too - use Chess for Android.
Anyway it's clear that a lot of people expect everything to be free and AAC's pricing policy has pissed that "market segment" off. Too bad. They're missing out on the best standalone chess experience on Android, which will soon be comparable to lichess (the gold standard imo).
@Ellis_McPickles it's not that people want everything for free, but at least would like things to be handled in a transparent way, and if it not too much to ask, by a professional developer that doesn't respond to every negative feedback with a literal "GTFO" (and I'm surprised that no one curating the Google store is just ignoring this issue)
Not too long ago, that same guy threw a fit at DGT and announced that the integration with the board would have been removed (mind you, not left as is and simply unsupported, but willingly removed), because of technical reasons and because DGT wasn't interested in making a deal with him... now, lo and behold, his app becomes a 70$ purchase for that same features
I see no problem on priciple in making that a paid app, it definitely is feature rich, however the DGT drivers/sdk samples are freely available on PC as far as I know, and many UI in the past has made use of those (for FICS, ICC and so on), so it kind of begs a couple of questions:
- Is there any technical reason why this drivers come with a $50 pricetag only on Android, on top of the $500+ hardware?
- An if there is, and it's a hard requirement, then why are they sold as an in-app purchase of a *specific* client?
Because If I own the hardware, and I still have to pay for them, I rather buy them as standalone product directly from DGT, so that any other app, either on the Store or homebrew, could make use of them
I really, really dislike the way this was handled, and more so the fact that Lichess has decided to make an specific exception for the app and basically give just the same "either bot or GTFO" response to any other user/dev that would have liked to write integration code... why are they endorsing a 3rd party paid app in this way?
You make some good points.
I don't use the eboard to play on lichess and don't plan to, tbh. To me it's a standalone app. As such it does a great job and it's worth the money - to me. Evidently not to others.
I have no idea of what is going on behind the scenes at AAC, lichess or DGT, so I really can't comment on that.
As for AAC's attitude - well, boys will be boys.