Sunday, 7 September 2014

Chess Reviews 247: Chess Studio 2

Chess Studio App (Version 2)
Gambit Publications
The Chess Studio App from Gambit Publications has just been updated. Version 2 downloads onto any Apple or Android compatible devices, including the iPhone and iPad. Downloading the App on to my Nexus 7 took a matter of seconds.

The book store soon appears on the screen. Chess Studio allows the operator to download Gambit chess books directly from the store. 30 are currently available and more will be added soon.

One has only to click on one of the books on the screen (not on the screenshot above!) to open up a page giving further information about the volume in question and the price (cheaper than the printed versions). After that, it's just one more click to add the E-book to the basket.

Once a book is loaded up, the moves of each game - including the notes - are fully clickable, with the moves on the left of the page matched by those on the board to the right (as shown in the screenshot below).
The screenshot doesn't really do the graphics justice. The colours used are deeper and easier on the eye. Using the settings icon, it is possible to change the text size, line spacing, diagram size, board orientation and layout. The arrows seen at the bottom right hand corner of the screen can used to assist game navigation, which some people may find easier than jabbing a finger onto the text moves.

In comparison with version 1, Chess Studio 2 has an improved interface (very useful for smaller screens), a more modern look and feel and faster. Miscellaneous bugs have also been fixed, leading to a smoother user experience.

Frankly, whether we like it or not, E-books represent the future of publishing. Chess Studio makes the inevitable switch less painful, because it really is incredibly easy to install and any user can be reading a chess book within a couple of minutes. Reading books in this way makes it ideal for journeys. There is no chess board required and one can easily carry around a considerable library. An added bonus is that if one of your chess rivals unexpectedly gets on the same bus or train, they will not be able to see which chess book you are reading unless they sit next to you and peers directly at the screen.

It is not essential to purchase an E-book to test out Chess Studio 2. There are sample chapters available for free and everything can be deleted if the experience doesn't live up to expectations. Why not give it a try?

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