Tablet considerations

Support for the iPad and Android versions
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FreeRepublic
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Tablet considerations

Post by FreeRepublic »

I'm thinking of buying an android tablet. Things that I have learned at Bookup.com:

I can get a free version of COW from the App store.
I can use drop box to move existing COW files, on my Windows PC, to my tablet.
I can connect to my COW Pro and have it analyze a position, sharing the results to my tablet, using WIFI.
It all sound very cool.

I do not currently own a tablet. I have extensive experience with Macs and PCs. My cell phone experience is rudimentary; tablet experience not at all.

I want to make the most of my COW experience on my tablet. What should I consider when buying a tablet? Tablets vary in price. I do not intend to play movies, connect to cell towers and make phone calls, or play processor intensive games (if that is even possible). I don't want to decide at a later date that I need to buy a second, more capable, tablet

I expect I will copy a few, for example four at any given time, COW files onto my tablet. I will not copy all my COW files. About how much storage should I get? What, if any, color capability is adequate? What on-screen resolution? Should I use my finger or stylus? What touch screen sensitivity do I need? What tablet dimensions work best? What has been your tablet experience?

I don't expect firm answers to my questions. I'm just advancing this topic for discussion. Thanks to anyone who replies.
manassasguy
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:28 pm

Re: Tablet considerations

Post by manassasguy »

I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 during last year's Black Friday sales for about $140. This tablet is 10.4" display; 32GB storage; 3GB memory; full specs here (click "See all specs").

This is definitely a budget tablet, but works fine for COW. The only thing I notice is about a second delay when I click the arrow to advance a move, or during training when I am waiting for COW to make a move. I imagine the higher end Galaxy Tab S7 would be a little snappier. But works fine for apps like Chess.com, AI Factory Chess, Analyze This, and Droidfish.

I like this size, but you may want to go to BestBuy just to get a feel for different sizes to see what fits your hand and what you would be comfortable holding.

You can spend a lot more and get better performance, so really depends on what your budget is. If you have more $ to spend, you'll probably be happier with performance of a higher end tablet. But you don't have to spend a lot to get a decent Android tablet. Just be sure to shop around to find best deals.
FreeRepublic
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: Tablet considerations

Post by FreeRepublic »

Thanks for the excellent post on your experience with your Samsung tablet. You mentioned:

"The only thing I notice is about a second delay when I click the arrow to advance a move."

Perhaps you can adjust the speed. I set my move speed to "high" in COW Pro for Windows (Edit, Program Preferences, Diagram, Sliding Piece Speed).

You mentioned Chess.com and other Apps you use. I use Chess.com, LiChess, and the Internet Chess Club on my PC. There are apps for those chess clubs. Some get better ratings than others. Reliable playing, for example no dropped connections, would be my top requirement.

Gambitbooks.com has many App Books for sale. They have an App for Android devices that you might want to consider. The app books should be better than kindle (or EPub) books as you can play through the moves on an included chess board. However I doubt that you can enter moves or comments (unlike COW). I don't know if there is enough room on screen to see the Gambit App book and enter moves into one's personal COW Book.
manassasguy
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:28 pm

Re: Tablet considerations

Post by manassasguy »

Thanks for tip on sliding piece speed. I didn't know about that setting. But it didn't make a difference (mine was already set almost at the max speed). There's just a delay after I click the arrow and before the piece moves. There's no such delay on my desktop; the pieces move as soon as I click the arrow. It's noticeable on the tablet, but not really a problem. I'd be curious if anyone with a higher end tablet has noticed this issue---if not, probably can chalk it up to to slower processing speed on the Galaxy Tab A7.

Thanks also for the info on Gambitbooks.com. I've installed the app, Gambit Chess Studio, and downloaded one of their sample books. Looks like a neat app! I don't think you can view the Gambit reader side-by-side with COW. It's not a space issue, the apps just take up the whole screen. I'm not aware of a way to resize the windows and make them appear side-by-side like you can do on Windows. (Though maybe someone smarter on Android can say if that's possible.) But you can toggle back and forth between the two apps simply enough.
manassasguy
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:28 pm

Re: Tablet considerations

Post by manassasguy »

Hi FreeRepublic,
I started noticing that the piece speed was working fine on my tablet a day or two after I read your post and fiddled around with the "sliding piece speed" setting. I think I'm able to reproduce this now and it looks like a bug in COW. To reproduce this, I set the sliding piece speed lower, and pieces move slower as expected. But then if I change the sliding speed to max speed, there's still some lag before pieces start to move. If I close the app and then restart the app, the pieces move fine with no lag. This is reproducible on my tablet.

I wanted to share this because it removes any issues from using my "budget" Galaxy Tab A7 tablet for COW.

Thanks again for the tip on sliding piece speed. I'm going to report the issue to Mike to see if he can address it in an upcoming release. I didn't see this listed in the bug list.
FreeRepublic
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: Tablet considerations

Post by FreeRepublic »

I bought a small, inexpensive tablet. It works well for playing games on line. I've just begun to work with chess eBooks and data bases, including COW.

So far no application that I have tried will rotate (portrait to landscape). Perhaps it is because of the small screen. Perhaps the apps that I have tried do not support screen rotation. Or perhaps it is because I bought a budget model!

It is not a big deal. However I can see that it might be nice to have a larger tablet with screen rotation. For example one could have a kindle eBook open, and next to it (split screen) Chess Opening Wizard. What has your experience been on rotating the screen?
FreeRepublic
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:31 am

Re: Tablet considerations

Post by FreeRepublic »

Yes, I got the tablet to rotate. COW usually adjusts well, though not always.

COW does not split a screen. Given my tablet's small size, 8", it would not help much anyway. Someone with a large tablet might benefit from that capability.
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