I want to get a strong engine to practice while I'm not home. Look at: http://stockfishchess.org/download, we see a list of apps to download for the Stockfish engine.

Why are there three apps to downloads for the same engine? Which one should I choose? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Which one is the strongest? Which one is the easiest to use? What functionality do they offer?

PS: I have an iPhone 5 and Android tablet.

  • 2
    Each version can work only on the operating system it was specified in the site ( Windows version works only on Windows, Mac only on Mac and so on; You can not install Mac version on Windows and so on... ). In your case, at the bottom of the page, there is SmallFish for IoS, and DroidFish for Android. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 14:16
  • 4
    @AlwaysLearningNewStuff That should be an answer, rather than a comment. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 19:11
  • Stockfish is a very strong engine (i think the strongest in 2015). Those selections are just user interfaces. Without user interfaces, you can use the pure stockfish engine in commandline no mouse all cryptic UCI commands.
    – daparic
    Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


On the Android tablet, you download the version for Android, and for the iPhone you can download the iPhone version.

Stockfish engine's source code is written in C++, and therefore it has to be compiled for the platform (Windows, Android, iPhone, etc.) on which it will run. Thus, you have different "versions" (not in the strict sense) of the same engine.

For Android, I recommend you download the app called DroidFish. I use it myself. It is very convenient.

  • Do you still have to compile the source code in Android? I thought those apps used precompiled binaries. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 12:53

You see those distributions because they're built for each platform. If you have iOS, use the iOS binary. If you have Android, use the Android binary.

Now, you ask for which one is strongest, advantages etc. On theory, Droidfish on Android is the weakest among three apps (SmallFish, Stockfish and Droidfish). It's weakest because it's a 32 bits app while the other two are 64 bits.

SmallFish and Stockfish are the two choices that you can make on the iOS (Android has only one). While the Stockfish app is older, SmallFish has better functionality includes evaluation graph, annotations and Online Store. The Stockfish app is solid but it offers nothing more than regular game playing. SmallFish goes for more.

  • But the android has to be quicker than iPhone due to cpu. IPhone has weak cpu. IPhone 6 has 2core 1.4ghz. Sony and Samsung etc has 2.5 ghz 4core. They has to smash the iPhone. Or am I missing something? The Samsung and Sony z2/3 will wipe the iPhone6 of the table easy, right? They have superior cpu power. And that is what it all comes down to? Computers ability to calculate mathematics? Or???
    – user4044
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 9:16
  • Not true. Android has a faster CPU is all just fake marketing by the Android companies. Andoird is always slower than iOS. Evidence: talkchess.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=43212&start=370
    – SmallChess
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 10:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.