Introducing BG Buddy Backgammon Talking Scorekeeper, Clock & Dice

iOS and iPadOS Gaming

Hi, this should be of interest to anyone who plays the wonderful game of backgammon.
My name's Ross and I'm the developer of BG Buddy - soon to be released.

BG Buddy is an iOS talking score, clock, and dice app, currently being Beta tested by Yan Kit Chan, who is a very accomplished blind backgammon player in the UK. Although he travels the world playing in all the big backgammon tournaments. He uses a backgammon board with checkers for each player that feel different. Previous to BG Buddy, Yan would need his partner to sit next to him. She would read out the dice and the clock times, and describe the moves by his opponent. Now Yan plays solo, and Su is able to go off and play in her own tournaments.

Release is kind of imminent but if any of you would like to jump on the Beta tester's waggon to test accessibility with voiceover, you'd be very welcome. I'm sure you would find some improvements and squash a few bugs.

Backgammon sets normally come with different coloured checkers that feel the same. Yan's checkers were specially made but it wouldn't be difficult to adapt a player's checkers. For instance, by roughening the surfaces or adding a piece of tape maybe.

I know there are many blind chess players, but I don't know any other blind backgammon players. Apart from Stevie Wonder, who owns a very nice backgammon board with feel different checkers. Hopefully we'll see a change with BG Buddy!

Backgammon is a fun game with a lot of skill involved, but also a lot of luck as it's a dice game. So even a novice can beat the world champ, sometimes!

If anyone's interested send me your email and I'll add you to the beta testers program. You'll then receive details on how to install.





Submitted by Imaginingstuff on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I love backgammon. I used to play acey-ducey too. I was just teaching my blind friend how to play backgammon and we use a piece of duct tape on one set of stones. My sister taught me years ago and we just used tape.
I would love to try out your ap.
Thanks for this,

Submitted by Ross BG Buddy on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hi, I'm adding people to the beta as they post here. If you join the beta, you'll receive an email from apple explaining how to install BG Buddy.

Once installed tap on Upgrade BG Buddy and attempt to buy the app. You will not be charged because you are a beta tester. This will be explained in a popup from apple before you confirm purchase.
I repeat, you will not be charged! The full version is needed to test all the features. And of course, buying the app is a feature that needs testing.

Use voiceover for most of the app but once you return to the score window after turning on the dice, talking dice, and the optional clock, turn voiceover off.

Once talking dice is turned on you have some new gestures as described here in the manual.

There are a lot of features in the app so please read the rest of the manual. And feel free to ask questions in this thread if there's any confusion.

And of course, tell me about any voiceover errors or bugs that you find.



Submitted by Bogdan Muresan on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hello. First thanks for adding me to the team. Second. For play unlimited games we need to pay it as beta testers? I am not sure exactly so if my question was bad, sorry.

hi, it is free as you are a beta tester. But you still need to buy it, if that makes sense. You won't be charged as it's not yet in the app store.
When you try to buy it a popup from apple will appear explaining that it is free.



Submitted by Bogdan Muresan on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

I pressed on upgrade, it appears to enter my password ant that is all. It is right? It appears transaction succesfull.

Yes. When you tap on buy, you should be asked to enter your password. Once entered, a popup should tell you that you will not be charged, and the app should unlock.

As I release versions containing bug fixes you will need to do the same process. From then on, you can tap Restore, then enter your apple I D, to unlock BG Buddy again. Just like with other apps in the App Store.

Submitted by Ross BG Buddy on Thursday, January 26, 2017

It looks like I have some work to do in money games for accessibility.
I will be putting Jacoby and beaver switches in the settings very soon.
I will also need to move the beaver button to the bottom quadrant when you have been offered the cube.
Jacoby and Beaver are quite esoteric parts of backgammon and are only used in money games if both players choose to use them.

If what I have just said is confusing don't worry.
Please ignore money games for the time being. Only test Match Play games. They are the most common type of game by far.

Submitted by Bogdan Muresan on Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hello. As the subject says, I can not figure out how to start a match. Can you give us some instructions about how to start and also some game mechanics? Can we review the board? For example if I want to know the positions of the pieces.

Submitted by Ross BG Buddy on Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hi, there appears to be some confusion.

BG Buddy is a helper app for real backgammon with real checkers.

If you want to use BG Buddy you will need a real backgammon board.

Please don't join the beta team if you do not have a backgammon board and someone to play against.

Submitted by Mark Manley on Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hi Ross, I trialed this for you in 2015 and am still interested. Can you add me please - email is


Submitted by Ross BG Buddy on Thursday, June 15, 2017

Hi All, BG Buddy is now out of beta and is available on the app store.

You can try it out for free but to play matches of more than 3 points you will need to upgrade.

There is a manual here:

But briefly, to set it up, turn on voiceover and tap Match Play. Open the Menu and tap the Settings icon.
From the settings window, turn on the Dice and Talking Dice and turn on Swipe To Cube for the blind player.

Go back to the match window and turn off voiceover.

You should now be sitting with a real backgammon board in front of you. Put your device to the left of the board in the middle.

Please have a sighted player with you so that you can both become acquainted with BG Buddy. This person should also know the rules of backgammon.

This link to the Talking Dice part of the manual will tell you about the various gestures that you use to control BG Buddy.

I'm happy to answer any questions that you have.

Have fun - backgammon really is a great game!

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