#1 Posted by bigpicnic (45 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm curious to hear what people think of Comixology's iPad app (it's the same basic app that DC and Marvel apps use)? Specifically, the feature where you can read one panel at a time.

In the panel-by-panel view (or "guided view" or whatever the hell they call it), you usually see only one panel at a time. It's kind of a cool concept, because sometimes there are inter-page spoilers in comics, where the last panel in a page ruins the suspense of earlier panels. This "guided view" on the comixology/DC/Marvel apps is probably an attempt to cure the size limitations on the iPhone and iPad, but it also increases the suspense of reading comics because you never know what's going to happen in the next panel. It does increase the suspense. The effect works really well on some comics, but not well on others.

The problem is, comic pages are generally meant to be viewed as a whole. You can fix this somewhat with settings. My default reading preference is to use panel-by-panel view, than have it show the full page after you read the last panel. Then it gives you each panel in turn, then the full page before moving to the next page.

Anyway, it's an interesting, but I'm sort of undecided on it. I wonder if anyone else has tried it?

#2 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1033 posts) - - Show Bio

I use Comixology on my iTouch (same as the iPhone app, dunno if its the same as iPad or not) and I'm really let down by it quite often.  The Guided View goes straight to a text bubble, but sometimes doesn't let you see the rest of a panel which can contain little easter eggs like cameos or funny signage. Also even if I set View Full Page on Exit, after viewing the last panel of a comic, it won't show me the full page. I hate that it defaults to not show you the full page at all, because then you don't even KNOW you're missing out on easter eggs, or a full image behind the panels. I could set it for view full page on ENTER, but then you can see spoilers before the set up. 
 
I REALLY don't like the newest version's store layout: they effectively "hid" the free comics section, it's not listed chronologically anymore, very frustrating to use. I also dislike how they changed the navigation for your downloaded comics. I like that comics are nested, but I prefer a list view to cover thumbnails, and making the backgrounds black with TINY WHITE TEXT makes it harder to navigate IMO. Also I hate that they got got rid of the bar on the bottom in the My Comics tab. Where is the MANAGE button to change my storage options? 
 
I also think it's asinine the way the store checks publishers every time i open the app and I can't set it to update once a week or turn it off if i just want to view comics, not check the store. The app runs SUPER SLOWLY when it checks the store and it can take like 20 minutes doing that if i have a weak wifi connection. Also, let's not kid ourselves, NOT putting Marvel and DC as the first 2 publishers updated is bullsh*t. Especially since I don't believe it updates in alphabetical order which would at least be impartial.

Over a year ago I commented on their forums that I thought they should get rid of the "Previously Viewed" section on their old navigation (First was Recently Downloaded, then Previously Viewed, THEN in a separate section, Browse by series/creator/publisher/genre) I said that that was stupid to show me what i've already read, but not what i haven't read, since I usually download a weeks worth of comics at once, and read them on my commute all week, but after a day or 2 they move OUT of "recently downloaded." Also, I delete most of my comics from my mobile device after I read it to save on storage, so a list of things I read already is doubly useless. They said they thought having an Unviewed list was waaaaaay better than a Viewed list and that I should look forward to it in "the next version."  Well this is newest full version, and yeah the cover thumbnails show a blue NEW icon on unread comics, but i still miss my list view. 
 
Is it the best comics reader out there? yes. Is it worth FREE? yes. Is it good? yeah, it's good enough, but it could so EASILY be great.

#4 Edited by bigpicnic (45 posts) - - Show Bio

@Fantasgasmic: Some, though not all, of the issues you mention are cured by reading on the ipad rather than iphone/itouch. The size makes a huge difference, as you might imagine. For example, the ipad guided view goes panel by panel (sometimes, rarely, partial panel) then true full page. The iphone/touch work in a pinch if you're reading on the toilet or something, but it's really not the same.

As for the new interface, I really find it much better (on the iPad at least). I much prefer the layout they have now and in the ipad version you can choose between a list or foldered view (it saves your preference). Oddly, the Dc and Marvel apps, which run on Comixology, still use the old version format.

As you say though, even on the new version you really do have to actively manage it, basically deleting comics as you read them (though theoreticalyl this doesn't matter as you get endless re-downloads).

@aztek_the_lost: Yeah, DC and Marvel (partly) use comixology's software for their digital comics, is my understanding.

#5 Edited by InnerVenom123 (29515 posts) - - Show Bio

I have Comixology online and I love the guided view. (Though I just read it on my laptop).

#6 Posted by Jake Fury (19572 posts) - - Show Bio

Its not that great on my Droid.
#7 Posted by bigpicnic (45 posts) - - Show Bio

@InnerVenom123: Yeah, I think it's pretty cool too. I think. Mostly.

Also, yeah, I didn't realize it till now but I guess you can also use it on the web without any iProduct. For some comics, at least, Marvel comics seem to be viewable on the app only for whatever reason.

#8 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29515 posts) - - Show Bio
@bigpicnic: That's not true. I've read Spider-Island and other stuff on the website. 
#9 Posted by damswedon (499 posts) - - Show Bio

I really don't like it. I don't like the store and I don't like that I'm forced to use it's reader.

I also don't like that the DRM that they use. I want to be able to read my digital comics on the readers that I want to. Last week I bought Justice League # 1 from them then went and torrented it so I add it to my existing digital collection that I read with ComicRack (mostly made up of 2000 AD progs which run on the 5 downloads style of DRM).

This week I decided it would just be better to buy the physical copies and then scan them myself.

great I sound like a scumbag.

#10 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1033 posts) - - Show Bio
@bigpicnic: On the iPhone/Touch app you can view a list, but it doesn't nest them like it used to. So in my Comics I've got "Fear Itself: The Worthy taking up 8 slots instead of 1.  If you do thumbnails, its only 1 slot, then you tap in and it shows the 8 comics. The old app used to have it 1 slot on a list then go in thru the app like when you download.

What really rubs me the wrong way is that you can't downgrade if you don't like the new layout.  
 
@InnerVenom123:  Why bother with guided view on a computer? Why not just look at each page as a whole image?
#11 Posted by Chaos Prime (10895 posts) - - Show Bio

i have the app on my Iphone & to be honest it isnt as good as i thought it would be..

#12 Posted by bigpicnic (45 posts) - - Show Bio

Well, it's not perfect, but I do feel the need to defend it against the people who are saying it's terrible. It's pretty good! You can quibble with the organization and stuff, but I'd say the comics look really good, and the guided view is quite interesting (if imperfect).

@Fantasgasmic: I see what you're saying. I didn't realize that the prior version had nested lists. Everything just showed up on a big, two-column alphabetical list as far as I could tell (the Dc/Marvel apps are still this way). It was terrible, so to me the thumbnail view was an unqualified improvement. That said, I can see how a nested list would be a good option if you have a large collection. As it is, I just delete everything I've read so it stays manageable as thumbnails.

@damswedon: Why on earth would you be a scumbag for buying a comic at full price, then torrenting that same comic so you can read it how you prefer? Or for scanning your own comic? Pirating is bad, but only because the creators don't get money. If the creator does get money there's no problem. Torrenting and scanning are not somehow intrinsically "scumbaggy" in and of themselves.

@innervenom123: My bad. Apparently Marvel is web and iOs, but nothing else (i.e., no android et al).