On February 14, 2022, comiXology 4.0 was formally rolled out, changing the favored industry-leading app with its father or mother firm’s Amazon Kindle structure. Reviews on the time – together with from this parish – had been largely not beneficial. Now, six months and some rounds of updates later, is the app, net studying, and procuring expertise any higher? Here are our ideas.

 

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Cy Beltran
Review units: iPad (eighth technology), 2020 MacBook Pro

Dean Simons
Review units: iPad Mini 5 (2019); Samsung Galaxy S5e (2019)

I’ve been a devoted and dedicated digital comics person for the higher a part of a decade and comiXology pre-4.0 had good motive to boast {industry} main standing and was a robust motive for me to shift from bodily to digital media. The replace to 4.0 put a major dent in that considering however due to my giant library on the service, I’ve been forcing myself to make use of the app because the rollout. What was as soon as a cheerful pleasure has turn into a degree of frustration with totally different bugs being found on iOS and Android units.

The most noticeable factor concerning the bug fixing updates so far (moreover how few there have been) is that there have been marginal enhancements however not a wholesale repair to make the app really feel as comparatively seamless as earlier than. On iOS it crashes much less – however nonetheless excess of it did in 3.0. It stutters and experiences lags and is temperamental. Six months in and I’ve began to foretell what’s more likely to trigger an issue – downloads are a assure for a freeze and crash, as an example.

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Books can take some time to load

Android has some noticeable issues however runs much better than on iOS. Page turns really feel sooner, crashes occur far much less – however you’ll be able to nonetheless get the odd freeze and crash (once more, often from downloads). The most important downside I’ve found on Android is that downloaded books might not open offline – regardless of the examine mark (✔) indicator. I discovered that solely by opening the guide instantly after obtain, whereas nonetheless related to the web, will guarantee it’s obtainable to learn on the bus or aircraft. It is a tragic factor to must consciously suppose provide you with your individual workarounds for issues that had been non-existent, or a lot rarer greater than six months in the past however right here we’re.

What is frequent throughout each iOS and Android is excruciatingly lengthy boot instances. You will likely be staring on the boot emblem or a frozen web page for as much as a minute. It might be library dimension however this occurs in offline mode too.

There are a handful of OK touches – one involves thoughts is that when studying in panorama now you can have a steady vertical scroll so that you simply maintain swiping up as you attain the underside of the web page to start the subsequent web page. This is neat for sketch collections.

One of the massive promoting factors for purchasing books on the outdated comiXology web site – except for having a cart – was the image on a guide web page indicating if a guide was in ‘HD’ or a high-quality format. Some books can have very busy pages and a few artists are too wonderful to simply velocity previous. Being capable of zoom in on a high-resolution web page to see how they did a sure impact was a spotlight. Unfortunately, like the web site, this promise/characteristic has been junked and I’ve seen {that a} important quantity of my library has been downgraded. It is as much as Amazon to repair however who is aware of how low it’s on their record of priorities. Thus far this has made me remorse my earlier purchases and made me much more suspicious of high quality commitments that the outdated service made. Especially since there’s seemingly little curation course of in permitting books on Amazon Kindle – as I’ve noticed loads of pirated digital books on the market make it by way of the web.

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Some entrepreneurial spirit uploaded Gantz by way of KDP, with out writer or writer permission, some months in the past (it has since been eliminated)

The on-line procuring expertise stays a backwards step in lots of respects. For one, the shop feels hidden. To even discover the brand new comiXology (or ‘Kindle Comics’) retailer you have to navigate quite a lot of menus – or cheat by typing the outdated comiXology net deal with, which can mechanically redirect you. Once there, discovering books from sure collection or particular publishers (particularly ones that aren’t massive names) is a severe problem – and unintuitive. You now have to purchase books one after the other, so it requires much more thought and persistence than needed on a Wednesday – in case you stay inclined to examine anymore.

I was a fiend for gross sales. Now I debate whether or not I can actually be bothered to browse – and single points appear to be disincentivised in gross sales in favour of collections. Some publishers are beginning to place single points in gross sales once more, however the pages are too disorganised to browse and establish them within the jumble. This is a disgrace as there have been some advantages to digital single points: typically single-issue gross sales was once cheaper than collections on the outdated website; typically collections eliminated ancillary parts like letter columns; you may additionally match much more single points than collections on a tool.

Sale costs on Amazon are additionally an issue. On my regional retailer, in UK, the sale costs typically remained the identical as common non-sale costs or didn’t point out that they had been the ‘lowest price in 30 days’. As effectively as that, not all gross sales would seem within the sale part. Europe Comics, a favorite writer of mine, holds frequent gross sales and value drops that by no means seem within the sale part however are utilized to their books on the shop. But it’s a must to discover them. I can’t simply search by writer anymore, so I now must undergo the record on the Europe Comics website and seek for every particular person guide by title and writer. It stays irritating and slightly futile.

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Books in gross sales come out in a disorganised record. You must hunt round if you wish to discover different points or click on on the guide, view the entire collection and work by way of there. Not too environment friendly.

I briefly tried the Beta net reader on my laptop computer and instantly bumped into points so the much less mentioned about that the higher.

In sum: Every component because the 4.0 rollout stays a trial of errors on Amazon’s half. We shall see if a lot will enhance over the subsequent six months.

 


Agree? Disagree? Let us know your ideas and experiences utilizing comiXology because the February 2022 replace within the feedback!

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