myComics in Review – Kaboom.. Crash… Pow!..
Many people reading this article grew up on comic books like Spiderman or the X-Men. You lucky bastards. Growing up in the pleasure-devoid former USSR, it wasn’t until I was 10 that they first started appearing in my homeland. But now, all of us who missed such a large portion of world culture can finally catch up with the “Jesus” phone. And today we’re going to review an app for the poor sods like me: myComics.
Ok, so the purpose of the app is quite simple – to allow you to read comics in a variety of formats. But wouldn’t any PDF reader do? After all, most digital versions are distributed in PDF format. Well, the answer is yes and then again, no. First of all, not al comics are distributed in PDF formats; some come in CBR, CBZ, RAR, ZIP, as well as the new ZAVE format (introduced by Ave!Comics, which in turn are the default content providers for the app). And second – myComics keeps them all in one place and provides a handy interface for browsing.
We’ll start with a general look at the interface. It’s beautiful. You can browse comics using shelf view (where comics from a series will be stacked) or the common list view with a handy preview of the first page. The shelves themselves are skin-able in either wood or metal and contain the title, series, author, and additional fields for categorising. As well as the overall list, you can browse the comics by recently added or read. You can also download the comics from Ave!Comics’ online store (note: they have to already be downloaded into your account).
Reading is top notch. Especially in ZAVE format, since the app automatically enlarges and centres on the scene, and supports various transition effects for an unrivalled comic-reading experience. For the other formats it’s the plain old manual pan and zoom action, although the performance IS excellent. A note to the wary – not all PDFs are opened correctly. I got some free Dark Horse comics and only the first 2 pages were recognised correctly – the others were blank with a red corner on the bottom left. On the other hand, most PDFs are displayed with no trouble.
For comic transfer to the iDevice – myComics really excels. You can either use the common web browser or the free Jivaro software, available for both the PC & Mac (provided the desktop and the iDevice are in the same Wi-Fi network, of course). On uploading the files you can also manually enter the Title, Series and Author of the comic fields, I noted above. The process works great, though you might want to use Jivaro, since otherwise the necessary conversion is done on the iDevice, which takes a bit more time. And it supports transfer of multiple files as opposed to a one by one using the web browser to boot. The only real frustration is that the app does not disable autolock when the conection is activated leading to either a cripled transfer or the necessity to constantly tap the screen so the phone doesn’t go to sleep.
In the end, myComics is a reasonable choice for anyone wanting to read their comics on the go. It has its ups and downs though. Off the shelf it only supports the Ave!Comics, which are not that popular. Any others have to be uploaded manually and some may even run into compatibility issues with the built-in PDF reader. On the other hand, its performance is excellent and GUI experience is top notch. All in all, if you like Ave!Comics or have a substantial PDF, CBR or CBZ comic library – then myComics will be great for you.
With this I declare myComics officially touched!
|Price:||$3.99||App Size:||4.4 MB|
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