Review: Comic Viewer, by DenVog LLC (iPad app)
Comic Viewer, by DenVog, LLC
• Easy to use
• Built in web download of comics
• Fast interface
• Reading status only shows “unopened” and “finished”
• No way to automatically get comic book information
Early last year I reviewed three comic book reading apps (Comic Zeal, Comic Glass, and Comic Book Reader) is a Comic Book Reader Smackdown (here). At that time, Comic Zeal was my favorite app, just beating out Comic Glass. I now have a new favorite – Comic Viewer. Comic Zeal has more features, but if you just want a simply reading app, Comic Viewer would be my go to choice.
Comic Viewer doesn’t have some of the bells as whistles that other apps have – it will sort your books, it will mark certain ones as read or unread, you can even put in book marks. But that is pretty much the extent of the features. Instead, Comic Viewer focuses on having an easy to use interface and offering an easy online method of loading comics. To load your comics, you can use the iTunes file sharing option (via USB), but you can also download comics from a website address (and yes, that should include dropbox or a similar file storing website). I actually loaded some comics to my own website, and was able to download them with ease. It was quick and painless, and I am considering putting them ALL online so I can just download whatever comics I want, whenever I want them! The one drawback to this mode of loading comics is that you have to do it individually – you can’t “select” a number of comics and load them all at once.
Comic Viewer uses the same comic formats that other apps have, such as cbz, cbr, although it doesn’t allow for reading in the PDF format. You can also look at image files – JPG, PNG, and GIF. As with other viewers, if offers a two page (side by side) view when you use landscape mode. I prefer to hold the iPad upright, however, since that it the way that you hold a comic book.
Two features that I did like with Comic Viewer are the stacks feature and the preview feature. Stacks allows you to combine different comic books into the same “drawer” or stack. By default, each book is listed separately (unlike Comic Zeal, which groups those same titles together). This allows you freedom to select different books and create a single “stack” – a useful feature when working with books of different titles but in the same subject (like the Asterix books I was using for my review). Another nice feature is the preview. When looking at a book, you have the option of previewing all the pages in a grid pattern – this is great if you want to jump to a specific page, or if you are trying to remember of specific image. As with other readers, there is a page slider so you can always move from one page to another.
If you use a list view to see your comics (as opposed to the shelf view) you also have the option of filling out details about the book – title, issue, volume, pages, publisher, writer, artist, etc. You can even write a short description. I wish there was some way to auto-populate the fields, but right now you have to do it manually. The information page is also great when you download comics because you can change the title of the comic (and get rid of all the extraneous code for spaces).
All in all, Comic Viewer is an easy to use, fast comic reading app. It keeps some essential features and add a few of it’s own (such as customizable stacks) but it doesn’t have the full feature set that other viewers have. Despite this (or maybe because of it) the app is still responsive, and if you just want to read comics, this is one of the best ones to choose from. At $4.99, it isn’t cheap, but the download from the web feature alone almost makes it worthwhile! Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.
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