Graphic.ly (Free) by Graphic.ly is a convenient way to read and purchase your favorite comics from your iPhone.
It’s not yet a complete package, but with such great social networking options, and not to mention a massive collection of comics, Graphic.ly is a simple way to read your favorites on the go. Its support for cross-device connectivity is also an advantage for the dedicated comic book reader.
Graphic.ly is, first and foremost, a storefront for a truly massive list of graphic publishers. All of the big names are here, including Marvel Comics. There are also a lot of indie publishers to whet your appetite. It’s not a totally comprehensive list, but if you have a favorite publisher or series, odds are you can find it in Graphic.ly’s in-app shop.
But where do comics go when purchased? Each issue is saved to the user’s library, which can be sorted through based on bookmarks, the publisher of the comic, or even the title’s creators.
When first booted, Graphic.ly forces readers to create an account with the online service. The benefit of doing this (it takes about three minutes to do) is full cross-platform support for the user’s library. No matter where a comic is purchased, it appears on every device that supports Graphic.ly, including the desktop, the iPhone and iPad, and even any Android devices you may have.
The iPhone reader itself is decent, though not the most feature-rich I’ve seen for iOS. Graphic.ly comes with all the features you need to read, including pinch-to-zoom, and easy page turning, but I still prefer the in-depth interface of ComicBookLover.
Not to mention there’s no way to read in portrait mode with Graphic.ly — this may not bother some readers, but I found it particularly irritating, as I prefer reading page by page when a double-spread isn’t involved.
There’s also a profound lack of free content. There’s enough content here to satisfy, but without any easy way to load your .CBZ or .CBR files, users can’t look forward to using Graphic.ly without spending some cash.
The social networking functions, which publish what each user is reading to the public feed, is engaging though. This offers an in-house way for nerds to talk with other nerds, and get the latest news.
All in all, Graphic.ly is a convenient way to purchase your brand-name and off-label favorites without visiting the comics shop. It’s not the best comic reader for iOS, but it’s better than nothing. It’s a free app in the App Store, so it doesn’t hurt to give it a try.