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Comic Viewer For iPad: The Best Yet?

June 5, 2010

Comic Viewer for the iPad is just another generic comic reader app. Or is it? We've seen eReader apps like iBooks, magazine apps like Time and Wired, and comic reader apps like Marvel and IDW Comics. But although all of these apps seem to dominate their respective fields, what we haven't got is a King of comic reading apps. Currently, iBooks seems to be the dominant eBook reader, and Wired is still the smoking hot magazine app on the block (for now). Yet the comics region, however, is still pretty much unclaimed - debatably until now. Comic Viewer, which was released yesterday, is a new contender. The application is priced at $4.99 and works pretty much in the same way as iBooks. A library view is implemented which shows your entire collection - a collection that can be added to either through iTunes, or through in-app purchasing over Wi-Fi or 3G. This in-app purchasing, however, is quite different from anything we've seen yet. Users now have the option of surfing the web and downloading any CBZ or ZIP archive comic you might come across. If you're a comic fan then your list of go-to sites probably have an extensive library ready for the download. The app uses a comic-style typography for the library and settings buttons, which is a nice added feature that adds to the comic theme.

However, alongside all the pros, there are a couple of cons. A lack of PDF support is a major issue, along with the inability to swipe towards your next page: tapping is the only option, and as iPad owners we rather enjoy the option of swiping. Overall, Comic Viewer seems to be a pretty concrete app, and (in comparison with the other comic readers available) it's quite cheap. A few updates are needed to make the app perfect, as it is undeniably flawed at this moment in time. Otherwise a whole new app, developed with the hindsight of Comic Viewer and Marvel (among others) might be a better option. Check it out now from the App Store.

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