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Major update to IDW digital comic reader

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Major update to IDW digital comic reader

Postby blukis » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:41 am

There's big news in the world of digital transformers comics. IDW is partnering with comics app platform maker, Comixology, to distribute Transformers comics to tablets and smart phones. There are some big improvements in terms of the software.

A few of the news highlights:
  • Digital comics are now “same-day digital” - out the same day as the paper versions.

  • Reader apps are now available on Android (phones, and Android tablets like the Kindle Fire), in addition to iOS (iPods, iPads). Your comics can be shared between all these devices.

  • The ugly: Digital prices have increased to the cover price (same-as-paper-copy).

I've been an avid fan of reading Transformers comics in digital form. I downloaded the new app today, and here are a few of my thoughts:

  • Despite the old IDW "Transformers Comics" app being from a different maker, the old app will automatically upgrade to the new app. There's a general "comixology" app, and another one strictly for Transformers comics. Presumably, this is for the auto-upgrade in iTunes, as the old app was strictly for Transformers. I don't see the dedicated Transformers version in the Android market. It only has the broader Comixology app. (It works the same though.)

  • The first thing the new Comixology app has you do is create a new comixology account, and imports all your old purchases into the new platform. (Yay!)

  • Our house has a mixture of iOS and android devices. Since purchases are all linked to my account, it was easy to bring up my purchases on my android phone, or iPad.

  • Browsing the comics you've bought is dramatically improved in the new app. This was my biggest annoyance from the old version. Rather than browsing everything you bought in one huge list, with no indication of series, you now see a list of series that you've purchased (even if you just bought one comic from the series). Then you drill down into the comics within the series.

  • Another nice touch is it shows you the release date of each comic. If you're not keeping up every day with new comic release news, it was hard to know how recent the available comics were. In the new app, it's easy to see.

  • The reading experience seems to be improved too. There's a "Guided View" that makes comics more readable on smaller devices like iPods and phones. It's a similar concept to the old version, but this mode feels a lot slicker now. Where the old version was a nice proof-of-concept, I could actually picture using the new one to read a comic on my phone.

  • Besides the price hike, I'm overall really impressed with the new update.
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Re: Major update to IDW digital comic reader

Postby blukis » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:50 pm

Update: I just read an entire comic on my smartphone. Of course, it's no tablet. But it's surprisingly readable considering it's a comic on a phone. I'd actually do it again.
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Re: Major update to IDW digital comic reader

Postby perceptor » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:07 am

Now if the new digital reader could only just also alter the pages of the comics themselves, such that the stories weren't told in the IDW-only-Transformers-bizarro-universe that they seem to be written in, then I'd get seriously excited! ... I know, I'm a continuity obsessed nut, but seriously, if these characters could be drawn like the classics toys, or even w/ new esthetics and written in G1 continuity... something, *anything* to tie it in w/ Transformers lore of the past... I'd like the IDW ongoing TF series so much more...

Someday, I'll finally splurge and get myself an iPad go the paperless comics route. Till then, I've got to give my biz to my local comics shop...
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