I updated the ComiXology app on my iPad today to the new version, which I guess got released today or last night. It’s not great, but it’s pretty much what I was expecting. I blogged about ComiXology yesterday, but the app update wasn’t out yet, so I’m going to write a quick follow-up with some thoughts on the app.
Overall, it’s basically the Kindle iOS app, with some extra comics-related functionality added in. The main screen just has two tabs, Library and Discover. The library tab is where you view your comics, and the discover tab lists new releases, recommendations, and stuff like that. You still can’t purchase books in the app.
The filtering and sorting features in the library view are adequate, but (of course) I’d like more. The main filters are read/unread/in progress, and downloaded (vs. all). Sort options are “recent” (which seems to push recently purchased, recently downloaded, or recently accessed books to the top), title, author, and publication date. The “author” one is a bit problematic, since most comics are created by multiple people. They seem to give precedence to the writer, which makes sense, I guess. The old app used to let you sort by purchase date, which was sometimes pretty helpful. That option is gone. I don’t think the old app had a publication date sort option, so that might be good.
Search seems to be limited to titles only. I tried searching for some writers are artist names, and didn’t get any matches. So that’s a bit disappointing. (And it’s clearly not a full text search within the books themselves.)
The actual reading experience isn’t that different from the old app. It’s good enough. I don’t like the way they’ve changed certain things in the interface, but I’ll get used to it.
There’s a good article up on The Beat today with some analysis of the new app and the new “shopping experience.” It’s a pretty negative article, and I can’t really argue with anything they’re saying. I think that the overall effect of these changes, for me, is that I’m likely to spend less money on digital comics via Amazon. That’s actually probably a good thing, given how much money I’ve spent at ComiXology, and how far behind I am with my reading.