I randomly decided the other night that I quite fancied reading comics on my Android phone, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this week. I’m a pretty cool guy. Ahem.
I had been reading comics on my MacBook Pro, but it wasn’t the most comfortable set-up. Also, I tend to have my phone on me at all times, and often leave my laptop in the flat unless I specifically need it for work.
As such, I figured it’d be sweet to have the option for phone-based comic action while on the move.
Enter: Droid Comic Viewer.
Digital comics are usually simple folders of JPEGs, compressed; there’s nothing fancy about them at all. All Droid Comic Viewer does is open the folder and allow you to browse through the pics.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well…
Those compressed folders I mentioned usually come in one of two flavours, namely CBZ (zip) or CBR (rar). Personally, I’ve found CBR to be the most popular, but hey – maybe that’s just the stuff I’m reading.
Anyway, somewhat amusingly, or perhaps – more accurately – frustratingly, Droid Comic Viewer often throws a wobbly when attempting to open CBR folders. Clearly not ideal.
Browsing through forums and reading user reviews on the Android Market, it’s apparent that this has been a problem for a while. Specifically, the app throws up an “out of memory” error.
Fortunately there’s an easy way to get around it. I won’t dwell on the issue too much here, as there might be a cheeky feature on said topic tomorrow…
So, back to the app itself. Once you’re up and running the UI is absolutely fantastic. One of the main features is unobtrusive left and right buttons, but pretty much anything else you can think of has been squeezed in.
With a tap of the Menu button, we’ve got Go To (First, Previous, Next, Last), Zoom, Rotate, Browse (from which you can jump to a specific page number) and Share. With the latter, you can choose to set a portion of the current page as your wallpaper. Needless to say I’m currently rocking some black & white zombies. Again, I’m a pretty cool guy. Sigh.
And the fun doesn’t stop there. Tap: Menu > More > Settings, and you’ll find a whole plethora of options. There are too many to list, but some of the key features include page numbers (on/off), screen brightness and auto-rotate. You can even define what happens with specific inputs, such as swipe up, swipe down, tap, double tap... it's all up to you.
As I’ve mentioned a billion times before, I’m currently rocking an HTC Desire HD. I find that reading in landscape and scrolling down works best. I can just make out the text without squinting, but it might be slightly uncomfortable for those with smaller phones.
And that’s Droid Comic Viewer. The CBR niggle aside, I really can’t recommend it enough.
- Fantastic UI
- Tons of options
- Reads comics off the SD card
- Doesn’t like CBR
- Reading comics on a small screen mightn’t appeal
Summary: The CBR problem should be unforgiveable, but the UI is so sublime that you truly will not care (er, having converted your files to an agreeable format). If you fancy reading comics on your Android phone, check out Droid Comic Viewer.
Developer: Robot Media
Requires: Android 1.5 or above
Price: free @ Android Market