Reading books on a tiny smartphone screen can sometimes be quite a hassle. The issue is somewhat mitigated for digital books that scale text to adjust to the size of the display, but for things such as PDFs or comic books which have strict page dimensions, it's difficult to enlarge content in a way that doesn't also negatively impact the content layout or require a lot of zooming and panning around the page.
To tackle the problem, Google is announcing an update to the Play Books app specifically designed to allow for a better comic reading experience.
In the grand scheme of the Internet, alt texts don't really matter. FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT, WHATCHA TALKIN' 'BOUT? I mean, they're only little blurbs of text that show up when you hover over an image on the web. YOUR MOM IS A BLURB. Usually, they're just the file name of the image or some insignificant gibberish tacked by WordPress or whatever online publishing tool the website you're visiting uses. THAT'S A BUNCH OF FJAFJKLDSKF7JKFDJ! I mean, in almost all cases, they don't add anything to what you're seeing.
There's a new Marvel movie coming out tomorrow in the US. You may have heard about it - it's kind of a big deal. So what better time for a developer to release a new game featuring as many Marvel (comics, not movies) characters as possible. You've got to have something to do while you ignore the repeating video ad for Dave's Discount Family Insurance that plays before the trailers start up, right?
Marvel Future Fight, a free-to-play beat-em-up featuring more comic book characters than a jaded movie blogger can remember, has actually been out for a little over a month in a limited-market soft launch.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Universe in Peril, a game that found its way to consoles in 2013 and other mobile platforms in 2014, has now fought its way into the Play Store. This port has managed to come in before LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga, an older title that briefly appeared on the Amazon Appstore and never found its way onto Google Play.
Unlike that relatively faithful port, Universe in Peril is not a copy of the version that originally graced consoles. Instead, it's a more portable take that's better suited for short breaks throughout the day and even shorter attention spans.
In a post to the official blog a few days ago, Feedly announced a new beta – version 15 – which quickly found itself released to the Play Store. The service, which has greeted over three million new users since the announcement of Google Reader's impending doom, promises a painless transition to its own backend solution once Reader closes officially in July. While said backend may not have taken hold yet, the developers have been hard at work making the app itself better and better in response to its users.
Its most recent update takes focus mainly on bug fixes and UX issues, but adds at least one neat feature – better support for comics.
Maybe you're in search of a good belly laugh after a long week. Well, the GoComics app just launched on Android with a ton of officially syndicated comic strips and political cartoons to cheer you up. You can download the app for free, and you don't even have to create an account to get started.
GoComics has some of the most popular comic strips that have ever been printed. There's Garfield, The Boondocks, FoxTrot, Calvin and Hobbes, and more. Some of these strips have decades of back issues to dig through. The political cartoonists in GoComics span the political spectrum as well.
Android devices are already pretty awesome comic readers. There's very little I love in the world more than watching Deadpool hack and slash everything in the universe up on the ultra-high resolution display of my Nexus 10. Though, if anything is gonna give the merc with a mouth a run for his ill-gotten money, it may just be the collective comic anthologies of properties like Star Wars, Hellboy, Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more. Yes, Dark Horse comics are live on the Play Store.
The titles will launch in every country that Play Store books are sold (which, as of right now, includes Australia, Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, India, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, France, Russia and the United States).
I like comics. They're wonderful. While the modern world makes it difficult for local shops to maintain the footprint they once did, online distribution has made it insanely easy (and cheap!) for major and minor artists to gain a following and make money doing it. However, is digitally reproducing static artwork on a powerful, portable computer really the best we can do? Narr8 doesn't think so.
The app functions similarly to most digital comic stores now: you can download individual "episodes" and keep track of all entries in a series. However, the capabilities of each story go far beyond regular graphic novels.
Not to be outdone by DC Comics, Marvel just pushed its official app into the Android Market. The app allows you to purchase and download comics featuring all of your Marvel favorites -- everyone from Captain America to Wolverine are along for the ride.
The app offers two ways of reading your comics: guided or traditional view. Guided offers an animated, panel-by-panel look at the comic, while traditional utilizes current device controls to zoom and pan through pages.
The app is compatible with Android 2.1+, which includes tablets -- but don't expect a Honeycomb-optimized interface. Still, the added screen real estate can't be a bad thing when reading a comic.
A large amount of that comics market has been claimed to the app ComiXology; it's usually been the gold standard for a lot of comic-dom's digital offerings. However, as with other things, it's almost impossible to enforce a standard.
DC Comics has partnered with ComiXology in order to produce their own digital offerings, and distribute them to their audiences. This app uses a lot of the same technologies as ComiXology's, like the Guided View, which allows for easy touch-based scrolling. Readers will be able to buy and read individual issues of comics, as well as large collections of back issues at once.