Top (FREE) iOS Apps that Every Comic Book Reader Needs

I am not only a comic book enthusiast, but also a smartphone and tablet user, an organization freak, and also a mostly digital reader. For these reasons, I have a few apps that I consider essential to my very being. The apps I use do not get nearly enough recognition for their usefulness, so I absolutely needed to write an article about it.

I use an iPhone 6 and a 4th gen iPad with Retina Display, but in order to accommodate Android users, I plan on writing another article using a Samsung Galaxy, so look out for that!

Hypedrive- The app everybody needs.

Hypedrive is available on both iOS and Android for FREE. This app is definitely one of my favorite apps of all time. Although the app can be used for all sorts of entertainments like shows, movies, books, and even magazines, I use it solely to keep track of my comics.

Basically, the app allows you to add any comic book title (or TV show, book series, etc.) to your list and it will notify you when a new issue comes out. You simply type in a title(s) in the search box at the top (i.e. Hawkeye and Wonder Woman) and the app gives you a list of search results. Tap on the item you were looking for, press the plus sign, and voila! From then on out the app will give you a notification (in this case, every Wednesday) on what releases and how many have come out that day. You will never have to retype “Hawkeye” into the search box and add each individual issue. The app knows you are tracking a series and when the next issue comes out, it lets you know.

The app also asks you to register an email address and password, so that when you log in with the app on any device, anywhere on Earth with internet, you can access your list and receive notifications on all your devices. I have Hypedrive installed on both my iPad and iPhone.

I have yet to encounter any TV show or comic book, as those are the only things I’ve tried, that I have not been able to track with this app. I am sure that many low-key, independent comics may not be in the app’s database, but it sure has helluva lot more!

Again this app is absolutely FREE, so please do your favorite Florida Geek Scene writer a favor (that’s me in case you forgot) and at least try this app out to support the amazing creators of the product.

Top 3 FREE iOS Comic Book Readers

I tested out a lot of free iOS readers. A lot. There were plenty that had lots of potential, but I narrowed it down to the top three best. The qualities I kept in mind while I did my research were design, organization, features, and smoothness.

#3. Comic Flow

Design: 7.0/10.o

The design is simple and modern. It looks very much like Apple’s iBooks app. It isn’t hazy or pixelated and has a very clean view.

Organization: 6.0/10.0

Comic Flow has a decent amount of organizational options. You can change the organization to series, name, date, and state. However, it did not receive full points because it does not include any headers, titles, or the option to create folders. The only way to distinguish the comics were through the comic’s icon, which is a small preview of the cover page.

Features: 3.0/10.0

This app offers the ability to mark as read or mark as unread, and it lets you dim the screen temporarily. Not too much excitement there.

Smoothness: 9.0/10.0

Comic Flow does it’s job. You can zoom and swipe to the next page. The app also remembers where you left off. There aren’t any fancy orientation options or things like that, but the view is crisp and has no delay. It did not get a full ten because it sometimes pixilates for a second or two after zooming before it fixes itself.

Why is it on the list?

I found Comic Flow to be the best basic reader. I know many readers prefer simplicity over feature-filled, so I included this app for them. It truly isn’t a bad app. That’s why it’s in the top 3.

I do not use this app regularly.

#2. SideBooks

Design: 9.0/10.0

The design is simple and pretty. The coolest part is that the book view looks like the spines of all your books lined up on a shelf. You can also change the theme so that you have a different wood graphic on your shelves.

Organization: 9.0/10.0

This app appealed to me because of the ability to create a folder and place any comics you want into them. You just have to press the edit button on top. You can view your books on the shelf view (default) or you can switch to list view. You can view only your unread books and can use the search feature to find a book in your library. You can choose to organize your books by name or date. The only downside is that the app does not allow you to automatically organize your books by series and does not show titles.

Features: 10.5/10.0

Other than the theme feature, this app includes many more. You can change the brightness, reader background color, add a pass code during app start up if you don’t want people snooping on your reads, use a rotation lock, turn off the status bar, turn on fixed folder width, change reading directions, change page interval size, change the page animation, and more. The only downside is that it only allows importation from Dropbox and through iTunes. Extra half point for the extra features.

Wait! Get this…you can annotate while reading AND it has a kitten next to the last book you left off on.

Smoothness: 8.0/10.0

SideBooks is not as smooth as its competitors. It sometimes pixelates or delays when turning pages, but other than that it does the job. Graphics show up well and the status bar at the bottom is useful.

Why is it on the list?

SideBooks is one of the smoothest and most feature-filled apps. It is unique and useful. This app deserves the number two spot and is one of my favorite apps. Also, the latest read book have a kitten appear next to them!

I use this app regularly, but only to store and read comic book arcs. (i.e. I currently have Avengers Disassembled and Flashpoint in folders.)

 #1. Chunky

Design: 10.0/10.0

By far the best in design. The app automatically recognizes your titles and previews all your covers in a beautiful, large icon format. The color scheme is very clean and the app looks great in any orientation.

Organization: 9.0/10.0

the app organizes everything for you. It recognizes every title and gives you the option to organize alphabetically or by title. It greys out your read books and tells you how many you have unread. Chunky also organizes books without multiple issues (i.e. Graphic novels) into a miscellaneous category. It informs you how many issues you have of each title and which numbers you have  the only reason it doesn’t have a full ten is because it doesn’t offer manual organization like SideBooks.

Features: 10.0/10.0

Although it doesn’t offer nearly as many features as SideBooks, this qpp gives you everything you need. The zoom, scrolling, and page turnimg feature is simple and fully functional with no glitching. It also offers two page view.

Smoothness: 10.0/10.0

This is the amoothest reader you can get. Perfect zooming and oage turning with no pixelation. The pages look PERFECT within the reader. Even when a comic does not fit the dimensions of your tablet, it recognizes the pagw color (whether it be black or white) and changes the background of the reader to blend with the comic’s pages. There is absolutely no competitor to this app when it comes down to the final reading experience.

Why is it on the list?

Chunky is my number one go-to reader. It’s the best one out of all the free comic book readers on the app store. I use it regularly. I also use SideBook, but not as frequently as I only use it to read events and arcs. I use chunky for all my new titles, graphic novels, and old runs. All in all, I’d recommend you all try both Chunky and SideBooks. You may end up keeping both to satisfy your needs.

Notable:

ComicBookLover: 

This app is the tablet version of the popular Mac comic book reader. I had used this for a very long time, but after a recent update the app has stopped working. This app would certainly have been placed into the top 3 over ComicFlow, but because it is currently glitched, I cannot add it. I had attempted to uninstall the app and restart my device, but it continued to crash. Everything worked until I tried to press the button to lead me to my library. All my comics were deleted (I checked on iTunes) and the app crashed every time I attempted to reach my library. I hope the developers fix this issue soon.

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Author: Raisa View all posts by
Raisa is a proud geek-girl known among her friends for being overly excited about everything. She is an aspiring rocket scientist that plans on making Star Wars a reality and putting Trekkies to shame (just kidding). Among a myriad of other things, Raisa's true passions include comics and cosplay.

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