The iPad turned 10 a bit more than a week ago and I was somewhat shocked, although pleasantly surprised, to see the Apple blogosphere express their disillusion about ipadOS, led mostly by John Gruber’s piece:
The iPad at 10 is, to me, a grave disappointment. Not because it’s “bad”, because it’s not bad — it’s great even — but because great though it is in so many ways, overall it has fallen so far short of the grand potential it showed on day one.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have missed the news that ComiXology released a new version of their mobile app that drastically changes how comics are purchased. It was reported on technology, gadget, Apple-related, and of course comicbook-related websites. It was even discussed heavily on RPG forums.
A summary of the situation is that:
The iPad/iPhone app doesn’t have in-app purchases anymore – you’re forced to buy directly from the web by switching to Safari.
These past few months I’ve seen a fair number of articles about people who switched from iOS to Android. Most of those articles talk about the differences between the 2 operating systems, and how some of those differences proved to be significant enough for whoever was switching: multitasking, notifications, the so-called “open vs. closed”, etc. That’s fine, but these specific bullet point list vs. bullet point list comparisons seem to be missing the higher level view of what’s really going on: iOS is just not working the way it should anymore.
You can see this kind of headline all over the web these days, especially with Apple fanboy tech bloggers: the PC is dead, all hail tablets and smartphones. The argument is also made for video games consoles, who are supposedly on the way out to be replaced by, guess what, tablets and smartphones. Even Jeff Atwood is getting on the bandwagon.
I don’t disagree with the facts here: most indicators we have on the market right now show that, indeed, desktop and laptop computers have declining sales while mobile products have an ever-accelerating growth.
In the previous step in the journey to digital comics we looked at american comics – my main source of graphical entertainment. This time, we’ll look at mangas and its derivatives (manhwa, etc.), which used to be my close second until I became too old to read about high-school girls, alien high-school girls, demon alien high-school girls, and miniature gender-swapping demon alien hunter high-school girls. But then I figured, fuck it, I’ll just look like a creepy old guy in the bus.
The first step in the journey to digital comics was to figure out what kind of hardware device to use. I concluded at the time that either the Transformer Prime or the iPad were the best choices available (the first one for its ideal aspect ratio and superior resolution, and the second one for its better use as a general tablet device). Since then, the New iPad (or iPad 3 if you read this 2 years in the future… thank you Apple) was released with a new fantastic display that makes it the best reading tablet on the market, so you may want to look into this one as well.
The first step in the journey to digital comics is to figure out what you’re going to read them on. These days, the answer is pretty much going to always be “a tablet”… but which one?
I had a quick look at the market back in late 2011 and here’s how I made up my mind. First, I focused on the main ~10 inch tablets of the market. This included, for instance, the Motorola Xoom, the Asus Transformer and the Apple iPad 2.
You may have noticed that, a couple months ago, I bought myself an iPad 2 as an early Christmas present. This was the result of some market research based on a few requirements I had for my next big household change: transition from paper comics to digital comics.
The incentive to start reading digital comics was pretty obvious: after moving my music, movies, TV shows and books to the digital world, it was only a matter of time before I would do the same with my comics.
I recently got an iPad (more on this later), and with it I got the much hyped smart cover.
I loved the simplicity of it, and how quickly you can take it off and put it back on again… However, I quickly realized that I probably had more dust on the screen while using that thing than if I didn’t have any cover at all. Among the problems I had the infamous “dust lines” – those three lines you get on the screen at exactly the same spot as the cover’s folds.