Comic Reader Mobi

Yes! The Comic Reader Mobi app lets you put your own comics (zip, cbr, rar, cvz, pdf support) and read them on the iPad. You can either use the app's built-in FTP server support and FTP over files, or you can use iTunes' new file transfer, which is a lot easier. In either case, once the files are on, you can swipe (or tap) to go between pages, and it'll even auto-detect which orientation to place the image in depending on the image size. This solves the problem of needing to go to landscape view that we complained about in the Marvel app reader. The only downside is that this is $15, but if you get your comics from somewhere other than Marvel's app, then you'll want this. You know what I'm talking about. [iTunes]

Really good comic reader, but pricey.

Apple iBooks

Apple's free eBook reading experience is polished and mostly as intuitive as you'd think Apple would make it. I didn't find myself missing the Kindle's page turning buttons, given that small swipes worked so well. It's a tactile experience (for a glass screen) that only needs a decent bookmark to finish off the nostalgic paper feel. But the iTunes book store? Somehow Apple has made shopping less fun than reading a book. Full Apple iBooks review here.

iBooks is good but it could be better.

Marvel Comics

Good, but not fantastic. Portrait mode is good for reading the entire page, and you can double-tap to zoom in to a specific panel, which is great for landscape. Then swipe forward (or backwards) and it'll advance or go back panels. The major omission I see is the lack of double-page mode in landscape, so you can see two-page layouts (when something crazy or dramatic happens) the way they were meant to be seen in comic books. Otherwise, the screen is great for reading comics and the interface works fine. Comics are $2 each, app is free. What they should really do is have a subscription service—something like $20 a month and you can read as many comics as you can without vomiting. [iTunes]

Good initial effort, but definitely functionality holes Marvel can patch in the coming weeks.


Kindle for iPad is a great move by Amazon—getting in early where it can reach even more ebook customers than it does on its own Kindle reader. It's an elegant reader, a grown-up version of the thing we've all downloaded for iPhone (but use rarely if ever). The iPad makes reading books a lot easier than on an iPhone, and as such, the Kindle app is far easier to use (you even get a cheesy, optional page turn effect like the iPad's own iBooks). However… there's no keyword search or dictionary, and when you want to buy ebooks, you have to go outside the app, and into a browser. Not super sexy, Amazon, especially when Apple's own iBooks has all of these frills. For now, Amazon has many more books than Apple, and has a serviceable app, so it's definitely the ebook provider of choice for people who pay for content. However, Amazon will need to improve this if it wants to keep winning battles—and the war itself.

It's simple and elegant, but it lacks frills such as search and dictionary that may soon be necessary features. Get it, but don't give Amazon a pass.

Comic Zeal

The UI here is a lot more polished and iPad-like than Comic Reader Mobi, and the app comes in at only $8. You still transfer comics to the app via iTunes, but strangely, Comic Zeal has to do some processing once you fire up the app. It took around 3-4 minutes to process 7 comics I dumped in. Comic Zeal doesn't auto-detect two-page layouts, and it doesn't have the ability to zoom into text bubbles independently. Swiping is strangely awkward, with the page chunking when you swipe, and if you don't swipe really far, it just pops back into place on the current page. The next page button works better in this app. Overall though, the presentation is nice and the UI isn't awful. [iTunes]

A comic reading app that looks prettier than it performs.

Twilight, The Graphic Novel

When the iPad was announced, the world may not have been as impressed as they'd hoped to be. But that's because, on that day, Jobs was holding back. He didn't want to play all of his cards. And frankly, he didn't know if the iPad hardware could handle steamy, teen-on-vampire romance. Would the A4 processor overheat in fiery passion? Would the display burn out if Edward shimmered with too much glory in the sunlight? Jobs just didn't know. But when he announced the iPad to a ho hum crowd, half of China was risking their lives in a giant, subterranean factory, just to ensure that young American girls with iPads would be safe come launch day. Many fell for the cause, but because of those sacrifices, we have Twilight, The Graphic Novel on the iPad. And Jobs has the ultimate entertainment platform, again. [iTunes]

God bless Apple. God bless Stephenie Meyer. God bless America.