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Old 08-17-2008, 08:09 PM   #1
erikeric
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Reading Comics on the iPhone - New App Makes it Possible

FINALLY someone has released a stable, scalable PDF reader for the iPhone that allows for easy viewing of comics (converted from cbr, cbz or whatever to PDF) on the WonderPhone. I have honestly been waiting for this since launch day and have been only been using my Nintendo DS as a CBR/CBZ reader for the last few years. Now, I don't even need that.

This app is better than Files, FileMagnet and Caravan for several reasons:

1. Much more stable (despite item below)
2. Scalable: meaning it can read PDFs over 1000 pages in length (which means it can handle a graphics-heavy 32 page comic more readily)
3. Easy syncing

It's only $5 in the App Store. The developer even tried it out before I purchased the app (upon my request)!

There is a slight delay (maybe less than a second) when loading parts of images where you see the little checkered background momentarily before everything pops into view. It's hardly worse than when web browsing and really doesn't detract from the experience too much. Zooming and panning around is smooth and responsive, and you can even make notes that are then synced back to the original PDFs on your PC.

You can actually read comics on the iPhone without using jailbreak apps (which are not maintained or updated). Yay, finally.

For more info on the app: http://jbrink.net/annotater/about.html

Anyone else tried Annotater yet? What was your experience like?
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Old 08-17-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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How much of a page can you actually read at once? (And how well did the DS work as a CBZ reader? My daughter would probably like to know.)
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Old 08-22-2008, 07:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
(And how well did the DS work as a CBZ reader? My daughter would probably like to know.)
Screen was too small for me but I liked how you have to scroll.
I preferred the PSP to display comics, but the screen is not really suited to outdoor viewing.
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Old 08-23-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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DS is great, Some Scrolling Required

I think that the DS is fantastic for reading comics, the dimensions of both screens together, I think, is bigger than the iPhone screen. The PSP doesn't have a touch screen so for me it's out of the question. I am most comfortable when zoomed in to reading the top half to top 1/3 of a page on the screen (you hold the DS on its side like a book).

The app (Comic Book DS) also makes a nice page-flipping sound when advancing to the next page, which it does after it detects that you've pressed to the right on the d-pad when you're at the bottom-right-hand side of any page. It automatically loads the next page and zooms in to exactly the same sized zoom level you had already set, but places your view back to the upper-right-hand side of the new page.

There's actually a few different ways you can browse the pages. Another way is that it can display the full comic page on the right touch screen with a red box that you move with the stylus to display the portion that's in the box on the left-hand screen.

Overall the app is the fastest at loading new pages of any I've tested on the iPhone and it moves extremely smoothly and is very responsive. Plus, it never crashes. So overall I still think it's the best native CBR/CBZ reader around. I strongly recommend getting the R4DS flash cart and a cheap Kingston micro-SD card to put your comics on and display them on the DS.

There's a video of the app in action at the Comic Book DS author's site linked to above.
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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That's really a cool app-- I like how you can see the whole page on one screen, and the individual panel on the other. I'm sharing this info with my daughter. Thanks!
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Old 08-25-2008, 03:11 AM   #6
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It looks wonderful, but it also looks like it's only useful if you have a Mac. Could you transfer a PDF using a program like DataCase that works between an ipod Touch and Windows and then view the file in Annotater?
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Old 11-11-2008, 06:51 AM   #7
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what about the manga on appstore?
This one is cute and exciting but very small...
http://appshopper.com/books/katran

I can't imagine how Comic and Manga on DS work!?
The screens are very undersized.
(Ö__Ö)
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Old 11-22-2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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Two other good ways to read comics on the iPhone....

1. AirSharing

This app is primarily meant to allow sharing your iPhone's storage as a network drive on your local wi-fi network. This lets you copy files to and from your iPhone as you would any other drive. But the great thing is, it also includes a very good document viewer which supports pdf.

So you can transfer pdfs and other documents into a directory on your iPhone (see below) and read it with complete support for landscape orientation, zooming and panning -- necessities when viewing a pdf.



Here's a pic of AirSharing's pdf reader showing the Steampunk Faeries comic in landscape format:




2. WOWIO Mobile

This web app (disclosure: I work for WOWIO) lets you view the comics in the WOWIO collection on an iPhone (or other devices like recent BlackBerries or an Android phone). While it's only for books that are on WOWIO (not books you already have), everything in that collection (thousands of comics and other books) is free to read online.

A few screenshots that I posted elsewhere in the forums, but that you might have missed...







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Old 12-01-2008, 04:25 AM   #9
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cbr/cbz is nothing but a renamed .zip file, try it out, have like 5 jpegs zip it up in any free winzip, whatever program and call it example.zip now rename it example.cbr and it becomes a cbr file. the only reason it seems to flow seemlessly is because all the jpegs are numbered in order, so page one would be something like 01comic.jpg and others would be 02comic.jpg 03comic.jpg...
so you'd have a comic book.
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Old 02-02-2009, 12:55 PM   #10
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Comiczeal ($1.99 at the Appstore) has evolved into something that is a joy to use. It's fast, stable and stylish, complete with bookmarks, longboxes, and automatically "bag and boarding" comics you've finished reading. A free desktop component converts CBR files into a slimmer format that'll look good on the iPhone screen without sucking up all available memory and bringing the iPhone to it's knees.

Of course, there are a lot of comicbooks on sale at the App store for 99 cents from iVerse and Uclick. Lots of good stuff, including Star Trek, Bone, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I've got tons of Marvel comics in PDF format, from the DVD-ROM collections that GIT Corp used to sell a few years back. Sadly, I can't read them on the iPhone because the files are so big that the iPhone PDF reader always ends up crashing before I get very far. I haven't yet found a program that can inexpensively slim the files down for the iPhone, so I'm considering getting a tablet PC instead (the $500 CTL 2go Convertible).

If anyone has any recommendations for programs to shrink gigantic graphics PDFs to a more iPhone friendly size, I'm all ears. PDF Annotater isn't an option since I don't have a Mac (and unless they've built their own PDF rendering engine from scratch, it would choke on huge PDF files the same as any other iPhone app).
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Old 02-11-2009, 06:42 AM   #11
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maybe this thread...
PDF -> JPG -> CBZ -> LRF (skip the part after cbz)
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=28191

of course, you may use pdftohtml to convert pdf to images (don't know how it will convert large pdf, when you say gigantic what you mean by that?)

INSTRUCTION IS SIMPLE!!

Quote:
Just drag the PDF file onto pdftohtml, then select all the image files (usually JPGs), right click and add them to an archive (either zip or rar). In that dialog, you should also be able to name your archive, just set the name to "manga-1-vol-1.cbz" or whatever would be appropriate (use CBZ for zip archives and CBR for rar archives, both are viewable in all such progs).
pdftohtml --> http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdftohtml/

Last edited by ficho; 02-11-2009 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:28 PM   #12
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Awesome news, I have so many unread comics on my mac at the moment. Getting some onto the ipod is the perfect way to get around to them. Thanks for the tips guys!
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