Comic Zeal: The comic reader that sets user interface back a decade
Comic Zeal (link) is one of the more popular CBR/CBZ readers for iOS, despite being priced higher than some of its competitors. It does have a few things going for it – the dynamic background color really does enhance the pages it displays, and with the latest update 2-page spreads are nice and crisp and clear.
But that slider.
Comic Zeal uses what its developers seem to believe is some kind of revolutionary concept which they call a slider to arrange comics. It’s a ribbon that slides up and down the screen. When you want to delete or move a comic, you drag it into the slider.
It’s sort of cool, if you hate simple and intuitive interfaces that iOS and most iOS apps favor.
iOS has set a precedent for arranging icons – you tap and hold for a second and then you have the option of deleting or moving the icon. Comic readers like iComics use this same concept. Granted we don’t have access to whatever user surveys the people at Bitolithic used to determine that this is what users want, but the fact that Apple uses the tap-and-hold concept in the main iOS it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s the simplest and most intuitive method to use for arranging icons. So why use this slider?
If I have 10 comics in my iComics library and I want to move the last two to the first two positions, I tap and hold each for a second to get to the edit mode, then I just drag each where I want to go. Simple.
In Comic Zeal, to do the same thing, I need to first move to list view (since I’m in cover view most of the time as it is easier to see all of my comics), then I have to slide each comic into the slider, move the slider to the top, and slide them out. Since I can’t see the contents of the slider, I have to drag them into the slider in the order I want them, otherwise I need to put one back in the slider, move the slider again, and move it out. First world problem? Sure. Tedious? Yes. Archaic, pointless, and a dumb attempt to try and be different? Definitely.