I've known this was coming but today IDW formally moved their apps from being powered by Comixology to being powered on their own (so I thought.) To their credit it was announced weeks ago, but some of the details have been hard to come by. I've seen some things that imply that your comixology purchases to date will sync across, but that future purchases will not. I've also seen stuff that implies future purchases will.
Back when Amazon purchased Comixology, Comixology neutered their primary app buy removing In App Purchases from iTunes. That was bad because purchasing on their website is, for me, a bad experience, and I almost always pay for my comics with iTunes gift cards. I have bought roughly $30 worth issues via their website, but only for special sales on titles that I can't purchase via In App Purchase. Any regular purchases only take place via their publisher apps, DC, Marvel, Image, and until this morning, IDW. When the Comixology switch happened, I shopped around a couple other apps on the app store and was lead to Madefire, which seemed to be the best alternative. The problem is, I hated it. Their app itself was slow, the user interface was unattractive and most importantly, my previous purchases didn't sync so I would have to manage multiple platforms. To Madefire's credit, they seem to be working with motion comics more. That's fine but not what I want in my comics (otherwise, I would watch the tv shows).
I just updated the IDW and TMNT apps on my iPad. I went to create an account, careful to use the same e-mail address that I use for comixology, since that was a requirement to sync the purchases. After doing that, I was told that an account by that name exists already? Huh? I just got the app, and I never have logged into IDW's website. I did the password recovery and that's when I found out they are now powered by Madefire. That's terrible news for me. As I've already said, I don't like their app. I was able to recover my account and sync my previous Comixology purchases across. I downloaded, in the new app, a free comic, and that did NOT sync back to comixology (if it had I wouldn't even be writing this.) I was ready to just purchas my issues in the new app but read in Comixology. I downloaded a couple of my TMNT comics (the only IDW books I read) and went through them. The responsiveness to my screen touches was slow. Often I had to swipe multiple times to get the pages to change. More than once the page appeared to be extremely zoomed out, and I had to bring up the page switcher at the bottom, change it that way, and go back to have the page fill screen. Here are some screen shots I took.
This is a screenshot of the only issue I currently have downloaded. Yet, I can only see half the cover? Someone explain that design choice please?
This screen, below on the left, questioning my connection came up twice. I ran a speed test the second time and got this, on the right. Now, the app says it's possible that it's on their end, but for day one of launching your new app, this is a terrible experience.
So now I have a few choices:
- Drop TMNT altogether. I don't like this option because it's a really well done book.
- Buy and read in the new Madefire app. I love that IAPs are still there, but hate the rest.
- Buy on the Comixology website, then read them in the far superior Comixology reader. The problem there is that I don't like using the Comixology website.
- Hope that I'm missing something and I can buy in Madefire but read in Comixology.
- Purchase the physical comic, but I vastly prefer digital so that's not really an option.
What is your plan if you're a digital reader?
Update: I e-mailed IDW about this issue and got a concerning response that you can read here.