ComicBookLover meet iPhone

The MacWorld folks have compiled a list of some of the applications they really want to see on the iPhone. Coming in at #10 is a comic book viewer… with a nice screenshot of ComicBookLover next to it πŸ™‚ Thanks to Greg over at SmileOnMyMac for spotting this.

So what would you like to see in the iPhone version of ComicBookLover? This is your chance to shape the design and future of the application, so send in your thoughts, while I lock myself away in the lab!

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40 Responses to ComicBookLover meet iPhone

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hope you’ll not spend too much time on a iPhone version… Updates of osx versions of CBL are more important right now.How is the metadata coming along?

  2. Simon says:

    Sure… the iPhone app would be something for the summer at the earliest. Third party apps are to be deployed via iTunes, and at the moment, indications point to Apple finalising this by summer.

  3. Not sure it would be possible, but it would be nice if the iPhone version of CBL could identify panels so when they were double-tapped on, it would zoom in.

  4. Simon says:

    That’s something that could also be done for the desktop app. The problem is in identifying the panels automatically with some kind of pattern recognition algorithm. Anybody got leads on this?

  5. TheDov says:

    As an iPhone owner and user of your app on both a 24″ screen and 17″ and 13″ laptop screens, I would honestly say the screen’s just too small for anything other than a quick preview of the issue. It’s tough enough on a laptop screen tilted sideways. Perhaps multitouch gestures wouild help the situation, but I’m not sure how much.

  6. Dov Frankel says:

    I personally wouldn’t use an iPhone version, because of the smaller screen. I find it tough enough using a 13″ screen to view the comics. Though the multitouch gestures might somewhat mediate this, I doubt it would be enough to compensate. Now if Apple ever releases the oft-rumored Newton pad, then you might have something…

  7. If pattern recognition wasn’t possible, it might suffice for CBL to zoom in on quarters of a page.

  8. One more thing … Apple also might release an iPhone-style tablet that’s more conducive to reading comics.

  9. Jay says:

    I’m with anonymous. I’d kill for a new file format with persistent tags. Just put it out there, and we’ll back you all the way! If it works then everybody else will follow.Anyway, I don’t think comic book reading on the the Touch platform is going to make a lot of sense until Apple comes out with a mid-sized touch device, so I’d hold off for a while. There’s plenty of polish work you could do on CBL before diving into multi-platform development hell. :-)–Jay

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m with the others – an iPhone version is an icing on a cake kind of deal. We’ve got more pressing concerns with the OSX version of CBL. Metadata and directory organization being chief on the list. Like Jay said – put it out there and we’ll back you 100% of the way. A standard is never created unless someone steps out and does it!

  11. Reef says:

    Shape the future? Overall, I’d say I’d like to see more of a step away from the iTunes interface and give it a mixture of the iTunes and the iPhoto. You can have the Library (photos) and Arcs (Events). Okay, here’s the features I’d love to see added (or removed):1) Metadata: The ability to house my comics on a central hub (be it my airport express or a mac, I want to be able to tag it once and have it permanently altered). This is the primary thing I’d like to see implemented.2) Quickview: Both interfacing with the Apple Quickview, but also as a preview feature. Sometimes I want to see a comic, but decide not to keep it or realize I already have it.3) Better Organization: The “quick browse” (3-pane) interface is like iTunes, only it doesn’t work as well for comics (especially since when one isn’t clicked it won’t fill with everything). That needs major tweaking. An important feature in this would be the ability to change the headings of these columns. For me, it’s a terrible nuisance since I don’t think about genre with my comics. I’d rather the three be: Publisher/SeriesName/Volume4) Limited Series: There should be a Limited Series choice for volume.5) Inner Story Arcs: Individual comics have story arcs (ie. Brand New Day in Spider-Man). They run 2-6 issues and all have the same name. Perhaps there ought to be an “arc numbering” field along with Volume and Issue.6) Outer Story Arcs: The current trend in comics is massive story arcs that cover multiple issues. It’d be nice to be able to see these arcs and follow them easily. I guess a simple tag would do it, but it’d be nice to see it organized somehow.7) Coverflow: Was anything better suited to coverflow than comics?Overall the product is awesome and kills anything that’s out there. I’d just love to see it take the next step with Metadata. Everything else is fluff.

  12. Simon, how about setting up a proper forum for CBL? A place for feedback and future ideas would be most welcome.

  13. Simon says:

    I have already been thinking about setting something up on so you folks have a place to chat about digital comics… Thanks for the feedback guys, it does help in focusing my efforts!

  14. hey, what about parsing data from or've noticed a couple cataloging programs have started doing it and it’d be awesome for CBL

  15. Simon says:

    Andrew, which applications? Are they scraping the web page (unreliable in the long term) or using an API?

  16. booxter on the mac side. I can’t remember the names of the PC software (there’s a few).i’m guessing it scrapes, just because the sites don’t have any API info listed

  17. Anonymous says:

    an iphone version would have to view each panel separately, swipeing from one panel to the next…you would have to have some kind of sequenced grid map overlay!?! for the iphone to follow that would have to be custom made for each page of a comic, cool but alot of work! i definitely think an iphone version should be pursued for the reason that iphone will be huge and a mobile device would be the perfect model for distribution of digital comics, how one would download them to the phone i dont know!maybe you could just stream the comics from your home version of comicbooklover a la eyetv.aside from that i,d like to see a page flipping effect using core animation for the osx version, its the only feature comicbooklover is missing!

  18. Anonymous says:

    While a forum would be awesome, versiontracker (like perian has) would be better. So we can see that status of things.PS – Count me in for metadata

  19. Anonymous says:

    Yes a forum for CBL would be most welcome! Not knowing what is being worked on, is almost unbearable for those of us who use the program on a daily basis.

  20. Pigumon says:

    As far a Metadata is concerned, i think a simple “Sort” tag would make things work very well. For instance, Iron Man started in Tales of Suspense #39. So TOS #39 should be “1” in the Iron Man Series. Iron Man #1 would then be “61” and so on. The Annihilation series started with Drax the Destroyer Limited Series #1 (or with the Annihilation Prologue) then when to Nova LS, Surfer LS, Super Skrull LS etc.. These are all part of the Annihilation series, but they all go in a certain order. If you could just “sort” them, it seems that would solve most people’s problems.And yes a Forum would be great, rather than publishing to he most recent blog topic. =)

  21. Simon, did you envisage CBL “synching” comics to the iPhone, a la iTunes?

  22. Anonymous says:

    I agree with the comments on metadata and folder organization. I’d love to see CBL operate like iTunes, with comics organized in folders by publisher and series title.I had to move my comics to another drive and lost all of the information I’d entered, and it’s a pain updating that information … especially when there are gaps in the numbering and I can’t simply do an entire series at once.As an iPhone owner, I’d certainly use an iPhone version while traveling, but a desktop version should be your main focus.

  23. Simon, with everybody – including myself – talking about metadata, could you spill the beans on what’s being done towards making it happen?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Yes, please spill the beans … we’re paying customers who would LOVE to know what you’ve got planned and how long we’re looking at for the plans to take effect. I’m sure we don’t need concrete timeframes, but within the next week, next couple months, a year … that’d be nice.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I guess we’ll never know when things are happening. Here’s this wonderful product that I can’t fully appreciate because I don’t want to put in all the data only to have it erased without metadata … PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let us know when we should start expecting a release candidate that has metadata built in.

  26. Simon says:

    Ideally I would have metadata done in a few weeks but that’s easy to say… The code to store and read metadata from a CBZ file is done, subject to stress testing. It’s just that there’s another issue, derived from the metadata, which is rather tricky to solve (but I am working on that).

  27. Reef says:

    Awesome news! If you’re looking for beta-testers – I’m sure there are countless numbers to choose from, and I am one of them.Thanks for letting us know when to expect to start even thinking about looking for an update. It helps as an outside user to know when to start looking forward to an update.Comicbooklover is a superior product and metadata is going to put it over the top. I think it’s fair to ask for renewals at some point on comicbooklover – as the new version is truly a NEW version. I would pay an upgrade fee.

  28. Reef says:

    How are we looking for a launch of the next version or at least a beta launch?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Another 3 weeks and still no update. So sad. I’m just dying to toss my comics on the Time Capsule and be able to view them, perfectly tagged, on both my laptop and my Mac Pro.

  30. Anonymous says:

    We’re going on 4 months with no real verbal updates – and no build updates.Hit us up with some news man! We love the product … let us know what’s coming. No need to be all “steve jobs” hush-hush about it.

  31. I’m dying for an iPhone comic viewer as well. The tactile interaction offered by multi-touch trumps the small screen size for me. I’d start each page zoomed out, then un-pinch to zoom in and begin reading, panel by panel.Solid syncing with the desktop version would be the killer feature for me. I’d love to be able to select issues to take with me on-the-go and have them moved on and off the iPhone as I added/removed them from that “portable” list.I would gladly pay $20 for this app.

  32. KYUSS says:

    i would love an iphone version of your wonderful app mate.i have been thinking about converting my issues to pdf and using datacase to get them on the iphone and read em.whilst this seems workable its a lot of extra effort and it isn’t a dedicated reader.please please tell us you are working on a iphone version?

  33. Anonymous says:

    Are you still working on Comicbooklover?

  34. Anonymous says:

    So, should we just give up on an update to CBL?

  35. Anonymous says:

    Sure does feel like CBL is now vaporware. We haven’t gotten a verbal update or a release in forever.

  36. James says:

    Are you any closer to having the iphone reader done. Do you have a best guess on when we might see it?

  37. shawn says:

    I just want to chime in to say I love CBL where it’s at now – does exactly what I want. A seriously amazing program. And I would LOVE an iPhone app. I know there’s iComic and I haven’t even checked it out but i KNOW you could make a killer iPhone comic reader and I would happily pay for it.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Is there any update on CBL or should I start looking elsewhere? (Pity given that CBL was/is the best program that I found for the way I wanted my comics viewed) 😦

  39. It's heartbreaking to see this great piece of software being so terribly neglected… C'mon Bit Cartel: give us a sign!!Will there ever be an iPhone version of Comic Book Lover? Will there even be any future updates for the desktop app?…vaporware indeed. what a shame!

  40. Andrew says:

    Hi guys, would you be able to add a sharpness filter for the reader, also add native resolution for the iphone 6 plus thanks.

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