Reading comics has many benefits that are often unacknowledged. For example, it helps both kids and adults to improve their reading skills in a fun style rather than with drudgery.
Also, comics are known to teach us many moral lessons without being preachy. They even have the chance of helping children to grow up more confidently as they read about superheroes throwing up impossible accomplishments.
In our time, every sector is going both digital and mobile. As you may know, your good old comics are not left out of this. So, if you’re looking for the best Android and iOS apps to help you or your family in reading comics on the go, here they are:
The platform is described as ‘unlimited’ because, with a single subscription, it gives you unrestrained access to the Marvel Comics imprints. This is to say that you get to read as many of them as you like, anywhere and any time. You can even download the copies to read offline.
There are more than 28,000 of these digital copies available to every subscriber and this number does not include the Star Wars comics that are also included in the pack.
Therefore, one reason I consider Marvel Unlimited as one of the best Android/iOS apps for reading comics is its relative affordability. The subscription goes for $9.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
According to a Comic Book Herald estimation, this annual subscription price can only purchase about 42 paper issues of Marvel comics.
With Marvel Comics consistently topping the comics market share charts year on year, it is obvious that it has many fans.
Then, Marvel Unlimited provides a pocket-friendly opportunity for Marvel fans to catch up on the editions they may have missed even decades ago. And, the library keeps growing as new issues are added.
As good as it may be, Marvel Unlimited also has its quirks. For instance,
- Some users have complained about difficulties logging in because the system rejects their passwords. This is aggravated by the fact that Marvel’s customer service is not always as timely in their response as you’d want.
- Users have also expressed the desire for Marvel Unlimited to be fully compatible with Amazon Kindle. Well, it isn’t. But some users seem to have ways to hack around it.
- Some users have also complained about some difficulties with downloading comics for offline consumption.
However, all in all, users rate the apps well above average.
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DC Universe Infinite is the digital subscription version of Warner Bros DC Universe comics. Similar to Marvel Unlimited, this is described as ‘infinite’ because a single subscription gives you access to DC Comics’ library of over 22,000 imprints and still counting.
- It operates somewhat like a comic book social media platform. Using the mobile apps, you can connect with other DC Universe Infinite subscribers. You can identify those subscribers who are interested in the same titles as yourself. Then, you can share ideas with them in a live chat – like discussing the events in a story.
- You can also log into your DC Universe Infinite account using your social media accounts – like Facebook and Twitter.
- DC Universe Infinite Android and iOS apps also enable you to follow your favorite comic heroes and heroines. This way, you can easily be abreast of their storyline and know the latest events in their trajectory. You can also learn a lot of other info about your favorite characters – like their powers, roles, backgrounds, and more.
- The comic platform also sports good search engine functionality. With this, you can easily search for your favorite heroes and the titles about them.
- You can also set the system to notify you whenever a new title on any of your heroes/heroines is published.
- DC Universe has some of the most action-packed animations you can find in digital comic books today.
- They update regularly (every week).
- You can download the comics and read them without any need for an internet connection. However, there have been recent user complaints related to downloading. Some users are saying that they are finding it extremely difficult to download copies of the comics. Some other users are saying that they would be able to download but unable to open the copies and read.
- I also think that DC Universe Infinite is one of the best Android/iOS comic reader apps due to its affordability. Well, the app is free to download on the Google Play Store or the App Store. As for the subscription, the DC Universe Support page says it goes for $74.99 per year and $7.99 per month.
It is also available for Windows 8 and exists as a web version and as a Chrome extension. Aerylis, the company behind the app, promises that the iOS and other mobile versions are on the way.
Here are the reasons I think that Astonishing Comic Reader (ACR) is one of the best comic reader apps on Android devices right now:
- ACR is free. Yet, its in-app ads are so non-invasive that many users think that it’s 100% ad-free (for now, at least).
- Relative to many other comic readers out there, Astonishing Comic Reader is fairly versatile in its file format support. It mainly reads CBR, PDF, and jpg files.
- The tool also reads from SD cards. But, on a very rare occasion, users report that it wouldn’t read immediately from an SD card but would reinstall it instead. The users in question don’t seem to be quite perturbed by this though.
- Its user interface is very intuitive and simple. Not clogged up with many features, you can easily navigate it without quirks.
- You can search for comics from any source and read them again and again by using Astonishing Comic Reader. The search function is also equipped with an intuitive suggestion system that leaves finding your comic books only a breath away.
- After discovering your favorite comic books, you can download them and read them offline using Astonishing Comic Reader.
- Given the platform’s cloud storage functionality, you can also access your files from any device from anywhere.
- Once the comic books are viewed or downloaded, you don’t have to search for them anymore on Astonishing Comic Reader as they are shown on the home page.
- The file library can also be customized and categorized into ‘collections’ to make finding individual comic books easier.
- With an Astonishing Comic Reader account, you can sync your collections and get statistics on them.
- The system automatically bookmarks a comic book from where you left off. This makes it very easy for you to continue reading a story the next time.
- I am yet to find a case of any user complaining that the system freezes on them.
- One of the most uplifting features of Astonishing Comic Reader that makes it one of the best comic reader apps on Android devices is the ability to cast your comic books to TV.
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ComicScreen – ComicViewer is an Android app for saving and viewing comic books and graphic novels. I consider it as one of the best Android comic book readers in the market for the following reasons:
- It is free with non-intrusive ads.
- Storage economy: It takes only 10 MB of your device’s storage space.
- Its file support is fairly comprehensive. It includes CBR, CBZ, and PDF file formats.
- It has a clean and simple user interface.
- It bookmarks your last page automatically. This makes it easy for you to continue from where you left off reading.
- It also saves your bookmarks and history.
- Again, it can read from your SD cards.
One of the best comic reader apps you can find, Panels Comic Reader is currently available only for iOS devices. It is currently rated 4.8/5 by iPhone users on the App Store.
Here are the features that qualify this app to be included on this list:
- It sports a very elegant user interface that is also intuitive and easy to use.
- It offers a panoramic library view that users love so much.
- Subscribers also like the app due to the timely and attentive customer service response from its owners.
Other reasons why I consider this app as one of the best comic readers on Android devices are:
- Its storage economy is one of the best that I’ve found. It occupies only 3.2 MB of your device’s storage space.
- It is very good at detecting the edges of comic panels.
- You can view your comic books either page by page or panel by panel.
- It works well on small pages by accurately dividing the pages into blocks.
- You can equally view the comics in movie mode.
- It reads both CBZ and CBR file formats. It doesn’t read PDFs though.
Comic Trim is yet another good comic book reader I can find. Here are the reasons I consider it as one of the best in the market:
- It is fairly easy to use. With its user interface arranged in a multi-level directory format, the Comic Trim platform is relatively easy to navigate.
- It also sports a cool guided view feature.
- Again, it offers a great mobile view even on very small screens.
- Its auto-zoom, pinch zoom, and panel zoom features make it easier to view comics more clearly. It does not occupy much space in your device – only 5.6 MB.
However Comic Trim only supports CBR and CBZ file formats.
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I learned that the name ‘YACReader’ stands for “yet another comic reader”. Well, it’s more than just another comic reader but packs up a lot of unique features. So far, it is available on mobile only to iOS and iPadOS users. It is also available on PC (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X).
Here are the unique features that make me think that YACReader is one of the best comic readers out there:
- It is totally free and open-source. However, note that users are expected to donate for the upkeep of the service.
- It has a powerful search engine that makes finding a comic book or manga easy. With the recent update, you can use the search engine to find anything from comic book titles to genre to author and character to cover artist and more.
- YACReader has a function for enlarging or stretching an image. With the recent updates, you can disable this function too.
- YACReader organizes your comics in a beautiful way.
- Its file support is fairly versatile. It includes CBR, CBZ, jpg, gif, tiff, zip, PDF, BMP, 7z, cb7, and RAR.
- Being open-source, there are so many ways to customize YACReader to your taste. For example, you can create your own library and stock them accordingly. Then, you can relabel your files in the library. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
What is good for the goose is also good for his wife, lol! So, after digging up a free and open-source comic book reader for iOS users, I think it’s only fair to find something similar for Android users as well. That is Tachiyomi.
However, Tachiyomi is specifically for reading manga, the Japanese version of comic books and graphic novels that have become popular across the world. Below are the features of Tachiyomi that got me to include it on this list of the best comic book readers for Android and iOS devices:
- It is free and open-source as already hinted above.
- Tachiyomi enables you to keep track of your manga list by using features like MyAnimeList, Kitsu, Anilist, Bangumi, and Shikimori.
- Using Tachiyomi, you can read manga online and offline and from loads of different sources.
- Being open-source, Tachiyomi can be customized in many ways to suit your taste. Thus, there are many reading modes, reading directions, color filters, and settings you can change to.
- It also sports light and dark themes.
- You can schedule your Tachiyomi library to update with new manga chapters.
- You can back up your files locally or in cloud storage.
- Organizing your Tachiyomi libraries in categories makes it easy to find any item you’re looking for.
So far, Tachiyomi works only on Android 6.0 and later versions. Find it here on GitHub.
Perfect Viewer is an Android app for viewing comics and image files. I consider it as one of the best comic readers for Android devices for the following reasons:
- It is deeply customizable. You can even transform the user interface to look the way you want it to be. You can also switch to various modes with ease.
- Perfect Viewer offers you a very high-quality view of comic books and images.
- It is equipped with a highly efficient search engine function.
- It doesn’t take much space in a device – only 13 MB.
- It supports a wide range of file formats. They include jpg, PNG, gif, BMP, CBZ, CBR, ZIP, RAR, LZH, 7z, and CB7.
- You can change your reading direction either from right to left or left to right.
- It has a pinch-to-zoom function.
- It features a simple bookmark facility.
- It is often updated.
However, there have been some complaints from users, especially since the most recent update.
One of the most prevalent of these complaints is that the options layout is no longer attractive. Some users say that too many options are dropped on the home screen, making it unsightly.
I think it’s because many features have been added which turned out to be overkill for many users.
Some users also complained recently about difficulties with filtering books on bookshelves. Others said that their preferences were automatically reset for no good reasons.
That said, there are indications that users still rate this app well above average. For instance, it is currently rated 4.4/5 on Google Play Store.
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Here are the reasons why I think that CDisplay Ex is one of the best Android comic readers around:
- It features a cover thumbnail plugin. This enables you to find your comics more easily by seeing the cover images.
- It has the functionality to allow the correction of errors in old scanned comic books and let you view them accurately.
- There are many ways to customize CDisplay Ex to your taste, using keyboard shortcuts.
- The app does not take much of the space in your Android device. The free version occupies only 8.1 MB while the pro version occupies 11 MB.
- The app also sports a continuous vertical scroll feature that makes viewing your comics extremely fluid.
- It also allows you the option to view your comics either alphabetically or by series.
- The interface reflows to page orientation and size.
- The app allows you to easily delete a file by long-pressing on it.
iComix is a free CBR/CBZ comic reader that is specially built for IOS, iPadOS, and macOS devices. Currently rated 3.2 on the App Store, this is one of the best comic book readers on iOS devices especially.
Here are some features that make iComix stand out:
- Its intuitive user interface makes it easy to use.
- It presents a panoramic view of comic books with their cover images showing in a matrix style.
- It integrates with many popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Onedrive, and Google Drive.
- You can also import comics through iTunes and many other apps. It auto-imports files from iTunes.
- A recent update has enabled this app to use the latest Apple signing certificate.
- With the recent update, iComix now also allows iPhone X support.
- It’s free and yet serves no ads.
- It occupies only 12.1 MB of your storage space.
Shonen Jump is yet another great app that is designed for viewing manga especially and comic books generally. Currently rated 4.1 out of 5 on Google Play, this app is available only to Android devices. I think it is one of the best comic reader apps you can find for the following reasons:
- It has a cool user interface.
- It is highly affordable. Only a one-time purchase of $1.99 gives you an ad-free experience to read comics as you like.
- It is backed by a supportive community.
- It doesn’t take much space on your device – only 5.5 MB.
Chunky Comic Reader is one of the best comic reader apps for iOS devices that you can find. See why I think so:
- It has got one of the most elegant user interfaces you can find.
- Its file support is wide and includes CBZ, CBR, CBT, and PDF.
- Using the Chunky comic reader, you can change your reading direction from right to left or otherwise.
- Again, it makes your reading experience really fluid.
Libby is a free Android/Apple app used for connecting to digital resources in your local library. You can open the app and sign in with your library card. Then, you can use the app to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and more. You can also download and consume the copies offline.
Here are the reasons why I consider Libby as one of the best comic book readers for Android and iOS devices:
- It sports a section where you can connect to several genres of comic books in your local library (if they are available).
- It has the functionality to effectively read files like CBZ, CBR, and PDF. So, you can use it to view your comic books very clearly.
- Libby takes very little space on your device – only 2.1 MB on Android and 19.7 MB on Apple devices.
- It currently enjoys top user ratings: 4.8/5 on the App Store and 4.4/5 on the Google Play Store.
I have shared what I consider as the very best comic readers for Android and iOS devices. With the 15 items on the list, I’m sure that almost anyone would have what works best for them in their particular situations.
Although I have tried to help you in narrowing your choice by pointing out what works best in certain circumstances (like saying that Marvel Unlimited is the best option for Marvel fans), the buck finally stops with you. So, my list only serves as a guide.
And, in case you want to know my top pick on the list, I give it to the free/open-source bests: YACReader (iOS) and Tachiyomi (Android).
That’s because I’m a big fan of the open-source culture, with its huge prospects for creativity, transparency, and freedom.
And, if you still want me to narrow my top pick to a single item, I’d give it to YACReader since it is built to serve all comic genres equally contrary to Tachiyomi that has a bias for the manga genre.
Scott L. Macarthur is a marketing consultant and an online author. He is mostly engaged in providing his expertise to startups and SMBs. He is also an author on TheNextWeb.