Google has gone comic crazy, updating the Play Books app with a new comic mode, adding a comics section to the Play Books store, and giving a wide selection of titles away for free. If you’re not reading comics on your phone or tablet yet, now is your chance to give it a try, and the experience will cost you absolutely nothing.
Announced on its official blog, Google says the updated app is specially designed for comic fans, primarily because it makes it easier to flick between panels. Instead of scrolling around and lining them up on the screen, the idea is to change your device into landscape mode, and vertically swipe a new panel into view. This’ll make the reading experience more fluid, and with fewer interruptions to the story.
To go with the newly updated app, which is compatible with the majority of Android phones and is usually pre-installed, Google has opened a new wing of its Play Books Store dedicated to finding new comics to read. Listing comics individually and by series, Google will recommend new comics for you, based on other store activity. The thoughtfully laid out series sections make it easy to find specific issues.
If you’re new to comics on a smartphone or tablet, then Google doesn’t want you missing out, and is celebrating the new update and store by making a selection of comics free to download. The entire collection is available here, and consists mainly of issue ones, with titles including Spawn, The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Star Wars Previews, Orphan Black, and Transformers. Google says it’ll be refreshing the deals each Thursday, so it’ll be worth revisiting if nothing catches your eye this time around.
Google’s Play Books comic mode sees it take on established names in the digital comics world, primarily ComiXology, which also produces apps for the large comic publishers such as Marvel and DC. Amazon and Apple also have a selection of comics available in the Kindle and iBooks stores.
The Play Store and Play Books updates will be available on Android devices first and iOS soon, in the U.S., the UK, Australia, India, Singapore, South Africa, Ireland, and New Zealand.