Best CBR Reader Android and Comic Book Reader Android Apps for Tablets & Phones
Looking for the best CBR Reader Android experience? How about the CBR reader with the most settings, features and file format support on the Google Play Store? Here our ultimate guide for getting the best comic book reader experience on Android including screenshots, videos and more.
If you are looking for other flavors of Android powered devices, check the Kindle Guide and keep your eyes peeled for a Nook Guide.
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Perhaps the best comic book ereader on the PC, ComicRack expands its reach with its companion app for Android tablets and phones. With a loyal and fanatical user base, ComicRack hosts an impressive array of features including: automatic synchronizing between your Windows PC and Android devices and size-optimized files and comic formats for your Android device. On initial start, the app conducts a library scan to display all eComics available on device. Reading is fast and responsive – touch and gesture controls for comic reading and pagination feel natural. ComicRack includes a plethora of reading options and optimizations while reading content, including thumbnails and quick links to next, end, previous and beginning and comic file metadata. It also feels like ComicRack includes bonus features compared to other readers such as live wallpapers, the ability to quickly take screenshots and numerous preference and page display options. The purchased version of ComicRack includes the premium feature of syncing over wifi, which eliminates the need to connect your device via USB and “side load” your comic collection. The only drawback to ComicRack is a lack of integrated store and an equivalent Mac / iOS version – two platforms I tend to personally gravitate toward. However, if Android and the Windows PC are your preferred platforms, ComicRack sets the standard with an extremely high app rating in the Google Play store that delivers a best in breed comic book reader experience.
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ComiCat is the go-to comic book reader and viewer app on Kindle and is a personal top choice on Android – fast and slick. ComiCat offers the ability to read and manage your CBZ and CBR comic book files in with an easy to use interface and straight forward scan of your device to organize all your content. The experience feels good on a variety of devices, from 7″ phablets to full size 10″ tablets that are analogous to the printed page size. The natively coded app feels response to the slightest gestures and incorporates the ability to share over Facebook. A bit more fine grain file organization, broader file support and an integrated comic store are really the only features that one might feel are missing. If you are looking for a high quality personal comic book reader – and aren’t as interested in an integrated store – ComiCat is a great place to start.
Comics by comiXology
One of the most solid and across the board best places to start with digital comics is with the comic book reader and integrated store many consider to be the ground-breaking leader in the field: Comics by comiXology. It all started with iPhone apps and a service called PullList that has now expanded to not only Android, but grown to also include Kindle, the Web and Windows. With an ever growing catalog featuring the broadest content selection of any store, comiXology is your one stop shop for Marvel, DC, Image and pop-culture favorites like The Walking Dead. Any purchases under your comiXology account can be downloaded for reading on any device or browser supported by comiXology – buying once and reading wherever you want. The comic book reading experience on comiXology is just as top-notch and includes a variety of functions and features: thumbnail navigation within comics and a proprietary form of viewing a comic panel by panel called Guided View Technology for any size Android device. The one drawback to comiXology is that lack of a way to integrate or organize other digital comics within the “My Comics” Library. The design and integration of comiXology on Android feels natural and optimized for each surface – it is simply not a phone reader “blown-up” or a large sized tablet reader “shrunk down”. For any Android user, this app should be near the top of your list. For more, see our full full Comics by comiXology review.
Based on the Comics by comiXology app, this DC Entertainment centric app tailors a best in breed app with a focus on your favorites like Batman, Superman and the Justice League. If you are a member of DC Nation, you will be pleased with an ever growing back catalog of previously published favorites and current day-and-date publications of The New 52. Any purchases in the DC Comics app under your comiXology account can be downloaded for reading on any device or browser supported by comiXology – including the comiXology app itself. The DC Comics reading experience powered by comiXology has all the latest functions and features: thumbnail navigation and Guided View Technology for panel by panel viewing on any size Android device. If you are a DC Fan and Android user, downloading this app is a no-brainer. For a more in-depth look at the app features, see our Comics by comiXology review.
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Marvel Comics is basically the Comics by comiXology app populated with only content from Marvel Entertainment like the Avengers, Wolverine, X-Men and Spider-Man. This app is heaven if you are a diehard Marvel Zombie looking for an app with the best store integration including a deep catalog of past favorites and current day-and-date publications of Marvel NOW. Marvel Comics app purchases (made with your comiXology account) can be viewed and downloaded on the comiXology app or any comiXology device or supported browser. The Android comic book reader features the latest comiXology functions including: thumbnail navigation and Guided View Technology for panel by panel viewing – the most preferred way to view content on smaller screen sizes. Have an Android device and love Marvel Comics? ‘Nuff Said. You’ll be glad you did. (If you want to take a closer look at the parent app beyond just Marvel, see the full Comics by comiXology review.)
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Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Video & Screenshots
In the past, I may have been a bit too harsh on Perfect Viewer. The app is well rated on Google Play and has a loyal, passionate following. On Android, I have found Perfect Viewer to be very fast, have low latency and be overall much sturdier than my experiences with the app on a Kindle Fire HD.
Its not an app for the more “casual” comic viewer. This is for an advanced comic book reader who wants an extreme degree of fine-grain control on a vast array of image formats (JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, CBZ/ZIP, CBR/RAR, 7Z/CB7, LZH and PDF file plugin, etc) to Photoshop level image filtering control. If you open this app and feel overwhelmed, I recommend an app with less interface to digest, such as ComiCat. If you can’t have enough options, you’re in the right place.
On initial load, Perfect Viewer has a couple of set-up steps: a Memory Warning Dialog is followed by Selecting Comic, Novel or Image Viewer Mode; Reading Direction and Choosing the Bookshelf Folder. Perfect Viewer will then scan the device to populate the bookshelf with content.
A plethora of viewing options and settings are available, here is a sample:
- Main menu allows Open File, My Bookshelf, History, Bookmarks, Add Bookmark, Favorites Management, Add to Favorites and Screen Orientation.
- Effect Menu offers settings for Auto Single Page, Auto Dual Page, Image Invert, Sharpen Image, Adjust Color, Auto Detect Page Border and more.
- Image Scaling allows preferences for Actual Size, Fit to Screen, Fit to Width, Fit to Height and Fixed Size.
- Image Smooth Filter menu includes Nearest-Neighbor, Averaging, Averaging v2, Bilinear, Bicubic and Lanczos3.
- Page Start Position allows options for Vertical or Horizontal Reading Direction, Horizontal Center, Vertical Center and Page Center.
- Tools menu for Preferences, Preferences Management, Hardware Key Management, Quick Setup, Assign Touch Screen Function and Set as Wallpaper.
And that is just the beginning…
When reading a comic book, the screen has a number of “hot areas” to support various interactions and settings. By default, they include dedicated areas for: Fit to Width, Open File, Fit to Height, Scroll Backward, Zoom In, Main Menu, Zoom Out, Scroll Forward, Previous Folder or Archive, Quick Bar and Next Folder or Archive.
The Preferences menu allows you to drill down even deeper in Settings categories for: File Manager, Bookshelf, Touch Screen, Browse & Navigate, Control & Hardware, Display, Preferences Management, Quick Bar Customize and Miscellaneous Settings.
If this sounds like a dream filled with possibilities and functionality to individually optimize and tailor your comic book reader experience, then wait no further and Get Perfect Viewer now.
Dark Horse Digital Comics
Dark Horse Digital Comics is just that – they have broken away from what other content publishing houses do (typically alliances with either comiXology or iVerse Media) to create their own digital comics system. Dark Horse Digital Comics is your exclusive resource for top licensed properties and content from Star Wars, Buffy and Mass Effect to Hellboy and Sin City. The integrated store provides the ability to read across supported devices like iOS and supported browsers – but Android is where this app really shines and looks best in class. Comics in the Store are organized by Featured, New, Free (with a healthy selection of key first issues) and by Series. Settings allow for account management, layout preferences and ability to turn on panel zoom by default (which simply does exactly that – zoom in on a panel and not isolate it from the page). Bookshelf – a type of My Comics or Library – keeps local copies of your comics purchased through Dark Horse on your device, but not other comic files such as CBR or CBZ. Dark Horse does follow most conventions in comic book reader viewing – simply swipe or tap to navigate by page and double-tap to enable panel zoom viewing. In of itself, Dark Horse Digital Comics is a solid app on Android – so much so that many folks are requesting the app for Kindle in comments on Google Play – but since it only supports Dark Horse digital content, your satisfaction with the app is most likely determined by your passion for the exclusive content published by Dark Horse Comics.
Komik is comic book reader app for Android that just feels different and has a unique charm. From the initial start of the app, select your root directory and the comic library is imported and built from any CBR and CBZ files loaded onto your device. I feel its important to note how well the advertising is done on this app – the ad does not interfere in navigating around the library thumbnail, but is noticeable while being well integrated and minimal. After tapping on a thumbnail to start reading your comic book file, pagination is a simple, and very responsive swipe. Another pleasant surprise in the interface is to double-tap on the left or right page edge – a very handy contextual menu lets you navigate forward or back through the pages of the comic. Although there is no store integration with publishers, Komik is an app extremely focused on the digital comic book file reading and makes it a delightful experience on your Android device.
Kindle App for Android: Kindle Graphic Novels & Comics
Looking to read your library of Kindle content on an Android device other than a Kindle Fire HD? Then get the Kindle App for Android and download your favorite graphic novels and comics available from the Amazon Kindle Store on your Android device with the Kindle App – No Kindle device required. The Kindle Store is starting to compare to comiXology, with the ability to purchase once and read across devices with Kindle Apps – and the Kindle Store content is growing each month, including Marvel graphic novels and the monthly “pamphlet” periodicals. Amazon allows customers to access all of your Kindle content from the cloud and read from device to device – including synchronizing your current position, bookmarks and Whispersync sampling. The Kindle App for Android also supports the panel viewing technology that focuses on the panel within the layout of the page, however landscape viewing of your comic is not supported (although the Library and Store do allow browsing in either orientation). If you are a happy amazon customer, this App is just another reason to continue being happy with your digital comic book reading.
Comics Plus, powered by iVerse Media, is a fully integrated comic book reader app and store with day and date releases from a number of publishers including: Archie Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Image Comics and IDW Publishing. Much like comiXology, Comics Plus acts as the all the one app for iVerse media digital comics distribution and powers other apps focused on titles like G.I. Joe or publishers such as Archie Comics. With an iVerse account, the integrated store includes New Issues, Top Paid, 100+ Top Free Comics and browsing by Title. Comic book consumption is straight-forward experience, simply navigate to your Library and tap or swipe your way through pages and double tap to zoom in / out. The experience on Android from device to device is identical: the app uses the same form factor whether a phone, 7″ mini tablet or larger 10″ tablet. Because of this universal layout from device to device, it offers a consistent experience, but not necessarily one that uses the available real estate on device with a larger area to populate. If you are more into the independent comic scene and less about “the big two” then you will find yourself at home with Comics Plus.
Archie Comics is sub-branded version of an iVerse Media powered comic book reader app for material published by Archie Comics. The integrated store includes New Issues, Top Paid, Top Free and Browsing by Title. A focused set of Settings options allows users to sign in and manage purchases with an iVerse account. Reading comics is a very linear experience: simply click on the left or right side or swipe to navigation pages. Double tapping allows for zooming into the page and Navigate from the sub-menu allows for jumping to page number or using a slider to change the page view. While the experience is universal on Android devices, it is a bit more optimized for a smaller, 7″ screen experience and can feel a bit like a blown up phone version on larger 10″ devices where the layout is not quite as optimized.
A Comics Viewer
A Comics Viewer is a streamlined comic book reader for Android. The free app is ad-supported on the main splash screen and allows for browsing the device to open compatible CBR and CBZ comic book files one at a time. When viewing a comic, browsing options include first, last, next and previous pages. The overall app options include Browse (navigating the device for files to open), Sharing and Settings for additional functionality. Although the app lacks a scan, import or library functionality, recently opened files are accessible on the opening splash screen. For the few features presented, it works, but there is not a deeper level to experience beyond the well designed branded logo.
Simple Comic Viewer
Simple Comic Viewer is just that a simple Android app with a few settings to optimize your comic book reader experience. Simple Comic Viewer does not have an Import, Library or My Comics features, just well… simply navigate to the directory with your comic files loaded and select to view. Settings on the app include: Scale Mode, Screen Rotation, List View with Thumbnail, Gray Scale, Contrast and Image Brightness Settings. Simply swipe or tap to navigate, paginate and read through your comic. The menu during comic reading allows access to Open (a new file), Scale Mode, Read Order, Goto (navigating within a comic), Share and Settings for the App. I found the back button a little awkward – I don’t expect to exit the app, but either go to the “Library Home” or in the case of Simple Comic Viewer, the directory I am viewing files from.
jjComics Viewer is a viewer without a robust set of features: No Integrated Store, Library or My Comics within the app – only navigation to directories and file open functionality. After each file you open, you will be prompted to purchase the “donation version” and then you can read your comic by tapping to advance… swiping wasn’t recognized. Basic Viewing Options include: File Open, View Half Page, Right to Left, Go To Page, Bookmark and More which includes Screen Orientation, Page Zoom and other Settings. I felt like these were some solid ways to personalize the experience without overbearing users with menu after menu of options. However, jjComics Viewer could be a lot more solid once it clears a few user experience hurdles – I am all for supporting the hard work of developers, but I sense that overly nagging for donations will lead comic book readers towards looking for other alternatives.
Comic Reader Mobi includes support for ZIP, RAR, CBR and CBZ comic book file formats and can stream comics from a WebDAV server. Other comic viewing and image features include: draggable autosizing lens for zooming, automatic bookmarking and image fit by width, height, best fit or stretch.
Comics – Android Apps on Google Play
Looking for even more? Head on over to shop Comic Book Reader Apps on Google Play.
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There you go. What do you think? Let the world know in the comments.
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