A Few Simple Suggestions

Hey there! I recently got Panels as I wanted a clean and elegant reader for comics and while the library is a bit barebones I really enjoy reading with it.

While reading different kinds of things and using the OPDS import interface I have a few simple suggestions that’d make reading and using the app easier and more streamlined.

Switching Reading Direction in the Collection View

When I import a new collection I always have to go into Edit Mode, select everything and then select the options menu to switch the reading direction. As my collections are organized by series only due to the current lack of nested collections it’d be great to just perform this option by hold-tapping the collection and selecting it in the Context menu.

Set Viewer Mode for Collections

My collection has a few webtoon-style series’ that use a continuous strip, and for which the only reading mode that makes any sense is Vertical Scroll. But when i switch from a normal Manga series to a Webtoon-format series it always looks wrong and I have to make the switch again.

While not a big deal I feel that, like Reading Direction, there’s a default that makes sense for different kinds of visual novel mediums and i’d love to be able to switch between comics without having to think about the view mode. If you think that showing the mode would be important, maybe indicate it next to the series title as icons so people know what Reading Direction and Viewer Mode defaults have been set, or if one has been set at all.

Drag and Drop Into Third-Party Apps

While you support importing through drag and drop, you can only drag and drop out of the app into Files because the only data included with the operation is the app-specific directory path. It’d be nice if I could export items from Panels into other apps in much the same way I could with other apps like Apple Books if the actual data of the file is included with the operation rather than only the local file path.

Fix the gap between panels in Vertical Scroll (maybe)

I realise that the small gap between pages in Vertical Scroll mode is probably for normal comics where a gap might even be helpful to differentiate between pages, but for Webtoon-style content its juuuust a little annoying as the boundary between one page and another can cut across artwork or text. This isn’t something I think you need to fix necessarily as it’s a small line, but it would be nicer without it X)

Continue Reading button in the Collections View

When I want to read a specific series that isn’t listed on the Reading Now section (or I can’t recognize it on the Reading Now section because my entries only have the volume and chapter number and not the title of the series, my stuff needs organizing…), it’d be nice just to hold-tap the collection and select an option like, “Continue Reading” to show me the thing I was last reading.

Hello @Haukea
Thank you very much for the detailed feedback.

Switching Reading Direction in the Collection View

We thought about that, but a simple option like that brings other questions, like… “what if I mark a collection as RTL and later on I add a new comic? Should this new comic be marked as RTL as well? What if the comic belongs to 2 different collections?”. In addition, right now there is no visual mark on the library that tells you if a comic is RTL or LTR.
I agree with you that we need a better way of handling reading direction (specially for people that only read RTL). We keep thinking and working towards that goal, but we are not convinced that adding that option at the collection leven is the best solution.

Set Viewer Mode for Collections

That’s an interesting point. Right now, a comic does not have any information of a preferred reading mode associated to it. We will take this into account.

Drag and Drop Into Third-Party Apps

This will be improved when we switch to our new file-system model. As discussed in other threads we are already working on that.

Fix the gap between panels in Vertical Scroll (maybe)

You can turn this off in settings

Continue Reading button in the Collections View

I like that :+1:

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Some thoughts on the recommendations:

Reading Direction
It would be nice, especially for those that read RTL to have a “default direction” setting where unless you’ve set a direction on a title, it uses this setting. I’m personally also a fan of having a default direction at the collection level that can be set if wanted.

Viewer Mode for Collections
I also like the idea of having a default view mode for a collection.

Honestly, collections have the potential for being a very powerful organization feature, so adding the ability to set defaults for many settings in a collection would really harness that power.

@motokochan We are planning to add these two features soon :wink:

I’d also like to add a suggestion - the 1 finger zoom axis could be many people’s favorite feature here, but being able to take your finger off and still have it zoomed would make it better. Before the recent update that added this, I’d use iPhone’s zoom accessibility feature, but this has good potential.

Hey @Matt1 can you elaborate on the interaction?

If I understand correctly, you’d long-press to zoom-in and then you’d lift the finger but the zoom won’t zoom out? How would you zoom out? Long pressing again?

1 finger zoom was intended for reading on the phone as a quick action. I did not consider it as an accessibility feature but we are definitely open to the possibility and to explore new interactions with it.

Guess I’ll throw my 2 cents in here with regard to reading direction.

What Panels should really be doing is checking each archive for metadata indicating the reading direction and automatically use that (and let the reader override if for some reason they want to). If no metadata is found then you can default to current behaviour or a global setting.

All my manga has RTL set on it using ComicRack metadata (the xml file in the archive), and it’s really annoying when I use a reader that doesn’t automatically use that information. Some of us put time and effort into managing our metadata and readers should take advantage of that to improve the reading experience.

*edited for typo