I want to lead by saying I just, five minutes ago, gave Panels a rave 5 star review in the App Store after using it for a month. Your app is outstanding! The library gesture-nav approach is what every other content library app should follow, and follow it exactly.
I use a few other reader apps because I like to keep my comics separate from my magazines separate from my books, and my peas cannot touch my potatoes. If you were to code an epub/mobi/pdf book reader I would immediately dump Apple Books, likewise an app geared towards magazine reading/organizing - which would seem similar to comics, and it is, but cover art becomes less important - it’s all about spinning open items in a title list to see the covers preferably arranged with the most recent first in a side scrolling row. Ironically, the best magazine reader app, Chunky, thinks it’s a comic books app (which it sucks at). If you want to code a magazine-specific app, follow Chucky’s approach. Think about it, you could have two more apps; both with black momogrammed icons just like Panels. A book reader called Chapters (with a C on the icon) and a magazine reader called Articles (with a A on the icon). Comics have panels, books have chapters, and magazines have articles. A family of reader apps. You could sell them as a bundle. Just sayin…
I currently have only three wishes for Panels:
I really really wish I could create subfolders, just one level is all I need. Two deep would be a luxury. Three deep would be silly.
The transluscent “Recently Read” bar at the bottom is really bothersome when one is organizing and dragging comics around. It gets in the way. Please allow it to be toggled off in the preferences for when organizing is the primary activity. I’m glad it’s there and I use it, but I wish I could banish it too.
You just added a swipe-up-to-share feature. Please let me turn this off in the preferences. It is not a feature I will ever use and I’ve already triggered it by accident five times in last two hours. Swiping down to close-and-return-to-the-library, on the other hand, is genius. Library gesture nav in general is genius. Don’t go changing…
Best, Joe Cunningham, Minneapolis MN
First of all, wow. Thank you for your suggestions. We have never considered making more reading apps. You certainly have a point, it would be “easy” to make them now that we have already built Panels. However, we don’t really think we will add anything to the table, as you can already have free great readers out there (like apple books or kindle). I must say I liked the idea of having P, C and A in my launchscreen .
About your wishes:
This a tricky subject. We considered having subfolders since the very beginning, but the complexity it generates is a bit overwhelming (in many aspects, not just technical). I am afraid this won’t happen in the near future but it is definitely something we have in mind. Maybe not in the form of subfolders but as a new concept (Series, for instance). Where a Serie can only have collections. I don’t know. We need to think about that.
Agree that this bar can get in the way. In fact, we are going to do something with this bar very soon. For the time being, I like the idea of hiding it while you are dragging
We will review the gesture for sure. It is nice to know that you have triggered it by mistake, from the feedback we received from the beta version we did not heard of anyone with the same issue. Maybe we need to make it more obvious that you want to share the page by increasing its tolerance.
Thank you again for your great feedback and suggestions. We do take our users feedback very seriously, I hope we can implement some of these changes in our next release.
Well however you handle folders, if and when you do (please do), avoid any sort of auto-organizing. Organizing comics is as much fun as collecting them is as much fun as reading them. My Panels collection is my perfectly pruned personal bonsai tree. One of the reasons I use, love, and recommend your software is that I can put things in whatever order I want, both the comics and the piles of comics. I’m not forced to put them in sequential order, or alphabetical, or recent or anything. It’s just that certain authors/artists get their own separate piles. The legends: Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Simon Bisley, R. Crumb, Warren Ellis, Moebius, etc. and within those piles it would really help to tidy up the sprawl, so that in the Alan Moore pile there can be a Watchmen pile, and another for V For Vendetta, another for Killing Joke, another for League of Extrordinary Gents, another for his one-shots, Swamp Thing, etc… you get the picture. As it is I have to scroll for miles or have four or five separate Alan Moore piles - which makes the main directory scroll for miles because there are four piles or more for each plus all the other titles. Heavy Metal magazine alone is six piles (one for each decade plus another for special issues and related stuff). One additional level of folder organization is seriously needed for anyone who wants to keep a very large collection like mine (in the hundreds of gigabytes) on a tablet and continue to add to it for years to come. My comic book collection is why I got the 1 terabyte iPad. Your app is, in my world at least, the killer app. Please find a way to implement collections within collections. I would pay extra for this feature. Gladly.
Auto-hiding the recently-read bar when dragging would be a most elegant solution. Saves me a trip to the preferences to turn it off.
Increasing the tolerance for triggering the share window would probably work if you increased it by a lot. Since this is a feature people with either use a lot or use never - it might make more sense to give it a toggle in the preferences. The accidental triggers usually occur when I am doing the opposite of pinching (spreading?) to zoom in and the top finger that is moving up hits the glass before the other finger. This happens fairly often and it is discouraging me from zooming in, which is not good.
Oh and about the suggestion of coding other reader apps. I hope you don’t just dismiss the idea out of hand. I want separate apps for comics, book, and magazine libraries, but it would be great if they were all from the same developer and therefore shared a common design language. Panels is hands-down the best-in-class comic book app, and so would the other two reader apps if you chose to build them. Whenever I use Apple Books or Chunky (which accidentally found the right interface for organizing magazines and doesn’t even know it) I wish they were coded by you, because then they would be easier to use.
Sorry this went so long and thanks for reading it and considering the ideas I propose.