Panels 2.0 - New beta available

Hello everyone!

We have been pretty quiet for the last couple of months because we have been working on a big release (the biggest release since Panels 1.0).

First of all, this release is all about the library. We know that the readers also need some new updates (like 2 page for landscape) but we decided to split the work and focus on the library first.

Here is a list of all new features to get you excited. Stay tuned for the new betas coming up this week to be the first ones to try Panels 2.0.

:warning: WARNING FOR TESTERS :warning:
If you decide to join the beta and install the new version, you won’t be able to go back to the current Panels version available in the store without losing all your content. We will greatly appreciate your feedback but keep this in mind before installing this version.
We are planning to release a few beta versions within the next few weeks.

Fresh new look

Panels now have 4 main sections: “reading now”, library, downloads and search.
We have updated the design for all of them as well as for the settings menu.


Reading now

What was previously known as “Recently read” has been moved to its own tab. Here you will find different sections that might be useful to you:

  • Reading now” shows the last comics you have opened. The first one shows in full screen :heart_eyes:
  • Recently finished (you may want to download them once finished, this could be a nice shortcut)
  • Pick up where you left (Panels will suggest comics that you abandoned in the past and you may want to continue reading!)

Reading goals

In addition, you will find reading goals at the bottom of the home screen. You can set your weekly/monthly/yearly goal and see your collection filling up. Our idea is to link this to a nice way of sharing it, although share is not ready yet and will be pushed back for a future release.

Contextual menus

If you’re using iOS 13, you’ll be able to tap and hold on almost any comic cover in the app, and a new contextual menu will appear with different actions depending con the context and the item you’re selecting (Comic or Collection)

Some of the most requested library management features now live in this menu:

Mark as read/unread

Mark your comics as read or unread with a simple tap. This option is also available when selecting multiple comics at the same time.

Rename file

Rename your files so they appear nicely formatted in Panels.

Hide a Reading Session

Did you start reading a comic and didn’t like it and you want it to disappear from your reading list? Now you can hide them. If you change your mind and want them to appear again, you just have to continue reading it.

Change reading direction

You won’t have to open a comic to change the reading direction anymore. If you read manga and want to tag all your manga titles as right-to-left reading, you’ll probably appreciate this new feature. It also supports multiple files.
Add all your manga titles to a collection, select them all and configure them as manga with just one tap.

The new Library

We’ve redesigned the Library while keeping the essence of Panels. The same familiar look with a lot of new features.

Contextual Action Sheet

If you are not yet using iOS 13, we got you covered. The contextual menu won’t be available, but we’ve implemented a contextual ActionSheet that will show exactly the same features as the Contextual Menu.

We also use this action sheet to offer contextual actions to when selecting multiple files at the same time.

Visible titles

We’ve always considered comic covers as small pieces of art. And we think that the best way to enjoy a clean library is to give protagonism to these pieces of art and remove any superfluous information.
But we are also aware that some of you like to keep a massive collection of titles in your portable device. And some of you need the titles to be shown to organise your collections and titles more effectively.
That’s why we’ve added a new configurable option to show/hide titles of your comics and collections independently.
More options to make your library your own.

Downloads

We’ve removed the progress bar from the library and replaced with a whole new section. A complete download manager that will give you much more control over all the downloads. Cancel, pause, retry, % of download, …

Search

The search has also gained its own section. The new search shows, not only comic results but also collections. If you have so many collections that you can find them, the new search will probably solve that problem.

Show containing collection

The new search also includes this long time requested feature.
If you know you have a comic but don’t know where it is, you can now search for it and let Panels find the collection(s).

SignIn

Panels 2.0 now supports Apple SignIn. We’ve also created a new profile section.

Price and availability

Panels 2.0 will be a free update :partying_face:
Remember that if you are already Premium, you can still support us with a tip, we’ll really appreciate it.

In addition, remember that you can also help us in many other ways:

  • Spread the word! Panels is still young and many people don’t know about it. Any tweet, blogpost, youtube review will help.
  • Submit an app store review. This really help Panels appear on top of other apps.
  • Send us your feedback!

Most of the features mentioned above will be available for all users (not only Premium).

We don’t have a release date yet. We want to give enough time to beta testers to try the app, and to us to fix any bugs that might appear. This version includes so many new features that we want to make sure everything works before we submit a final version to the App store.

Last but not least, this version will also come with many bugs fixed.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for all the feedback we receive. We may be a bit slow answering emails/community posts/app store reviews, but we definitely read every single comment we receive and take them into account to shape future of Panels.

Testflight

If you want to participate in the beta testing, signin here

One more thing

We are on Twitter now! :bird:
Follow us!

1 Like

Nice!

I became a beta tester, but is it correct that I can’t restore the premium in the beta? (Features seem to work.)

Thanks for taking the time :raised_hands:

The beta should have all the Premium features enabled. you don’t have to restore it. In next beta we’ll remove all the in-app purchase actions to make it clearer.

Looking forward to know your thoughts about the new version.

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I’ve just installed the Beta. What a great update for an already awesome app, the new “Reading now” section makes a great difference and every new feature works flawlessly in my iphone xr

The only feedback I have (and it’s only an opinion) is regarding the “reading goals”. I think that all those empty tiles make the interface less clean, and maybe some other resource (progress bar or things like that) might do the work. It could also show the covers of the comics you do have read without the empty spaces. If you want the empty tiles as a visual reminder, maybe just the grey boxes without the border might be cleaner.

Thanks for this amazing update, guys! :raised_hands:

3 Likes

Thank you so much for your kind words :heart: and your feedback, Keko.

We’ll take into account. It makes total sense. To be honest, the reading goals is something we decided to add very recently, and it’s not even the final version of what we have in mind. It’s still an MVP of what we think it should be. Nevertheless, I think you’re right about the grey boxes. Thanks :raised_hands:

Reading goals is cool, but should be optional I think. So far the beta is great! (Would love an one hand mode, go forward wherever you click. But that’s a feature request, not a problem with the beta :wink:)

1 Like

Dope beta and thanks for adding support for reading right to left.

2 Likes

Exactly what I thought. „Reading goals“ is a nice option for sure for those who are up for it, but I for example wouldn’t want to use it. For me it’s kind of only taking away space for more entries in the „Reading now“ List, which I like.
So agree, it should be optional and if opted out, the space could be given to more „reading now“.

Amazing upgrade apart from that, I really like it!

1 Like

Hello folks :wave:

Thank you so much to everyone participating in the beta. We’ve just released a new build with lots of fixes and some small improvements.
Here’s what’s new in the beta of the 7th of June:

  • We’ve fixed all the icons in iOS 12: In Panels 2.0, we started using Apple’s SF Symbols that is only available in iOS 13+. If you’re using iOS 12, you probably saw that lots of icons were missing (in the tab bar, all the contextual menus, settings). We’ve exported all the symbols and created vectorial versions so they can be used in iOS versions not supporting SF Symbols.

  • We’ve added some new visual cues when the app is downloading files or you have them in the Inbox:
    This new badge icon appears in the Downloads tab when the app is downloading files or you have peding imports in the Inbox.

  • When importing titles having a collection open, the collection appears as one of the options to add them:

  • We’ve completely revamped the transition opening/closing a collection:
    We’ve restored the open/close transition that we had in version 1, but we have completely re-implemented it from the ground up. Now the transition is more accurate, and smoother.

  • Now you can edit your profile and change your avatar and name regardless of the one provided by the sign-in method: Depending on your sign-in method configuration, your avatar image and name might not be available. We’ve implemented a profile edit section, where you can customize your name and avatar image. For now, this is only visible to you.

  • Now, when you add comics to another collection, the app shows the target collection.

  • We’ve added the option to disable the swipe gesture to share a page.

  • We’ve added a few new options to customize the Reading Now section. Including hiding titles not in the device, hiding the “finished” section and the “Reading Goals”.

  • :bug: We’ve fixed a visual glitch in the contextual menus popover on iPad

  • :bug: We’ve fixed a crash when opening the mail composer of “Contact Us” on iPad.

Thank you so much for your support and feedback. We hope you enjoy all these new features and tweaks.

1 Like

This is a really nice beta! Some minor bugs but that is expected :P. I just downloaded the update via TestFlight.

I am having an issue tho, every time I try to import a book, it always wants me to add a new collection first, with no option to add to an existing one. It’s also unclear that I have to cancel out the adding the new collection to add it to an existing one.

How about an option in the dialog box that comes up that says “Add to Existing Collection”, “Add to New Collection”, “Add to Library”.

Also, one thing I have been looking for in really ANY app…automatically grouping by book series, or just the option to group by series. I have multiple volumes of many different series and it really becomes cumbersome scrolling through everything. I have more than 10 series that have 2-10 books in them.

Hi Dani, when I add a CBZ file on iPad, it asks me if I want to Add to another collection or Put them in the lIbrary. Does not ask me if I want to put them in an open collection.

I think I found a bug. When you are reading a comic and want to go to the overview where you see all the pages. (Click in the center.) It will jump back a couple of pages. This also happens sometimes when you switch to another reading mode.

Great adjustments in the new releases since the launch of the beta! Thanks!

Edit: I think it’s going back to where I started reading.

Hello, new here. I applied for the beta. I sent several feedbacks through the TestFlight app and I hope you will be able to read them. For now they’re mostly visual tweaks and improvements. I haven’t really used the app extensively yet but I will surely provide something once I get around that.

Edward

Hello @edwardthehuman

Yes! Thanks a lot, we can see the feedback. It is a shame that we can’t reply (is a 1 way communication).

Thanks @waterstof , noted!

@AdmrlHippr Are you using latest beta? This should be working when adding new comics from inside a collection.

As a reminder for people trying the beta, if you take a screenshot ( home button + siri button, or volume buton + siri button) you will be prompted with a feedback screen. We review all the feedback received and really appreciate it.

It will still take a few more beta versions until we feel confident to release it to the store, and we thank you for helping us getting there!

Any prediction of when the public version will be available on the app store?

On the ipad mini some comics zooming in a bit you can naturally read a page without enlarging too much and losing the page.
It was super nice to put an option in this version to lock a page in the desired position from page to page as said before.


That’s icing on the cake!

Hey @echutta. We can’t make any predictions whatsoever.
For the moment, we are fully focused on addressing all the feedback from the 2.0 beta, and making sure the app is stable enough.
The magnifying glass and zoom locking are in our list, and we are planning to work on improving the readers in the next big release. Those two features are good candidates, but wether they’ll be added in the next release or in another one is still undecided.

We make Panels in our spare time and the development time depends on so many variables that we couldn’t commit on implementing any feature in any given time-frame.

Thanks for bearing with us :pray:

Just installed the beta, and it is great!

running iOS 14 beta 2 here, and there has been no issues so far

have looked for a long time for a comic reader that I really fell in love with, The new version just makes it that much better.

I was just about to ask for an auto dark theme, but realized that it is already in there… NICE :slight_smile:

D

1 Like

Thank you @Darrinsden and welcome to the community.

I like that you are testing this from iOS 14 and glad everything is working. Although we have not yet started working with Panels for iOS 14(we got caught in this massive release, is getting longer than we anticipated). We will start working with iOS 14 after we release this beta.

The caching of current issue is the real MVP of this build.

Preload next issue as the next step?

2 Likes