Panels 2.3: Lock content

Hello everyone :wave:

@dani has been working on a cool new feature that many of you have been asking for: locked content :smiley:

Panels 2.3.0 is almost ready and should be coming out next week. It is already available for our beta testers and includes many other new features and bug fixes.

Here is a full list:

  • We’ve removed the Inbox. Now, comics imported without using the importers inside the app will appear in the Library’s root.
  • You can now start a selection from the contextual menu.
  • Comics and Collections can now be shared from the contextual menu.
  • We’ve added a couple of new file UTI to improve the compatibility with comic files when opening them from Airdrop.
  • Stability improvements: Disk usage has been optimised to reduce crashes due to excessive use of resources.
  • Bug fix: Changing the home configuration to hide missing titles does not crash the app anymore.
  • Bug fix: The drag-to-close gesture on the readers now works as expected.
  • Bug fix: Sharing pages after rotating the device doesn’t break the reader anymore.
  • Bug fix: Some views like SignIn and the contextual menus on iPad now show the right theme.

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Can you be more specific on this new feature? Did you refer to locking in a certain position in order to hide the edges of a page?

I just noticed in the photo you referred to the comics added in the library that we think should be locked.

Great feature too.

I used the inbox to manage where comics went in bulk. Now I have to go through my library and look for my comics individually and manage from there which is very time consuming.

That was how I used the inbox too. Mass import from iTunes, then select certain ones and create a new library or add to existing one. My inbox was a staging area to organize my imports.

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Hello @Robert_Arauza_Jr @Comix4Sale

Thank you for your feedback. We do appreciate it. The decision of removing the inbox was not easy. There has always been some controversy around it. Some users love it, however many others found it confusing and an unnecessary step during the import process.

To be clear, the inbox was never meant to ship. The inbox was born to “fix” a problem: when using certain importing methods like iTunes or Airdrop, we have no control over it (we don’t know, for example, how many comics Panels is receiving). For that reason we can’t ask where do you want to put the comics. This is different when you use other importing methods like dropbox, where Panels knows that you are going to import a specific number of comics and can take a decision of placing them on a selected collection.

As we gradually move to our goalWe’re creating a 1:1 match between the file system and the Library, where comics are files and folders are collections”, we need to take certain decisions to smooth our way into it. One key decision was to remove the inbox. In the future, using iTunes (or other importing methods) will be as easy as creating a new folder for a collection and placing your comics there.

Panels is in a transition period and we hope you can bear with us until we achieve that goal.

We appreciate your feedback.
Please, keep in mind that Panels user base is considerable big already, and keeping everyone happy maintaining the low level of complexity in the app is quite tricky.

You obviously don’t have the full picture, but the Inbox has always been very controversial. Overall, it created more confusion to the majority of users than benefits.
We understand that power users liked the Inbox, because it gave an extra layer of control. But for an average user, is something else to deal with and, in most cases, hard to reason about.
The inbox was introduced to try to maintain the same import flow than the one we have on the external services. In retrospective, I regret that decision.

We don’t design by committee. We make decisions based on data and, obviously, our own criteria. And the data was telling us that most of our users don’t use the Inbox. Most of our users don’t spend much time manually organising their libraries. And most of our users don’t have a huge amount of titles on their devices at a given time. We also keep track of all the reports, bugs and doubts we receive regarding the Inbox.
We knew that this decision might have a negative impact on some users. But, overall, we are convinced it’s a step forward.

That said, we’ll keep iterating on improving the import flow for Airdrop, iTunes File Sharing and the Web Server. Hopefully, we’ll find a middle ground between keeping a low level of complexity and offering a tidier way of importing comics using these methods.

I feel like I have to upload twice, once to Dropbox and then to Panels, where the Inbox is one import and I can choose a Collection. I understand that you are in transition, but should have kept the Inbox until that transition is complete.

What makes matters worse is when some of the files do not upload properly to Dropbox and I have to use iTunes to load them manually, and then organize them.

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It’s a headache. So time consuming, feels like I’m doing twice the work.

Is this beta over? I noticed it went missing from TestFlight.

@Comix4Sale @Robert_Arauza_Jr in the upcoming weeks we’ll release a beta with a middle ground solution. We think it will make your import flow nicer. Please bear with us. I’ll let you know when the beta is ready so you can give us your feedback.

@baconcow beta is over yes. 2.3 is already in the AppStore.

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Yeah, I had missed that the main application had already updated. I must have joined near the end.

I want to take the chance to apologise for how we planned the Inbox removal.
I think we rushed the decision and we should have offered an alternative solution instead of removing the Inbox leaving some of you behind.
I personally take full responsibility for that decision.
We want to make up for you and we’ve been working on implementing an alternative solution that we think will mitigate the absence of the old Inbox. We still believe that removing the extra step pays off by reducing the complexity of the app for most of the users. But we understand how this made the importing process more cumbersome depending on the import method you’re using.

We are truly interested in your feedback and we want to get to a solution that is as convenient as possible for you all Inbox users.

Alongside removing the inbox, we also increased the minimum iOS version from 12 to 13. We also understand that this puts iOS 12 users in an even more disadvantaged position. Because they can’t event update to the upcoming version with the Inbox alternative.
So we have decided to bring iOS 12 support back only for the next version. We’ll have to remove it again in the following one. But at least you’ll have this alternative solution and you won’t be stuck in this limbo.

I hope these changes will improve things up.

Thank you for your support and understanding.


It’s a learning experience.

Major thing is that you listened to feedback from your users and reacted to it appropriately.

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Thanks Dani.
I wish You /Victor and both Family a Merry Christmas very healthy and happy!
And a 2021 full of energy to overcome all adversities.

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