Hi again. When you heard from me back in May I had 270gb in Panels, when I beta tested version 1.10.2, I had 330gb. Now I’m up to 430gb (approx 17,200 comics), and that number will continue to climb, though I am finally starting to see the light at the end of that tunnel. About 3/4s of my collection has been imported/organized.
I’m happy to report that Version 1.10.7 scrolls smooth as glass. The grid spacing bug still occurs - only this time its behavior is totally different: If you launch Panels in Landscape orientation the grid will be tight. Rotate to Portrait and the grid is loose - three to a row instead of 4 (on a 12.9” iPad Pro). Rotate back to Landscape and the grid becomes tight again, rotate to portrait again - loose. However, if you launch panels in Portrait orientation and rotate back and forth the grid stays tight the entire time. BUT launched in either orientation, if you open a collection in landscape and rotate the contents of the collection to portrait, the portrait grid will become loose. So, the grid spacing bug is alive and well and altogether different for whatever reason.
The issue of the bottom row of a collection being differently spaced than the rows above appears to have been solved.
There are sill random missing covers in collections most times I open them. These missing comics are still there, but appear as a blank gap in the row. It can be opened. It can be selected. If opened it will be visible in the collection once it’s closed again, but then a different one (or two or three) might now be invisible. Pinch the collection shut and re-open it and the mix of visible and invisible comics will often change (or not). There are always far more visible comics than invisible ones. They make me think of missing teeth. The bug is very annoying when you are in the process of tap-selecting a pile of comics to drag when changing the reading order. You’re left to guess if a blank space is or isn’t one you want to add.
Version 1.10.6 introduced a new bug: occasional invisible comics in the top level library. Only individual comics though, never stacks. I’ve been using Panels for months and never has a comic in the main library randomly lost visibility, as commonly happens within collections. One lost visibility in the main library on the first day of using v1.10.6. So now there’s that. I’ve been using v1.10.7 long enough to confirm that this problem remains.
Also, as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s a little hitch/hesitation when your two pinching fingers touch before the comics become a stack. It would be really cool if you succeed in making the pinch-them-into-a-pile illusion utterly seamless. But the ugly bug is the one where you pinch-to-shut and it freezes up for a couple seconds before displaying a random cover in that collection which you have to swipe down to get back to the Library. Hope you solve that one.
Often I am importing comics to a collection which is currently open onscreen. It would be nice if the import dialog said:
You’re adding 4 files comics to Panels
Do you want to add them to a collection?
Button 1: Yes. Choose a Collection
Button 2: Yes. Choose Current Collection
Button 3: No. Put them in the Library
Button 2 would only appear if the import was occurring with a collection open onscreen. This would save the trouble and time of scrolling through the long list (my list is about 12 nautical miles long). And it would also be great if, when I do have to deal with the list, I could just start typing the name of the title I am seeking and be taken to that point in the list instantaneously. (Just an aside, I noticed that ‘adding 4 files comics’ is an incorrect way to put it. Should be ‘adding 4 comics’ or ‘adding 4 files’ not both at once.)
It would also be nice to have an option in Settings to automatically open the collection I just imported comics into, since my next step after I import them is almost always to ensure that they are arranged in the order I want. Just a toggle in Settings that says “Open collection after import.”
Shortcuts like these become very important when a collection becomes large enough so that scrolling through listed titles or the main library takes time and effort. Which reminds me… when a comic is finished, it would be great if there was a third button that closes the comic and puts you in that comic’s collection rather than only being able to return to the main library. I’ve been trying to come up with ‘button text’ to suggest and the best I can do is these three buttons upon completion of a comic: (CLOSE) (RETURN TO LIBRARY) (CONTINUE) The CLOSE button would put you back in the comic’s collection. That would be the most succinct solution. This is a handier feature than it might at first appear. Very often as I finish an issue, I’ll want to see how many comics remain in the series, or I’ll realize that the upcoming comic is out of sequence and I want to correct that. Also, if I hit the continue button I still want to be able to swipe back into the one I just left. Or if I open to page one of a comic I should be able to swipe into the final page of the previous one because “what happened at the end of yesterday’s comic? What’s the plot again?” These shortcuts might not seem necessary, but they save a lot of time and effort if you have a vast collection which makes the usual ways of getting around cumbersome.
Next wish: A way to rename collections instead of moving all the comics to a new collection with a new (perhaps only slightly different) name and then having to go back and delete the old stack and then having to drag the new stack from the top to the original location. The rename command could be tucked away with the search field, sort icon, and list-or-grid icon that is accessed at the top of each collection by dragging down.
Also it would be nice to be able to move a comic from one collection to another without having to go back and manually remove it from the originating collection: ‘Add to…’ and ‘Move to…’ instead of just ‘Add to…’
Another thing that would be nice is if the recent section displayed 8 recents in landscape orientation. There’s room for two more to appear and cosmetically the top of the library would look better when in landscape orientation. The top of the library in both orientations would then match (both would have a solid row all the way across). It’s a nit-pick I admit. But that recents row always strikes me as incomplete-looking whenever my iPad is sideways in the keyboard folio setup.
Sorry about writing you a novel here. According to Screen Time, I use Panels more than any other app in my iPad so I wind up having a lot to say about it. Hope my input is helpful. The 2nd most used app (a distant 2nd place) is a wonderfully elegant and addictive high speed tunnel racer game called Boost 2. You really should check it out.
Best wishes, Joe Cunningham
P.s. I’m currently using the normal not-beta app. If you again have an upcoming version you would like stress-tested with my huge collection before you release it, let me know and I’ll get it via TestFlight and report back quickly.