Computers e-Reader Software Windows 8

ComiXology Reading App – Another app that is so bad that you think they are deliberately trying to sabotage Windows 8

ComiXology Windows 8 App Do Not WorkA while ago I wrote about Amazon’s Kindle app for Windows 8. Specifically, how incredibly poor it was. Now it has to be said that Amazon, after several updates, managed to get their app into a state where it is actually quite usable. I still have some gripes like not being able to set exactly the font size that I want for instance but they have indeed made some great improvements.

However, occasionally I also do read comic magazines. One large on-line store for comic magazines is ComiXology and consequently I have used them for quite a few of my e-Comics. The app they have for Android was quite good. Therefore I was quite happy when they came out with a Windows 8 app. However, my happiness did not last very long. This app is absolutely abysmal. What is worse, despite having been out for quite some time they have made no worthwhile improvements and it is still absolutely abysmal. It is so bad that it is virtually unbelievable that any company would like to be associated which such a piece of crap and thus you wonder if they are simply trying to sabotage Windows 8 in the hope of having to support only one operating system in the future.

The general layout and design of the app is not too bad…if it would just have worked. There is the, all too common, fault of the app always wasting your time opening a pure publicity page instead of going straight to your personal page but I could have lived with that. The main problem is that the app is next to unusable.

Still Waiting Computer CorpseFirst, it is inexcusably slow.
Loading the home page or your comics page takes forever. Downloading a comic is a frustrating exercise in patience. Push it to the background and everything stops so you’ are stuck with a unusable tablet for the duration of the download. I have other Windows 8 apps, on the same tablet, doing the same things and they are a lot faster so it is not the fault of Windows 8. Also, ComiXology’s web interface as well as their Android app is a lot faster so it is not their servers either. Thus it is pretty clear that it is simply a piss-poor implementation by the ComiXology developers.

Computer ExplosionSecond, it crashes all over the place.
One time out of three it crashes when trying to flip from the annoying “home page” to your personal comics page or when trying to make a purchase for instance.

Computer CrashThird, it loses the state of the already downloaded comics every so often.
When writing this, and this is actually what caused me to be pissed off enough to write this post, I have just been forced to download the same bloody comic for the fourth time. Of course it lost the place where I left off reading every time. Given that it was a collector’s issue, that is a big one, and the slowness of the app this is frustrating to say the least.

Well, it is their loss. I’m simply using some other source, like AD 2000 which allows you to download a DRM-free comics file and read it on whatever app you whish, for my comics fix until they have sorted out their mess. There is no way I’m going back to Android simply because some moron bean counter and/or developer decides to push out this kind of crap in some hope that people will go for their Android app instead.

8 comments

  1. Looks like I’m not missing out on anything. I tried to log in using the Windows 8 App but it seems to think my password or username were invalid. The same combination works fine when I log in via a browser. The support staff at ComiXology basically didn’t want to know. I have since discovered that the Windows 8 App does not like the complex password that I have. I have informed ComiXology but thy have not responded. Not impressed.

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  2. I just switched to a Windows 8 tablet and i never thought that the Windows 8 app of comixology would be such a pain. I’m glad that i haven’t invested that much in online Comics and I will continue to visit my local Comic store a lot more often.

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  3. Hey – just stumbled across this searching for a fix where the Win8 Comixology app seems to hang mid-download of some books.. and then stays that way. Forever. I can’t cancel the download, pause/restart does nothing.. they just sit there half done. I basically have to uninstall/re-install (& lose all previous downloads in process) to un-f@ck it.

    Could not agree more. I’ve often tweeted to them about the shoddy app, and have often had replies along the lines of “use the browser version”. I once even from David Steinberger himself saying it was OK and what was my specific problem with it. I challenged him to use it for two weeks as his primary book reader and never heard back..

    I hate myself every time I buy a book off these guys. I bought my son a Kindle Fire and he goes OK with it.. but as a Win8.1 user – this frustrates the hell out of me.

    Was hoping the Amazon take-over might shake things up, but looking at the woeful Kindle app, I can’t hold out much hope there either unfortunately.

    Chicken meet Egg – “we aren’t investing in a decent app because we’ve seen no return on current one” = “no one will use the current one because it’s a shitty app”. If you build it.. they will come.

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    1. Hi Waxercat, I couldn’t agree more with everything you said… I’m having the same download problems, are you sure there is no fix apart from re-installing the app? I’m new to the digital comics world and its sucks that it’s already messed up for me lol, does anyone have any suggestions for people like me who are new to digital comics? Like good apps, websites or tips for people, it would be appreciated 🙂 thanks

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  4. Hi – I have a way to resume/fix the hung downloads – after emailing Comixology and getting very little help, I went looking for a solution myself.

    What I’ve found is you can delete the download log, and locate the partially downloaded files and delete them, then resume your downloads.

    1. Run Task Manager (Search > Task Manager) and End Task the Comixology App (Comics).
    2. Navigate to C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\Packages\comiXology.Comics_1peyd81c65ys8\LocalState\[comixology user name] – replacing [User Name] with whatever your user name is on your PC and [comixology user name] with your Comixology User name
    3. Delete “DownloadQueue.list
    4. This is the slow part – you will see a bunch of folders, and a bunch of *.comx files – each comic should have one of each. By going through each folder, you can see if it’s completed by looking for the thumbnail of the cover – it seems like it’s the last thing to download, so when it’s not present, it means that comic hasn’t finished downloading. Take note of the folder and delete it, and then the corresponding *.comx file.
    5. Complete this for all of your hung.
    6. Empty Recycle Bin just to be sure all the files are completely removed.
    7. Restart your PC, and then restart your app – you should now have a clear Download list, and you should be able to redownload those comics that were giving you trouble.

    I also emailed support in October, and was told that they are working on updating the app, but there is no ETA on it.

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  5. Great information, Ben.

    As an experienced Windows and .NET developer, I emailed Comixology to offer my services in improving or rewriting the app. I listed some of the features I would add, like the ability to view the comics on your devices by groups (publisher, title, alphabetically, etc.), as well as significantly improved downloads. In this day and age, reliable downloading is not hard, especially using .NET.

    All of the above wouldn’t take more than a month to implement and test.

    I received no reply. The least they could have done would be to steal my ideas… I wouldn’t mind, believe me.

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