An update to the ComiXology mobile app has hit the comics community harder than a gut punch from Superman. The popular comic book reading app, which was formerly one of the highest-grossing iOS apps around, has removed the option to buy comics from within the app itself, forcing users to buy from ComiXology's website and download from the cloud. If you're a little confused about this somewhat jarring transition, here's what you need to know.
Why has ComiXology changed its app?
Several weeks ago, retail giant Amazon purchased ComiXology. In order to maximize revenue, Amazon has removed the option to buy comics through the iOS ComiXology app and removed Google Play purchases from the Android one, as doing so previously gave Apple and Google a cut of sales. Both Apple and Google currently take 30 percent of all purchases made within apps hosted on their app stores.
How does this affect the iOS app?
The current iOS version of ComiXology will be "retired" sometime soon, and there is already a new version of the app available for free on the App Store. To make sure your comics collection stays intact during this transition, you should open the original ComiXology iOS app, go to Purchases, and tap Restore. This will sync all of your purchases to your cloud-based account, so you'll be able to instantly download your collection to the new app.
For iOS users, all future ComiXology purchases must be made on the digital bookstore's website, much like with Kindle for iOS. Once a book is purchased, you can open the app and download it from the cloud.
How does this affect the Android app?
Android users won't have to download a brand-new app, but they will need to update to version 3.6. This update introduces a new shopping cart feature and retains in-app purchases, though those purchases will have to be made via your credit card or PayPal account and not through Google Play payments.
What else should I know?
Though it's troubling to know that your iTunes or Google Play gift cards can't be used towards ComiXology comics anymore, there is a small silver lining to this update. Anyone who has made a purchase through ComiXology will receive a $5 credit, which can be used on any of the 50,000-plus digital comics sold by the retailer on ComiXology.com.
It might take some time for the comics community to adapt to this new ComiXology, but like Otto Octavius becoming Spider-Man, most readers will probably be won back over in the long run.