First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- — 17 August, 2010 10:38
Tite Kubo's Bleach
Manga Browser is exactly what its name implies: a manga browser. While this app is a fan favorite of those who love their manga, this application's Achilles' heel is its reliance on online databases that have an unfortunate habit of being taken down because of copyright laws. In its previous iteration, Manga Browser's collection included Onemanga.com and 1000manga.com; both of those sites were taken down. Currently, Manga Browser links to the collections of Mangafox.com, MangaStream, and MangaReader. While many fans are happy with the recent additions, abrupt closures of these sites can make this application unreliable and frustrating.
One would therefore hope that the user interface would make up for the unstable nature of this application. Instead, Manga Browser asks that you search each Website individually, thus complicating your search for favorite comics. Another problem involves the "Favorites" feature. The application has no page-bookmarking feature. Instead, it allows the reader to save a comic to their "favorites" page so that they can keep track of issue updates. The problem arises when Websites inevitably get shut down. I "Favorited" Bleach under the old 1000manga.com stream, but was forced to "re-Favorite" it again under MangaStream. This proved to be a bit annoying.
Some other features that seem be missing from this comic viewer are: a dedicated Home button to allow for easy navigation between comics and Manga streams, as well as an ability to zoom. That's right, folks -- you can't zoom. In the unfortunate event that an epic scene is taking place on the comic page before you, you will be unable to read the awesome utterances of your favorite heroes and villains.
Lest we forget, the manga experience is also heavily reliant on your Internet connection, meaning that you may be graced with ridiculous load times. But at least you can read from "right to left" for a classic Manga experience. That's worth something, right?
With a clunky UI, an unreliable Manga stream, and a lack of features that you'd expect on any comic viewer, the Manga Browser by Manga Browser leaves even the most low-maintenance Manga fans wanting more. If you enjoy Manga, skip this app. Download the comics directly to your Android phone and read them over the Droid Comic Viewer. You'll thank me later.