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Reading comic books on your iPad is easier than ever with apps that offer different content and discovery features to find your next favorite book. Here are the best apps to read comic books on your iPad.
Comic books allow you to not only read a story, but see one as well in immersive detail and color that compliments the dialogue. The iPad is one of the best places to see and read this content.
Each app has a different take on how to buy, access, sync, and read comics. Here are the best choices.
Apple Books – formally known as iBooks – is native on the iPhone and iPad. It allows you to be able to read books digitally in one spot and gives a choice of customization features that allow you to detail your reading experience.
Like with any Apple-created app, Books integrates with iCloud. This means that if you bookmark a page or highlight a passage, it will translate to all of your connected devices.
You can search for comic books right within the app and have them downloaded right onto the device you are using. With iCloud, they will show up on your other devices as well.
What’s great about reading with the Books app is that it simulates a physical book with page-turning animations. You are also able to zoom in on pages to see further in on the content displayed.
If flipping pages is not for you, then you can turn on Vertical Scrolling – accessible by tapping the “aA” icon on the upper right of the screen next to the magnifying glass icon – and toggling on the feature. This allows you to continuously scroll to view the next page.
You can bookmark pages so you can come back to them later. You can view your bookmarks in the Bookmark section located by pressing the symbol of the three lines with dots next to them in the upper left of the screen.
There is also a small scrubber at the bottom of the screen that allows you to select a page quickly and easily. Gliding your finger across it will show a preview of the pages and the page numbers they are. Stopping your finger on one will bring you directly to those pages.
The Books app is a great platform to read comic books on because it is native on your device (no need to download another app), easy to use with different functionalities while reading, and synced across all your Apple devices – meaning you can start on your iPad and end on your iPhone.
Books can be found by searching the App Store – if you deleted it – or by searching for the app on your device. You must be running iOS 10 or iPadOS 10 or later to download it.
As COVID-19 hit the world in early 2020, more people started doing activities remotely instead of leaving their homes. Libby is a great alternative to seeking books from your local library on your devices instead of traveling there in person.
All libraries may not be supported – so check to see if your’s is – but if it is, downloading books is easy and simple to do. Instead of checking them out from within the library, you check them out from within the app.
You will need your library card and the login into your library to access the books it provides.
Like checking out a book at the library, the Libby app offers several copies available to give out, and if there are no copies available at the time you want to check out a book or comic, then you will be put on a waiting list.
Reading a comic book on the app is nearly the same as reading one on the Books app. You can zoom in and out on content displayed and there is a scrubber to quickly jump to different paged and chapters – though there is no preview shown when doing so.
You can change the way you want to see the content – if it is one page or two pages at a time – and you either tap or swipe to go to the next page. Pages just slide in and do not turn like a book page.
You can bookmark pages for future reference to them, or you can search for words directly in the writing and be taken to the page with that exact searched word.
Libby offers a widget for you to put on your iPad’s home screen so you can easily access the comic you are reading straight from it. It will also tell you how many days you have left in your checkout period and how far along you are in the comic.
The Libby app can sync between devices, so if you download a comic book on one device, it will show up on your other devices.
Once your checkout time is done, the comic book will automatically be removed from your library and you will have to check it out again to read it once more. If you want to return the comic early or manage your loan (renew it early), you can do that from within the app.
The Libby app is a great way to access comic books you want to read directly from your library for free and allows you to open up your interests by growing multiple comic catalogs. It brings your local library to you directly from your device.
You can download the Libby app from the App Store for free. You must be running iOS 10 or iPadOS 10 or later to download it.
Comixology & Kindle app
If you have an Amazon Prime account, then Comixology and/or the Kindle app may be the right fit for you. The application works through the Prime Reading subscription service that allows you access to comic books and more to read on your devices.
The Comixology app allows you to have a central hub to read your comic books and sync them across different devices.
When reading a comic book, can get information about it while you are reading it.
The application has the same page-turning animations when going from page-to-page. This can be turned on or off – whichever you choose.
You can bookmark pages and access them later by tapping the page icon next to the share icon in the upper right of the screen.
Tapping on the three lines on the upper left of the screen will bring up the table of contexts for the book. You can select which chapter you want to go to or go to the beginning of the book altogether.
There is a scrubber at the bottom of the screen that allows you to quickly switch to different pages in the comic book. When landing on one and then going to another, a marker will be left on the page you just left so you can go back to it easily and hassle-free.
If you decide to go back or skip ahead a few pages, there is a button for you to go directly back to the page you were on so you do not lose it.
With the Kindle app, you can do the same actions that the Comixology app allows, but this app allows you to sync between your iPad and Kindle (if you have one).
You are also able to participate in Kindle Challenge from within the app and keep a reading streak as well.
GoodReads is also part of the app. If you have an account with them, your lists of currently reading, want to read, and read will sync to the app. You can also access Notebooks if you have a Kindle Scribe.
The Kindle app is essentially the central hub to connect your Amazon devices – if you have any – to your iOS devices when reading.
You can discover new comic books to read from within either app in the Discover tab, and when downloading on one app, it’ll show up on the other.
The Comixology and Kindle apps are great apps to use to bring two ecosystems together when enjoying the comic books you want to read.
You can download the Comixology and/or Kindle app from the App Store for free today. You must have an Amazon account to use the apps. You must be running iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 or later to download Comixology and/or the Kindle app.
For all the Marvel Universe fans out there, there is an app dedicated just for you. The Marvel Unlimited app allows you to follow and read all series of your favorite superhero from the Marvel universe.
Before diving in, you do have to have a Marvel account and a paid subscription to use the service and app as a whole. It is $9.99 a month or $68.99 a year. There is a seven-day free trial to start you off after signing up.
When starting with the app, you can select which Marvel characters you want to follow. This will allow the app to let you know when new publications come out about the superhero and organize the comics you want to read most.
When reading your comic book(s), the app allows you to either read the whole page or zoom in on different sections of the page for better reading and seeing the detail in the artwork. You can opt to see the full page before it zooms into each section or after it does so.
The animations between seeing the full page and each section are fluid and smooth and happen without a second thought.
You can download comic books to read when offline, and save them to your library if you want to.
A neat feature Marvel Unlimited brings are points that you can collect when starting or finishing a comic book. You can get a certain amount within a week (opening a new comic is 50 points each and finishing a comic is 100 points each). Each collection has a limit of only ten times a week.
You can redeem these points electronically for rewards based on Marvel characters. Some of the rewards include exclusive Marvel phone and/or tablet wallpapers or social media accessories (Twitter and Facebook profile headers and a profile picture – to name a few).
The Marvel Unlimited app is a great app for any Marvel fan that loves reading their comics and wants the best way to do so. The reading experience is fluid and smooth with no issues to be seen.
You can download the Marvel Unlimited app today for free from the App Store, but you do have to subscribe to utilize the app. You must be running iOS 14.1 or iPadOS 14.1 or later to download it.
DC Universe Infinite
DC Universe Infinite comic book app allows you to read about your favorite DC superheroes from anywhere you take your device.
Unlike the Marvel app, DC Universe Infinite comic book app can be utilized with or without a subscription, but subscribing to them opens more features for you to use. You will have to create an account to use the app though.
Subscription plans start at $7.99 a month and go up to $99.99 a year. Here is what they offer.
- $7.99/month = 27 thousand comics accessible anytime, new comics available six months after print release, and exclusive member benefits and discounts
- $74.99/year = Everything you get with the monthly membership and you save $20 per year
- $99.99/year = Comic library expands from 27 thousand to 32 thousand books by mid-November 2022 (that are accessible anywhere), new comics available 30 days after print release, expanded Vertigo and Black Label and Collected Edition library, Free DC collectible comic exclusives, and access to Ultra member-only events and discounts
All subscription plans come with a seven-day free trial to start. The $99.99-a-year plan is a limited-time introduction price that lasts only seven days after creating your account.
Free comics are labeled with a “Free” banner on them, and Ultra comics are labeled with an “Ultra” banner on them. If you need a subscription to read a comic, you will be prompted to choose a plan before reading it.
No matter if you are subscribed or not, you can add comic books to your library or download them for offline reading.
While reading, you can swipe through each page – though there is no page-turning animation like other apps offer – or activate Auto Scrolling. This allows your device to go to the next page or scene after a few seconds. Tapping on the screen while this feature is enacted will bring up the options to pause or stop Auto Scrolling.
You can either read the comic by looking at the full page or double tapping on a section of the comic to zoom in on that scene. You are also able to zoom in freely anywhere on the page. Continuously swiping your finger horizontally will smoothly move from scene-to-scene within the comic.
You can add comic books to lists you have created to better organize your collection to your liking.
The app icon can be changed as well from within the app by going into Settings and then Set Gome Screen Icon.
DC Universe Infinite is a great app to read comic books from that center on your favorite characters and storylines. The features that it offers make the reading experience more enjoyable, and being able to read comics from them with or without a subscription is great to see.
You can download the DC Universe Infinite app from the App Store for free today. You must be running iOS 14 or iPadOS 14 or later to download it.
While the other apps offer published work by major publications, WebToon offers an experience for individual creators to upload their comic books for others to read.
WebToon allows you to subscribe to stories – so you can follow them as they go – and download them for offline reading. There is also a log of all the stories you read so you can keep track of them.
There is a ranking of the best stories by each genre. You can also search for specific titles as well. The app can also recommend comics to you too.
The app – like most comic book apps – shows fullscreen content with the ability to zoom in and out of it. Instead of swiping through pages, you scroll through each story to read them.
This app may also have mature content. A warning message will appear before the story is shown advising you that there is mature content in the comic and if you would like to continue. You can either continue on into the comic or leave from that menu.
WebToon is a great way to read original content by fans and self-publishers who want to unleash their work for like-minded people to read. It opens up a new canvas to a creative and artistic space to tell different kinds of stories.
You can download WebToon from the App Store for free today. You must be running iOS 11 or iPadOS 11 or later to download it.
Flip through the pages
Comic books are a great way to read a story that – while still containing text – relies heavily on graphics to enhance and detail the storyline even further. Comic books app allow you to access these stories from nearly anywhere and at any time you want.
While nearly all comic book apps offer the same product to consumers, they all bring one special perk about them that makes them special. No matter what your interest is in comic books, you will find one app that pertains to your liking(s).
All apps recommended work on iOS and iPadOS, and are all free to download, but some may require a subscription.