Most of the time, mobile apps get better with each new update, adding new features or functionality. That’s what makes the latest change to the Comixology iOS app so strange: it just got a massive downgrade, as you can no longer buy new digital comics through the app.
Considering that Comixology is the largest portal for digital comics out there, that’s kind of a big deal. The iOS app is now simply a digital comics reader, and if you want to buy new content for it, you now have to do so through the Comixology website.
According to The Verge, there’s a simple motivation behind the change, which was almost certainly dictated by Comixology’s relatively new owner, Amazon: money. Apple takes 30 percent of anything sold through an iOS in-app purchase, and Amazon simply didn’t want to pay that price. As The Verge’s piece also points out, there’s a similar but less inconvenient end around used in the Android app, though it still permits readers to purchase new comics without needing to visit the Comixology site.
I don’t use the app to buy new stuff, but I imagine if I did, I’d be at least mildly irked about the purchase process requiring an extra step. As digital comics continue to establish themselves, they need to be as easy to acquire as possible, and any move in the opposite direction, no matter how minor, is kind of a bummer.
About the Author
What could be better than writing about video games, comic books AND sports? Nick gets to do all three for FanSided as an editor for GameSided and Bam Smack Pow and a staff writer at Octopus Thrower. He stays busy by freelancing for sites like Gamezebo and Slam! Wrestling, working a nocturnal job in the casino industry, and hanging out with his wife and kids in Chocolatetown, USA.