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Android App Review: Tapastic

01 Oct 13

A while ago I reviewed the Comixology app, which lets you buy and read digital comics on your phone.

But Comixology doesn’t have a monopoly on comics, so here’s an alternative: Tapastic.

A website which hosts webcomics from various (mostly unknown/yet to be famous) artists, Tapastic is free to read and the Android app is free to download. Once you’ve got it you can access hundreds of comics whenever and wherever you want.

You don’t need a profile or to sign in to read the comics, but if you do it gives you the options of saving favourites, liking or commenting on episodes, and so on.

Tapastic tries to promote the community aspect of the website, and while this is definitely one of its strengths, I think it’s more one that you’d experience using a browser rather than the app. This is really just a means to read comics on your phone.

As for the comics themselves, they are inevitably of varying quality. That being said the range is broad enough (Over 850 series, according to their press kit) that if you enjoy sequential art you’re likely to find something that appeals.

The comics are arranged by genre so can look for action, comedy, etc, or you can look at what’s popular with other people if you think that your taste might reflect that of the masses. Or there’s a search bar so you can just type in what you want.

A big problem I found was that there’s no immediately obvious way to zoom in on pages – they’re all just set to fit the width of your screen.

This isn’t a huge problem for comics that are primarily based around action, but for those with a lot of text I found reading them a bit hard work. Maybe there is a way to zoom in, I don’t know, but I couldn’t find it and the usual two-fingered drag didn’t do anything.

With this in mind, you have to wonder what the app is giving you that just your basic internet browser isn’t. All the same comics are on the Tapastic site, and there are no zooming issues there. The app offers you ever-so-slightly quicker access, I think, but it’s not a huge difference.

For me personally I think I’d still rather read digital comics on a larger screen than my phone can provide, but for anyone with a tablet or a burning desire to read comics on the go, Tapastic might be worth checking out, especially if you’d like some alternatives to the usual Marvel/DC dominance.