Even though the Google Play Books store has contained digital versions of graphic novels and comic books for quite a while, reading them has never been the easiest experience – especially when compared to dedicated apps such as ComicRack and comiXology. But now, Google wants to change this with an update to its Book app that will make reading and discovering comics a lot simpler.
In order to improve the experience of reading comics/graphic novels on mobile devices, the update will offer a scrolling, landscape layout that users can access by simply flipping their devices on their sides.
"Reading a comic book is all about following the story and enjoying the art, dialogue and pace the way you want," says Google. "But navigating a comic can be tricky on a small phone or tablet screen. So, we're introducing a new vertical scrolling experience for comics in landscape mode."
Furthermore, the update will make it easier to search through the Play Store’s library of comic books by organizing curated collections into volumes, issues and editions. Google will also offer personalized recommendations to users based on what comics they are searching for.
"Google Play offers binge-worthy comics from all the major publishers, including DC Comics, Marvel, Image, IDW and Dark Horse," the company says. "Whether you're a long-time fan or just starting out, our collections will have something great for you, with series like The Walking Dead, Justice League, Deadpool and Mortal Kombat."
In celebrating the new feature - and in order to promote it - Google will be giving away free issues from series such as The X-Files, The Walking Dead, Orphan Black, and Lazarus.
The updates will be rolling out over the “next few days” on Android for users in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, India, Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. iOS users will receive it in the coming weeks.