Comixology is in the process of updating its hugely popular comic book reader for the iPad to take advantage of the third-generation tablet’s Retina display. The next update to Comics is expected to hit the App Store soon, bringing with it high-resolution comics that look “mind-blowing”
Owners of the current version of Comics will agree that the app already looks pretty great on the iPad, but with the next update, it will look “simply mind-blowing,” according to Macworld’s Jason Snell.
Snell was lucky enough to get his hands on a pre-release copy of the Comics update, and he says it’s spectacular:
I had a chance to use a pre-release copy of the update on my third-generation iPad, and the new files—which Comixology refers to as “CMX-HD” format—are spectacular. I read issue #1 of Saga, the new book from Y: The Last Man and Ex Machinaauthor Brian K. Vaughan, in CMX-HD format. The sci-fi/fantasy/fairy-tale features some gorgeous art by Fiona Staples that looks even better in high definition.
Snell reports that colors are crisp and bright and text is razor-sharp. Even fine lines are visible and no longer appear as pixelated blurs.
But there is a tradeoff. Just the other Retina artwork in other iPad apps, high-resolution comics in the CMX-HD format consume two to three times the storage of a regular comic, according to Comixology CEO David Steinberger. The company is working to reduce those file sizes, but Steinberger says “image quality if of first importance.”
But what’s great about Comics is that it knows whether or not you’re using a new iPad. It won’t just install Retina artwork if you don’t need it, like most other iPad apps. If you’re using the original iPad or the iPad 2, it will continue to download comic books in the standard format.
But for those of you who can enjoy the high-resolution versions, you’ll be pleased to know that Comixology is working to update its entire catalog as quickly as possible — and it won’t cost you a penny to upgrade if you already own the standard copy.